Fountain Valley

Thomas Lopez Casso

By Sarah Carter

Thomas Casso took off through the jungle after lighting a smoke signal that would tell United States troops where to target the Japanese, who were trailing his company on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.

Casso recalled his superior telling him, "Look, here's a smoke pot ... after we're out of sight and you can't hear us anymore -- 15 minutes -- you stay here then you light it and then you run ... and catch up with us.”

"Oh, 15 minutes can be a long, long time," Casso said.

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