JOSEPH MARTIN HINES
CHARLIE COMPANY RIFLEMAN
1942 – 1945
When Joe Hines finished boot camp, he thought he’d spend the war on Parris Island. A talented musician, he’d been selected to play in the post band. Soon enough, however, the Corps changed its mind. “I guess they think I’ll be able to fight better than I can play a clarinet,” he said of his transfer to Company “C,” First Separate Battalion. “My work won’t be any more dangerous. The life of a band member when they go over as a stretcher bearer or messenger is about 5 minutes under fire, so I guess I’m better off. Not that I’m worried.”
Hines would last much longer than five minutes under fire; he served in all of the 4th Marine Division’s campaigns from Roi-Namur to Iwo Jima without so much as a scratch. In the intervals, he put his entertainment talents to use as a member of the “Just 4 Fun” traveling talent show. After Iwo Jima, he received a well-deserved transfer to the 24th Marines headquarters company to become a regimental librarian with “two pretty Red Cross girls for my bosses.” He ended the war with a barracks detachment at Pearl Harbor, meeting the occasional celebrity and participating in shows. He mustered out in October of 1945, and headed home to Tom’s Brook, Virginia.
Photographs shown here were kindly provided by Joe’s daughter, Susan Hines. More pictures and his wartime letters may be viewed online courtesy of the Shenandoah County Library.