Victor J. Aury

The only known photograph of Victor Aury, taken in 1933.
The only known photograph of Victor Aury, taken in 1933.
NAME:
Victor Joseph Aury
NICKNAME:
SERVICE NUMBER:
950159
HOME OF RECORD:
Brooklyn, NY
NEXT OF KIN:
Wife, Mrs. Sarah Aury
DATE OF BIRTH:
2/11/1912
SERVICE DATES:
4/3/1944 – 1946
DATE OF DEATH:
11/8/1992
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE RESULT
Iwo Jima C/1/24 607 Private REAR ECHELON
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Assistant Cook

On February 11, 1912, a baby boy named Katta Elkasch was born in the town of Zghorta, Syria (now in Lebanon). His family left their native land for France, and sailed from Marseille in 1920, arriving in New York City on October 3. They settled in Brooklyn; father Georges Elkasch became a professional butcher, and his boys – Saaf, Youszef, and Katta – began studying his trade.

Within a few years, Katta had changed his name to Victor Aury, and was working as a grocer. He married his wife Sarah, also a Syrian native, in 1933 at the age of 21. That year, the Aurys applied for United States citizenship – and were accepted.

AuryDeclaration

The Aurys moved to an apartment at 364 Henry Street in Brooklyn; although they had no children of their own, they cared for a boy named Victor Abdallah, listed on the census as a stepson.

Part of being an American citizen meant that Aury had to register for the draft. He was called away from his grocery on April 3, 1944 and shipped off to Parris Island. He trained with the 5th Recruit Battalion, was posted to the 65th Replacement Battalion at Camp Lejeune, and finally crossed the country to report to the Fourth Marine Division at Camp Maui.

Private Aury was assigned to Company C, First Battalion, 24th Marines in the fall of 1944. He was posted to the company’s mortar section; although he was likely the oldest man in the platoon, his lack of experience and his slight build probably landed him a position as an ammunition carrier.

When the regiment shipped out for the invasion of Iwo Jima in January 1945, Aury was ordered to stay behind. He spent the next three months with the battalion’s rear echelon, taking care of the camp and anxiously awaiting news from his comrades at the front. When they returned, he must have been horrified at what he saw – Company C had been disbanded after suffering astronomical casualties. This may have explained Aury’s sudden promotion to Private First Class and new assignment as a mortar squad leader on April 23, 1945. However, he was not long for the post. For some reason, PFC Aury was sent  to the regiment’s Headquarters and Service Company. There, he found a new post closer to his civilian occupation – that of Assistant Cook.

Aury spent the rest of the war cooking for H&S/24, and at the end of the war was sent to the 6th Service Depot. He was discharged early in 1946 and returned to Brooklyn.

He died in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 1992.

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