Bottle awaits last of WWII Marine division

Sept. 21, 2008 at 6:03 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- About 2,000 veterans are still in the running for a bottle of vintage cognac earmarked for the 1st Marine Division's last surviving member of World War II.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday there were about 2,000 leathernecks who saw action with the division in the South Pacific, and the last one left will receive the bottle set aside shortly after V-J Day by Ralph Magical, who was then the editor and publisher of the newspaper.

Magical served in the Corps during World War II and was so impressed with the 1st Division heroics in battles such as Guadalcanal and Okinawa that he set aside a 100-year-old bottle of French Etournaud in 1946 to be opened by the last surviving veteran of the unit.

The newspaper said the bottle was under lock and key at the Marine Memorial Club in San Francisco.

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