Iwo: D+4. February 23, 1945

Hotrocks

Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class DeVore Basil Gordon wondered why he’d tried so damn hard to get into the Navy.

First, there was his mother. Edith Gordon was utterly unmoved by her son’s pleas to enter the service immediately after Pearl Harbor. He was barely sixteen years old, still in high school, and it was out of the question. They sparred back and forth for a year before DeVore declared he was going to enlist with or without her consent. Finally, Edith relented.

a_dgordon
DeVore Gordon’s senior class photo. North High School, Phoenix, 1943.

Then there was the Phoenix recruiting office and its eye chart. The myopic teenager flunked the vision test. He came back and tried again. And again. After his sixth attempt, Gordon realized that the chart never changed. On the seventh try, he rattled off the letters so quickly that the doctor accused him of memorizing the sequence. Gordon mumbled about eating lots of carrots to improve his eyesight. “You want to go that bad?” asked the officer. “You got it.” Gordon passed.

Then there was the entrance exam for Navy medical school. Gordon wanted to become an officer. He tried to bluff his way through the eye test, but this examiner was less forgiving. Gordon went to San Diego to become a hospital apprentice.

Then there was the Navy itself. They wouldn’t send Gordon to combat or give him a seagoing assignment. He and his buddies were tired of life in “Dago.” Four of them accosted the base Captain and demanded a transfer to the Fleet Marine Force. “You want to go that bad?” asked the officer. “You got it.” At Camp Elliott, Gordon talked his way through yet another eye test, experienced Marine boot camp, field medical school, and somehow survived the firing range although he could barely see, let alone hit, the targets.

Then there was Captain William Stewart, who welcomed Gordon to Company A, 24th Marines with a stern warning. “I want you to know that you are a Marine now. You’re going to know how to fire every weapon in the company so that you can take any man’s place that gets killed or wounded. Your second job is being a corpsman. Always remember your first is being a Marine.”

And now there were the Japanese gunners. Doc Gordon had been “shelled, mortared, machine-gunned from one side to the other” in the past four days, yet one event in particular stuck out in his mind. It occurred, he later thought, late at night on the third day, or possibly the early morning hours of the fourth. Japanese infiltrators were rushing Company A in groups, and everyone was firing as fast as they could – even Gordon had his carbine going because these Japanese were carrying explosives and were blowing themselves up among the foxholes. One of them got within a few feet of Gordon’s hole before detonating with a flash.

The man in front of me was hit. He started screaming and hollering, and I leaped over to his hole, and he was holding his chest. His hands were a bloody mess, and his chest was all blood. I couldn’t figure out how he was yelling so much with such a bad chest wound. I told him to take his hands away — he didn’t want to, so I pulled his hands away, and I noticed a little flap of skin. I pulled off the whole buttocks of the Japanese man who got blown up. It had hit him right in the chest. When he felt it, it scared the heck out of him, and it scared me too when I first saw him!

Fear turned to relief as Gordon calmed the gore-splattered Marine and assured him there was nothing the matter. He would simply need a new set of dungarees – if he ever got the chance to find one.[1]


Out Of The Boat Basin

Far behind Doc Gordon’s foxhole, an administrative stroke of the pen returned 1/24 to regimental control, creating a unified 24th Marines for the first time in the campaign.[2] Staff officers shuffled units on their maps, and grunts dragged their feet as Third Battalion, 24th Marines moved up to relieve the exhausted 25th Marines. F/2/25 drew the short straw and moved over to the right flank, taking over from A/1/24. For the first time since D-Day, Major Stewart’s company was off the front line.

The relief was badly needed. “Our casualties [were] awesome,” said Corporal Alva Perry. “We needed rest and chow.” He spotted Private Allen Duncanbandaged up and back in action after suffering a minor wound on D+1. As the two Marines traipsed rearward, they encountered a gaggle of combat photographers heading for the front, Speed Graphics in hand, looking for subjects. Half-joking, Duncan yelled, “Hey, you guys! Take our picture.”

duncan_perry_iwo“Alright,” replied one of the photographers. “Any of you from the same hometown?”

“Yeah, Perry and me.”[3]

The Marines quickly posed — Allen, aggressively gripping his BAR, glowering into the lens, Alva, looking ahead to where his company was already starting to settle down in safety — and the shutter clicked. Several weeks later, the Duncan and Perry families of Nashville, Tennessee, received an official Marine Corps photograph of their boys on Iwo Jima.[4] 

Perry and Duncan hustled to catch up with their buddies and plopped down beside Corporal John Corcoran. Corcoran, a BARman from Boston, had been with Able Company even longer than Perry. Though his apple cheeks made him an easy target for teasing — they called him “Bubbleface” behind his back — Corcoran had a natural sense of humor and was widely regarded as an all-around great guy. Perry and Corcoran basked against a large boulder, stripping off their outer jackets to soak up the meager sun while listening to the pre-assault bombardment, not caring that it spelled trouble for some other unit. Semper Fi, Mac.

a_corcoran
John Martin Corcoran

Far behind the lines, something went wrong. An anonymous American gunner sighted his weapon and cranked off a shot at a target somewhere beyond the Quarry. If his aim was true, his shell was a dud; it ricocheted off the rocks and skipped howling along the ground, spinning end over end. Perry saw it moving “like a loose football, bouncing right at us. It was going so fast there was no way we could move. The shell hit John in the stomach, glanced off, and kept going.”

Perry was so startled by the freak accident that he blurted, rather lamely, “You alright, John?” Corcoran didn’t answer; he was frantically ripping at his clothing to get a look at his wound. They expected a mass of gore, but instead, there was only “a little red mark on his stomach.” Looks could be deceiving – no Marine could shrug off a slug to the stomach like that — so Perry collared a few stretcher-bearers. The battalion aid station was just below, and within minutes John Corcoran was carried into the operating tent.

 

It was too late. “A doctor came over and checked him out and told us to take him outside, he was dead,” remembered Perry. “I couldn’t believe it.” [5] Officially, Corporal John Martin Corcoran was killed by a “Wound, Fragment, Shell, back.” The actual cause was more likely massive internal bleeding, or from the sudden onset of shock. Shortly after that, a burial team came to collect the body. Corcoran was Able Company’s only fatality that day.[6]

Renewed Assault

The majority of the shells fired in the pre-assault bombardment arced well over the heads of Charlie Company’s riflemen. Businesslike, they counted down the minutes until 0900, then rose out of their foxholes and started forward again. Two Assault and Demolition squads, plus a reluctant Baker Company platoon called out of battalion reserve, were also included in the advance. After the previous day’s shelling, the assault troops were understandably a little gun shy – but to their surprise, “mortar fire was extremely light. This may have been due to the excellent artillery fire called for and directed by our forward observers.” The problem of the spigot mortars seemed to have been temporarily solved, although “small arms fire was consistent.”

 

 

Bunker_Attack 127-gr-14-91-114293_001-ac
When Japanese troops threw grenades at advancing Marines, the attackers responded with demolition charges. USMC photo by Sgt. Dreyfuss.

More worrying was the presence of mines in the area. Unlike the big anti-boat mines, whose distinctive horns made them easily visible to infantrymen, these were anti-personnel devices cleverly constructed to escape detection by Marine engineers with metal detectors. “The mines were non-metallic, terra cotta, equipped with plastic fuses,” noted the Final Report.[7]

These mines were all but impossible to find with metal detectors, and had to be removed by hand.
These mines were all but impossible to find with metal detectors and had to be removed by hand.

The tankers had to be careful, too. “A terracotta mine larger than the standard Japanese anti-tank mine was also extensively used,” mentioned the Fourth Tank Battalion report. “This mine was extremely hard to detect and had sufficient explosive power to destroy a tank suspension system.” [8] Each mine had to be located, marked, and removed by hand before the supporting tanks could advance.

While 1/24’s assault units moved cautiously northward, another platoon from the Fifth Marine Division moved just as carefully southward, up the slopes of Mount Suribachi. Their leader, Lieutenant Harold Schrier, carried an American flag borrowed from the USS Missoula. Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery, a photographer from Leatherneck magazine, tagged along to capture what he hoped would be an auspicious moment – the raising of a flag to signal the capture of Mount Suribachi.


The Flag

Lou Lowery’s photograph of the first flag raised on Iwo Jima.

“When that flag went up, I’ll never forget it. Everybody cheered. The whole island cheered, the boats all tooted their horns, and man, we were ready to fight some more.”

 – Cpl. Alva R. Perry, Jr.[9]

The 24th Marines were a quarter-mile from Suribachi. It was a straight shot from their position in the Quarry to the mountain’s summit – a fact they well knew, as they’d dodged enemy gunfire from gunners hidden on its slopes. They had no way of knowing the 5th Marine Division’s progress, and they did not much care long as the “Spearhead” boys did their job. A few men remarked that there seemed to be less fire coming from behind them on D+4 than on other previous days. “I could sense something because we weren’t getting any fire from the rear, it was kind of quiet,” said Platoon Sergeant Mike Mervosh. “Maybe the 5th Marine [Division] secured the thing. At least [we knew] they were fighting hand to hand over there to get a toehold.” [10]

PFC Charles Kubicek was enjoying the relative quiet when his platoon sergeant started yelling. Usually, when a senior NCO raised his voice, one ducked for cover – but Kubicek saw the man pointing excitedly in the direction of Mount Suribachi and shouting, “Lookee! Yonder flies Old Glory!” The effect was electric. “Jeez, I’ll tell ya, everybody got real excited,” said Kubicek. “Now that we got the high ground, we can start moving.” [11]

Down on the beach, the partially paralyzed PFC Ed Curylo was finally being taken out to a hospital ship. “As they lifted me up to the hospital ship, all of the guys up on the beach were in a joyous mood,” he related. “Hooraying and all that kind of baloney, you know? ‘What the hell’s wrong with these guys, they crazy?’ I managed to lift up—I was in this sort of wire cage, and I managed to lift my head up and I took a look at ’em and they’re dancing around and things. And I looked to Mt. Suribachi, and I saw the flag.” [12]

With characteristic candor, PFC John Pope opined “they should have had a bigger flag,” but admitted that the sight “made us feel better.” “I heard someone wrote in a paper that there was a loud cheer when it went up,” he wrote in his memoirs. “I find that a little hard to believe. That story must have been written by some former sportswriter offshore faking it. It would have to have been awfully loud to be heard if that area had as much noise as where we were.” [13] 

Proximity to the rear dictates a veteran’s memories of the flag raising. Perry, in reserve for the day, remembered the cheering and celebration, as did Curylo. PFC Stephen Findlay, a scout for battalion HQ, recalled “a hell of a heartening sight. That’s a feeling that a guy can’t tell about.” [14] Closer to the front, Baker Company’s reactions were more muted; they joked that someone in the rear thought the battle was over, so “tell those people to come up here with us!” [15] And some were too busy to pay much attention. 1Lt. Murray Fox, who had his hands full with his mortar platoon, “looked up in disbelief at the flag because there was still so much unfinished work to do.” [16] One of Fox’s ammo carriers, PFC William T. Quinn, “heard all hell bust loose on the ships. Blast horns, and everything else. I didn’t know what was going on and nobody was telling me anything. Somebody said, ‘there’s a flag up there,’ and I looked back, but it was all black to me because that’s the distance I was away from it.” Quinn took advantage to the cacophony to fire a few test rounds from his rifle.[17] The usually detailed accounts left by Irving Schechter and Frederic Stott omit their reactions to the flag raising, and the scribe taking down the battalion’s War Diary did not mention the event at all.[18]

The widest range of responses came from the heavily engaged Charlie Company. “Words cannot express the beauty of our flag on ‘Hot Rocks,’” wrote the Third Platoon CO, Lieutenant Jack Manning. “We knew then that precious supplies could be brought in on the southern beaches. I’ll never forget the words of Platoon Sergeant Sam McNeal when he first saw the flag on Suribachi. ‘Look! Suribachi is ours!’ It wasn’t many seconds when every head was turned toward the flag.” [19] Private Domenick Tutalo, sweating under the weight of his flamethrower, couldn’t take his attention away from the caves he was dousing with napalm. “We heard about the flag raising from where we were. We heard it was up, but I couldn’t see it,” he said. “If you had binoculars, you might be able to see it.” [20]

Mike Mervosh did have a pair of binoculars. “We got a rumor that the flag had been raised. I got the binoculars out of my pack and looked to see if it was our flag. I was looking for several seconds and bing, bing, bing one round caught the side of my cartridge belt. My exhilaration wasn’t at seeing the flag; my exhilaration was that these sons of bitches are poor shots.” [21] Poor shots or not, the binoculars were making Mervosh too conspicuous. He stowed them away and turned his attention back to the battle. It was still only 1030 – a long day lay ahead.

Meanwhile, on Suribachi, a second flag was going up.

raising_the_flag_on_iwo_jima2c_larger_-_edit1
“Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” by Joe Rosenthal

Those of Baker Company who stayed in reserve kept an eye on the mountain. A few hours later, PFC Kubicek saw the flag suddenly go down. “Uh-oh, the Japs got the hill again,” was his first thought. “But that’s when they took down the small [flag] and put the big one up, so we did actually witness both flag raisings.” [22]

As an iconic moment in American history unfolded, John Pope was rooting around in his pack. He’d suddenly remembered that he hadn’t eaten since leaving the USS Hendry, and at the same moment, thought of a candy bar he’d stashed away.

The chocolate was melted, and the peanuts were floating. My right hand was filthy dirty, and my left was even worse with a bloody bandage that kept attracting green flies, so I licked that candy up like a dog. To this day, when I see a Mr. Goodbar, I remember that day.[23] 

For some in Charlie Company, the most memorable sight of the day was a handful of live Japanese troops who appeared in the open 200 yards away. Then came another shower of knee mortars, and it was back to business.

Business as usual. A Marine command group takes shelter in a Japanese blockhouse.
Business as usual on the front lines. A Marine command group takes shelter in a Japanese blockhouse on D+4.

American and Japanese mortarmen dueled each other over the heads of the riflemen. Marine 60mm and 81mm weapons fired heavy concentrations of their precious ammunition, while the Japanese lobbed seemingly endless volleys of grenade-like 50mm shells. The massive 320mm spigot mortars were blessedly absent, having been discovered and destroyed by troops in other sectors, but the Japanese had some deadly 90mm mortars in play. A squad from 1/24 overran a pair of these weapons; Lieutenant Fox’s men commandeered the tubes and found one still usable. Shell fragments caused the majority of wounds in 1/24, and the mental strain of constant bombardment sent more than one man to the rear. Corporal Reuben “Rudy” Hollingsworth counted twelve heavy rounds hitting near his position before the thirteenth landed smack on top of his ten-man rifle squad. Four of the men were killed outright. The rest were badly wounded, including Corporal Hollingsworth, who left his right leg on Iwo Jima.[24]

Assembling a captured spigot mortar projectile.

Platoon Sergeant Sam McNeal, who earlier exulted over the flag raising, was a conspicuous figure that afternoon. McNeal was well-known in the company – he’d won a Silver Star on Saipan the previous summer – and now he took charge when shellfire held up his platoon. The intrepid Alabamian climbed up to an exposed position to direct Charlie Company’s mortars to fire on an enemy emplacement, and from there, scouted his plan of attack. “Determined not to risk the lives of numerous men in attacking the position, he employed the weapons of his platoon for covering fire and, advancing alone with hand grenades and a rifle, personally destroyed the Japanese strong point” read the citation for his second Silver Star. Although he “enabled his platoon to seize the vital high ground in their sector with a minimum of casualties,” McNeal was mortally wounded during his one-man assault.

Amidst all the chaos, Captain Stott noticed “one small and youthful 18-year-old private…. He was dazed from concussion, carrying small bits of shrapnel in his skin, and in his hand was his prize possession – a Jap rifle! His own weapon had been discarded, and he would accept no help, nor allow anyone to lay a hand on his own prized souvenir.”[25] He was likely describing PFC Valentine Ulakovits, a Tampa native who turned eighteen a few days before landing on Iwo. Ulakovits carried that rifle from a Japanese pillbox to a hospital ship and back to San Diego. His hometown newspaper told the story of the souvenir, adding “Shrapnel wounds in his right hand, now healing satisfactorily, bear silent testimony to his part in the bitter fight for the volcanic island.” [26]

By 1600, Charlie Company was through. Seven hours of exertion against stubborn pillboxes and Japanese mortars resulted in 21 casualties, and those still on their feet were exhausted. Able Company was declared “recovered” and saddled up to relieve Charlie on the line. The remaining platoons of Baker Company also shifted position to cover more of the front. When they halted at 1700, the battalion’s line consisted of Baker on the left, Able in the center, and Fox Company of the 25th on the right. The boys from the 25th had had a rough day on mop-up duty; lacking Able Company’s bunker-blowing experience and knowledge of the terrain, they lost thirteen men dead or wounded during the day.

They Did Their Part 127-gr-14-91-110244_001-ac
“They Did Their Part – Wounded Marines are helped to an aid station by Navy corpsmen and Marine walking wounded.” USMC photo by Cpl. Eugene Jones.

That evening, PFC Arthur T. LaPorte was “volunteered” to help a buddy draw rations for Charlie Company’s machine gun platoon.

As we approached the cliffs I looked over and I saw the flag flying. I said to my buddy, not knowing that it would become so famous, “What in the devil do they have that thing flying for? We haven’t even taken this piece of shit.” [27]

LaPorte’s cynicism was justified. All told, the battalion’s butcher bill was nine killed in action, three died of wounds, and thirty-eight wounded or otherwise evacuated on the day the flag went up on Iwo Jima.

The Fallen

a_corcoran gilboy_j xz_nopic b_nesbit xz_nopic
Cpl.
John M.
Corcoran
Age 21
BARman, A Co.
Friendly fire, dud shell
PFC
John A.
Gilboy
Age 18
Rifleman, B Co.
Gunshot, chest & neck
PFC
Joseph A.
Martel
Age 20
BARman, B Co.
Of wounds recd. 2/21
PFC
Eugene M.
Nesbit
Age 24
BARman, B Co.
Of wounds recd. 2/19
PFC
Walter L.
Willard

Age 20
Machine Gunner, B Co.
Cause unknown
c_cabrall mcneal_sp c_wells xz_nopic c_ramsey
2Lt.
Francis P.
Cabrall

Age 21
Platoon Leader, C Co.
Of wounds recd. 2/20
PlSgt.
Samuel P.
McNeal

Age 23
Platoon Sergeant, C Co.
Shrapnel, head & face
Cpl.
Weldon G.
Wells

Age 19
Messenger, C Co.
Shrapnel, chest & abdomen
PFC
Manville A.
Dickman

Age 26
Rifleman, C Co.
Shrapnel, back
Pvt.
William R.
Ramsey

Age 19
BARman, C Co.
Cause unknown
xz_nopic xz_nopic
Pvt.
George M.
Strong

Age 25
BARman, C Co.
Shrapnel, chest
Pvt.
Charlie L.
Strickland

Age 23
BARman, C Co.
Shrapnel, head

WOUNDED

COMPANY Name Assignment Cause Destination

Headquarters

2Lt. James F. Blake
PFC Eugene Bartolacci
PFC Herbert G. Bevins

PFC Donald H. Wright
PhM3c Norris Fulgham, Jr.
PhM3c David L. Pasternik
Liaison
Lineman
Demolitions
Scout
Corpsman
Corpsman
Intracranial injury
Shrapnel, left arm
Shrapnel, right leg
Gunshot, left jaw
Fragment, left shoulder
Blast concussion
USS Libra
Evacuated
USS Solace
USS President Adams
USS Hendry
USS Hendry

Able

Sgt. Fred E. Thomas
Cpl. William J. Imm, Jr.
Cpl. Henry F. Denson, Jr.
ACk. James E. McAdams
ACk. Willard Roberts
PFC James L. Moore
Pvt. Clifford W. Burnette
Rifle NCO
Mortarman
Rifle NCO
Assistant Cook
Assistant Cook
BARman
Rifleman
Unknown (slight)
Chemical burns, hands
Shrapnel, both legs
Chemical burns, neck
Shrapnel, neck
Shrapnel, right leg
Shell shock
Evacuated
USS Mellette
USS Hansford
USS Mellette
USS Solace
USS Hendry
USS Fremont

Baker

PlSgt. Walter S. Shamray
Cpl. Howard W. Johnson
Cpl. Frank H. Mitchem
PFC Robert O. Dean

PFC Larry D. DeVenny
PFC Stanley J. Koziol
Pvt. Joseph E. Hall
Pvt. William C. Mahan
Pvt. Harold B. Walker
1st Platoon Sergeant
Rifle NCO
Machine Gunner
BARman
Rifleman
BARman
Machine Gunner
Machine Gunner
Machine Gunner
Unknown
Blast concussion
Blast concussion
Blast concussion
Shell shock
Shell shock
Shrapnel, left shoulder
Shrapnel, right arm
Intracranial injury
Unknown
USS Barrow
Unknown
USS Knox
USS Knox
Unknown
USS Solace
USS Solace
Unknown

Charlie

GySgt. Elmo A. Burns
PlSgt. Wilson L. Cook
PlSgt. James L. McSwain
Sgt. Peter Locatelli
Cpl. James L. Chisholm
Cpl. John H. Davenport
Cpl. Vincent F. Gonsowski
Cpl. Garland W. Hohn
Cpl. Reuben Hollingsworth
Cpl. William C. Kyle
Cpl. Joseph S. Patti
Cpl. William J. Thigpen, Jr.
PFC James C. Bruce
PFC Frank N. Quigley
PFC Valentine Ulakovits, Jr.
Pvt. Dee F. Kennedy, Sr.
Pvt. James I. Plymel
Pvt. Ernest C. Tykarski
Gunnery Sergeant
Mortar Platoon Sgt.
Platoon Sergeant
Rifle NCO
BARman
Rifle NCO
Rifle NCO
Messenger
BARman
BARman
Rifle NCO
Demolitions
Demolitions
BARman
Rifleman
BARman
Rifleman
Rifleman
Gunshot, left shoulder & chest
Unknown (slight)
Gunshot, abdomen
Shrapnel, right wrist/neck
Unknown (slight)
Shrapnel, both legs
Shrapnel, right foot
Shrapnel, left ear
Amputation, right leg
Shrapnel, left leg
Shrapnel, both legs
Shrapnel wounds
Shell shock
Shrapnel, multiple
Shrapnel, right side
Shrapnel, left hand
Shrapnel, both legs
Wound, left cheek
USS Mellette
Not Evacuated
LSTH-930
USS Hendry
Evacuated
USS Hansford
USS Hendry
USS Hendry
USS Libra
USS Hansford

USS Hansford
USS Hendry
USS Lander
USS Hendry
USS Hendry
USS Solace
USS Hendry
USS Solace

NON-COMBAT EVACUATION

COMPANY

Name Assignment Cause Destination

Headquarters
Baker

PFC Edwin E. Mullis
Cpl. Melvin J. Burzynski
Mortarman
Small arms tech
Sick
Sick
Unknown
Unknown

JOINED / ATTACHED / TRANSFERRED

Action Name From To Duty
Returned PFC Alfred D. Dennis, Jr. Hospital A/1/24 BARman
Returned Pvt. Allen B. Duncan Hospital A/1/24 Rifleman

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FOOTNOTES

[1] DeVore Basil Gordon Collection (AFC/2001/001/11128), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Oral history interview.
[2] 1/24 had technically been under the command of the 25th Marines since being attached to 3/25 on D-Day.
[3] Perry and Duncan were both from Nashville, Tennessee.
[4] Alva Perry, “The Men Of ‘A’ Company,” 2011. Perry places this incident as after being relieved from the Meat Grinder, “about 10 days into the battle.” Company A was in the Meat Grinder on D+10 (March 1) and would not be relieved for several more days. Based on the story of John Corcoran, related below, it is likely that Perry confused being relieved from the Quarry with the Meat Grinder (the areas were close together) and it was actually taken on February 23.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Corcoran was buried in Plot 1, Row 4, Grave 175 of the Fourth Marine Division Cemetery. Some years after the war, a resolution was passed naming the intersection of Washington and Stimson Streets, Ward 20, as “John M. Corcoran Square.”
[8] Major Charles L. Banks, “Final Report on IWO JIMA Operation, Battalion Landing Team 1/24,” in Annex George to Fourth Marine Division Report on Iwo Jima: RCT 24 Report (20 April 1945), 123. Hereafter “Final Report.”
[9] Ibid.
[10] “4th Tank Battalion Report,” in Annex Jig to Fourth Marine Division Report on Iwo Jima (18 April 1945), 14.
[11] Alva Perry, interview with CNN, 2005.
[12] “Sgt. Maj. Mike Mervosh, USMC (Ret.)” in Gail Chatfield, By Dammit, We’re Marines! (San Diego: Methvin, 2008), 73.
[13] Bill Crozier and Steve Schild, “Uncommon Valor: Three Winona Marines at Iwo Jima,” Winona Post, 25 October 2006. Online edition. Roe was “old” at 26, and hailed from Colorado.
[14] John C. Pope, Angel On My Shoulder, Kindle edition, location 1507.
[15] Edward Curylo, oral history interview conducted by Brian Louwers, Veteran’s Oral History Project, December 4, 2013. The official record says that Curylo was wounded and evacuated on February 20, 1945. Mr. Curylo contested this for the rest of his life, to no avail. Regarding the flag raising, he said simply, “Nobody believes that I saw it. And yet how could I not see it if I was there?”
[16] http://www.rkturner.net/discus/messages/24/347.html?1321865596
[17] Pope, Angel On My Shoulder, location 1507.
[18] J. Murray Fox, oral history interview conducted by Nicholas Elsbree, “Honoring our Marin Veterans,” June 22, 2011.
[19] The level of detail in these original documents varies from unit to unit. Unfortunately for this researcher, the 1/24 clerical staff tended towards brevity.
[20] Jim Kyle, “Iwo Jima: ‘Every yard paid for in blood of Marines,'” The Baytown Sun, Baytown, Texas (22 February 1987), 8-A.
[21] “PFC Domenick Tutalo” in Gail Chatfield, By Dammit, We’re Marines! (San Diego: Methvin, 2008).
[22] Mervosh, in Chatfield, By Dammit, 73.
[23] Crozier and Schild.
[24] Pope, Angel On My Shoulder, locations 1514-1516.
[25] Art LaPorte, oral history interview conducted by Matthew Rozell, The Hudson Falls High School World War II Living History Project, October 1998.

One thought on “Iwo: D+4. February 23, 1945

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