Chapter 3

Come and Join me on a Historic tour of special events during the year of 1945

We left Saipan early Tuesday thereabouts for our destination, and should be there by Thursday the 18th and getting prepared for our invasion of Iwo on the 19th. We will all then hear loads of the gun fire along with a mess of planes, and it will be ongoing the total time that we are there. Wait until you hear the battleships firing away.

We are still spending time with our Officers to get any updates on anything that is important for us to get. We will all get together with each other to band us as a unit, since we have some newbie’s that I mentioned to you all earlier. Now remember, one of these newbies is me.

We are getting ourselves prepared both physically and mentally. I am getting together with radio men and runners from our company to go over anything new. We are discussing the SCR 536 Hand Held Radio and Transmitter with a range of about 1 mile over land and 3 miles over water.

I just came down from top side, and it looks like we are moving along quite well, and the waves are not too bad so, I decide to do a wash and we do this by using a long rope and tie your clothes on one end of the rope while tying the other end to the rail. You then throw the clothes over the side and depending on the speed of the ship, you have to gage the time for cleaning, and I am using 4 hours. Not only does this clean the clothes and bedding, but it makes Kaki cloths a little lighter depending how many times you wash them.

If you ever heard the term Salty, like, boy that is one Salty Marine. I could not become a Salty Marine, since my clothes looked pretty new and they were indeed Kaki colored, but you should have seen me 4 months later. I also became a Salty Marine. I really needed something to make me look older, since I use to get into the Movies as being under 12 when I was 16... Speaking of Movies, I think they will be showing the Movie Submarine D1, then it is off to bed and you can all join me on deck if you want.

I had a good nights sleep along with a good Breakfast and hoping that you all indulged in a good meal. I will be in attendance with my Platoon to go over more of the planned invasion. Today and Tomorrow we will basically be doing the same thing. Then on Friday the 19th of February is when we start the invasion in the morning at 9:00 AM. I will be talking to you that evening of the invasion to let you know what is happening. We will be up and going early in the morning and you maybe sleeping when we leave, but sure that the gun fire will awaken you.

February 19, 1945: This is D day for the battle of Iwo Jima.

After a Breakfast of Steak and Eggs at 5:00 AM, All of the Higgins Boats are being launched and we are climbing down the Cargo Nets with full Battle Gear to board these landing crafts.. Now we are forming a circular motion to form a circle of these Landing boats, and keep going around in a circle until were scheduled to form a wave and then you see a huge line of these Landing Boats with all heading to the beach as scheduled.

While were out here my Lt. came up to me and said that our radioman/ runner to the Companies CP (Command Post) and said that he fell out of his bunk and broke his arm and I will need to have you take his place. You report to your Platoon Sgt. And go to the beach with him and he will give you the orders. They are getting ready to head for the Beach as a Wave and I was now with my Platoon Sgt at the head of the boat. I’m thinking that I never trained for this job and Have never been in battle before, this is going to be one tough assignment.

The shells are now coming at us from all parts of the island and you have your head just sticking up a little and you look around and see ships everywhere you look and see our Planes giving them hell. I see wrecked boats ahead of us that the Japanese had hit while they were on there way in, and wondered what will happen to us. We had a Battle Ship hit and a Cruiser hit pretty bad.

The boats has stopped and the Ramp goes down and we had to walk through some sea water to get to the Beach and I started to run up the black coarse sandy beach (image), and you just sink down in it, and makes it difficult to run in it. The Sgt and I jumped into the 1st hole and it was hit by a shell and had 6 Marines in it with 2 being dead and the other ones wounded pretty bad. I called for the Corpsman and left this shell hole while our artillery and the ships were shelling the hell out of this island and thought that no one can survive this shelling, which means that we may just get off of this Island in a couple of days. Remember that we have been shelling this place for 4 days and for 60 some days our planes was giving this place a going over along with a whole load of 14 inch shells along with all of the guns of the ships in the harbor just creaming the island. You kept your head down since you could really hear the shells going overhead. You sure did not want to get to far above the ground since the Japanese would get you or your own ships weapons, could do a number on you. We also had land mines that they laid in various areas.

Note: I mentioned calling for a Corpsman and want you to all know that he does a great job of taking care of any medical problems that we may have. He is really a Navy person, but to us, he is a Marine and he wears our Uniforms and dressed like we are during a Battle, and he is really a Marine, as far a were concerned and they even go to our Marine Reunions and I had the honor of working with a Corpsman who was the President of our Division, and I was the National Reunion Chairman of our Division, and we worked very close to together for 18 months on this Reunion.

The 1st thing that most of us did as soon as we could, after landing here was to get rid of your back Pack and Gas Mask.. We kept the Poncho’s and tied the shovel to the belt we wore and of course we kept our weapons with ammunition including the trusty K-Bar knife. Now that we lightened ourselves, we could move a little faster. One other thing we all did is to make sure that your legs of your pants was outside of the Leggings. The reason is that the Japanese tucked their pant legs in side of there leggings, and if you was seen at night with a little bit of moon light you would know if he was friendly or Japanese. Keep in mind that while were doing this gun fire is coming from every where. When mentioning the gun fire especially from the Navy, we used Rolling Gun fire method and kept the shells going off 500s yard in front of our lines. We used flares to show the Navy where our lines were.

You may need to resort to your Map on page 2 of Chapter #2... We are now moving in a NW direction toward the Motoyama #1 air field while fighting all of the way since the Japanese had the big guns between us and the Airfield including many Machine guns. We had to silence them and that cost a few lives. We was moving slowly since we had a lot of opposition from the enemy, while I stayed with the Sgt and at one time, we realize that we was in front of our lines and started to go back towards them. Our pass word is any Presidents name. We did get back to our lines and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. :J

While on the Beach I noticed that 13 Tanks came in on the beach but also noted that we lost 10 of them in a big hurry because of this very loose black sand. most of them threw a thread or hit a land mine. One of them came up to the center of the beach and was close to us, when our Lt. went to the back of the tank and used the Tanks phone and I could clearly here our Lt. telling the Tank Commander to get this damn Tank the hell off of the Beach, since your drawing fire, and he moved it.

We are now at the edge of the Motoyama #1 Airport and we was even noticing shooting coming from the very damaged Aircraft that our Ships and Planes did to the Japanese. We are making a little headway to get to the Clift that you will notice is starting at the east Coast Basin and goes westward to below Motoyama #2... We made our way up to about half of the Cliff, and bedded down for the night. I found shell hole on has about 60 degree Clift.

I checked on some of the dead Japanese and found a Diary and instantly turned it over to my Lt.. The will then have it analyzed and the interpreter will then give the information to headquarters. After then getting in this small shell hole, I put my Poncho over me to keep warm since it is now pretty cold and guess what, the rain came pouring down and my hole particially filled with water, and I just shivered all night, while the shells was going off all over the place, but I felt reasonably safe now...

More to come by Monday... WWIIwarrior