n a May 30, 2016, photo, U.S. Marine veteran R. V. Burgin, 93, salutes during the 76th Annual Memorial Day Service at Restland Memorial Park in Dallas. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

For 35 years after his discharge from the Marines, R.V. Burgin kept his war stories to himself. But when he finally broke his silence, he brought World War II to life for thousands of readers in vivid, and often horrific, detail.

"He didn't hold anything back," said Bill Marvel, a former reporter for The Dallas Morning News who collaborated with Burgin on his book, Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific.

Burgin, a Lancaster resident, died Saturday at 96. A funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Lancaster.

Burgin's unflinching account of several battles he survived during the war helped inspire The Pacific, a miniseries produced by HBO in 2010.

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