Texas Marine who wrote book, basis for ‘The Pacific,” dies

Courtesy of The National WWII Museum.

LANCASTER, Texas (AP) — A retired Marine sergeant whose book about grueling jungle combat during WWII became a basis for the HBO miniseries “The Pacific” has died at his home in Texas.

Services were scheduled Friday for R.V. Burgin of Lancaster, a Dallas suburb. His daughter, Maggie Shepherd, says her father’s health had been declining and he died in his sleep April 6. He was 96.

Shepherd said Friday that Burgin’s “Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific,” was one of several books that inspired the HBO miniseries , which premiered in 2010. Burgin was portrayed in “The Pacific” by actor Martin McCann.

Shepherd says her father, for about 35 years, never talked about his service. She says Burgin was inspired to write a book after attending some military reunions.