These two water tanks were the focus of the heaviest 4th Marines fighting on 6 May. The tank in the foreground overlooked the Denver Battery positions and was where QM Sgt John E. Haskin and Sgt Maj Thomas F. Sweeney died.

One of the major impediments to the Marine attack was a Japanese machine gun placed in a hole in the base of one of the water tanks. Quartermaster Sergeant John E. Haskin and Sergeant Major Thomas F. Sweeney ran under fire and climbed up the cement water tower in the predawn darkness. The two Marines did not expect to survive the battle, and their comrades knew that both would attempt some extreme action during the expected fighting. Marine Gunner Ferrell talked to Sweeney as he led his men into action that morning. Sweeney said as they parted, "Well, this is it. We've been in the Marine Corps for 15 years and this is what we've been waiting for. If I don't see you, that's the way it is."

The two Marines now lobbed grenades into the Japanese positions, promptly destroying the machine gun in the water tank. Captain Brook remembered, "A Marine sergeant . . . gathered an armful of hand grenades and climbed to the top of a stone water tower near our front line. From here, he threw them at a Japanese sniper position and succeeded in knocking it out." Another Marine, Corporal Sidney E. Funk, was crawling beside the water tank when he heard a voice call down, "Hey Funk, those bastards are right over there in the brush. If I had enough hand grenades, I'd blow the hell out of them." Funk had no idea who the voice belonged to and quickly crawled away for cover.

Despite drawing fire to themselves, Haskin and Sweeney continued to have some initial success, destroying at least one more machine gun. However, their supply of grenades was soon exhausted and Haskin was killed while reclimbing the tower with more ammunition. Sweeney was killed soon after. The two "were very close friends in life," remembered Quartermaster Clerk Frank W. Ferguson, "it was most fitting that they should go out together."

Photo courtesy of 61st Infantry Association