We left off after being by the Motoyama Air port #2. We were covering a great deal of this field with the 5th Division on the West side of the Island. We all only have half of our outfit by now in the 5thd day.
We need to go back one day when I was going back to the beach to get more supplies with a working party and while going down the clift, someone noted that a flag was being raised on the Mt. Suribachi. We got to the beach while all of this was taking place, but most of the Marines said that we have a hell of a fight going on up front, and we didn’t think much of it at all (Little did we know how famous it would become at the time)… This was on the 4th day of our invasion.
While loading up our supplies, we seen 3 trucks with 36 rockets on each of them and they were making sure that the rockets was going over our heads to hopefully killing a few of the enemy. They were suppose to land over 500 yards past our lines and they fired all 36 from each truck in sequence, and that was a strange thing to see in my day.
We got back to the lines and started to dig Fox Holes, and boy is it difficult with the loose black coarse sand. You throw out 5 shovel fulls and 3 would slide back in. We were now in the area where it was getting tougher to gain much in the way of yardage. We just settled in for the night listening to all of the gun fire along with talking about a possible Banzai attack, and we really had to stay on the alert, which means a few of us would stand guard, while the other ones tried to sleep.
Another Screaming mimi went over our heads headed for the Flag area and it went over the Island. We had one of them land not too far from us and the explosion sounded so loud, and you thought your ear drums would break… if this wasn’t bad enough, a Navy plane flew over us that evening and dropped a Napalm bomb that landed right on our line on the left of us but it turned out to be a fizzle, but a lot of the napalm landed on some of our folks and soaked some of them up. Of course, they had to stay away from fire of sorts.
I was watching the planes flying over us and only about 100 or so yards high and I was using these Japanese binoculars that I took off of a dead enemy officer and one of the planes was hit directly by what I thought was an artillery shell and just blew the plane all apart. It just came down in pieces.
The next morning after getting up near the airport that I mentioned, we could bury our C rations for awhile and the heat from this island you could cook your meal if left underground long enough. It would not boil it but get it pretty warm. This took the place of the Sterno that we used to heat our rations.
We are now to the right of Motoyama #2 and to out right is Turkey Knob and the Amphitheater which we have not touched as yet. This area is very dangerous area, especially since we have Hill 382 and we're squeezing the enemy much closer together. The fighting is getting much more intense if this is possible and we are gaining as little as 50 yards a day. Just remember that we are now in pretty flat territory, with very little to hide behind and it means that we dig many more Fox Holes at this time. We are still losing people at a high rate for the Yards gained.
We have been kind of stuck in this area for a couple of days, and were now going into the 7th day and I was sent to the Beach to bring up a bunch of replacements from the 30th Replacement draft. I went in the late evening when getting dark, since we had a lot of open area to cross. I brought them all back to the Lt. to place them where he needed them, since we only now have the Platoon guide at this time. We lost our Lt a little later. The Marines that I brought up, I noticed that their last name began with a C, which is telling me that they are coming in alphabetical order. We all settled into our Fox Holes for the evening. Of course the shelling never stopped on both sides.
It is now D+8 and our lines are now near the amphitheater and Turkey Knob, with G company on our right… and were engaging with Hill 382 and it is really difficult to gain many yards now and today, we lost our Captain and our other Radio man runner, which now leaves just me. Both of them were hit with shrapnel and had to go back to be taken care of. I really liked our Capt, and we use to call him high pockets. ( He retired in the 70’s as a General and he was in charge of Gitmo for while) I also though highly of our Lt. along with the other Runner and Radio man.
We now only have one Captain at this time and 1 SGT and no Corporals. I reported to the Sgt. And we're now going into the next day. Just think about this for a minute. We have now lost 11 out of 12 NCOs’ and no Officer. The replacements that I brought up last night, contained 4 Corporals, but they are new and what did they really know.
We also noticed that a few ships have left here and we wondered where they went, but ( we heard later that they were going to Okinawa getting ready for that invasion). We sure did not want them to leave us like they did on the Canal.