8:59 | His company was in the 1st wave to land on Red Beach Two. Under attack from the moment he left the amphibious tractor, George Alden lost 4 of his men. Forced to keep moving in order to protect his remaining comrades, the group pushed further up the island towards the first landing strip. However, George was injured when he and his squad found themselves pinned down under Japanese fire. Injured and alone, George was forced to wait nearly a full day before he was discovered and rescued.
Keywords : Japanese Red Beach Two injured Iwo Jima Flag Raising Mt. Suribachi
George Alden reminisces about his old comrade, John Basilone, who received the nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal.
George Alden discusses the formation of the 5th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. He also gives an account of his time as a Sergeant in the 3rd platoon of a rifle company, and how he and his men were eventually ordered to report to Iwo Jima.
After his injury, George Alden was evacuated to two different Navy Hospitals, one in Guam and the other in Hawaii. He recalls the many deaths witnessed en route to Guam and the burial at sea ceremonies held for the fallen soldiers. After spending 4 months in the hospital, he was then assigned to a security battalion in Saipan.
After serving as a Marine, George Alden discusses his service in the Air Force and his time in Korea as a contracting officer.
Joseph Hiott's unit was combined with others to make the 6th Marine Division, a self sufficient force. He had deduced through unusual means that the next destination was Okinawa, site of the last land battle of World War II. At the Northern point of the island, a mountain gun emplacement was outfitted with very large guns, but there were no roads. The Marines had to complete the assault to find the answer to that riddle.
His company was in the 1st wave to land on Red Beach Two. Under attack from the moment he left the amphibious tractor, George Alden lost 4 of his men. Forced to keep moving in order to protect his remaining comrades, the group pushed further up the island towards the first landing strip. However, George was injured when he and his squad found themselves pinned down under Japanese fire. Injured and alone, George was forced to wait nearly a full day before he was discovered and rescued.
After Okinawa was secured, it wasn't long until Japan surrendered. The Marine Corps began tallying up points to schedule men to return home and you needed at least 85 points. Joseph Hiott had 97 and they were hard earned. He sums up his service with a tribute to his fellow Marines, and more especially, his fellow Marine Raiders.
The German interrogator knew more about his bomb group than he did and after a short questioning, Michael Gold was off to a POW camp where he was lucky to share a barracks with the other officers from his crew. The German rations were supplemented with Red Cross parcels that arrived from Sweden.
When Marine Joseph Hiott arrived in Guadalcanal, he was assigned to the 2nd Raider Battalion, a new unit created under orders from Franklin D. Roosevelt, who admired the British Commandos and wanted an American unit to perform special operations. The Raiders, like the enemy, would fight to the death but for a very different reason. They also considered themselves the best of the best and trained accordingly.
It was thirty six straight days on Iwo Jima with no change of clothes or regular meals. Phil Wells carried an extra bandolier stuffed with fruit bars. He had come ashore with the fourth wave just as Japanese gunners really began to fire on the landing force. As a runner, he didn't come face to face with the enemy, though once he was sure he had. What's that password?
Lou Smith was evacuated from Iwo Jima to Saipan, then to a hospital in Hawaii. That was tough duty, recuperating with the swimming and the girls. One thing haunts his sleep, though, until this day. He had been throwing enemy grenades back the way they came when he was wounded, and this is key to his nightmares.
After breaking out at Anzio. Hubert Aaron's unit marched into Rome, the only American unit to capture an enemy capitol during World War Two. He received a Silver Star for actions during that operation. When he went into St. Tropez, with dry feet for a change, he ignored his platoon leader's order to move out through an open field. Then he let his Thompson submachine gun do some talking.
The British had battled the Germans back and forth across North Africa and American P-40's had arrived to provide some additional air power. Crew chief Gordon Markle describes what that was like with the sandstorms, the C-rations from another war, and the German air attacks. He also learned that you don't want to cross the Gurkhas.
After capturing an entire German Panzer division, Hubert Aaron's outfit was moving up the Rhone River Valley when he was wounded in an ambush. Evacuated to Naples, he found out how great was his sacrifice.
Two engines were out, a third smoking, and they were were losing airspeed and altitude, but they were flying level and pointed home. Then time ran out for the B-17 and Don Scott had to slip down the hatch into the slipstream. Part 2 of 3.
It was their third mission over Berlin and they were heading home. Four German fighters pounced on the B-24 and it was engulfed in flame and going down. Clyde Burnette fought for consciousness as the other crew in the back of the plane bailed out. He woke in free fall with no idea how he had made it out, and soon he was in German custody. Everyone made it out of the plane except George "Danny" Daneau, the nose turret gunner, who went down with the aircraft.
Hubert Aaron says, "I know I'm going to heaven because I spent three months in hell at Anzio." During this battle, he directed some artillery fire that was highly accurate, but then he was on the receiving end as an incoming enemy round put him in the hospital with a concussion. After being pinned down for three months and nearly being pushed back into the sea, the Americans finally prevailed.
After a nerve-wracking mission to bomb Tokyo and a typhoon, B.E. Vaughn and the destroyer O'Brien suffered a second kamikaze attack which killed all three of his hometown pals who served with him on board. Then, began the grim task of collecting the personal belongings of the dead and preparing them for burial at sea.
The first operation for the 4th Division was the landing on Roi-Namur. Lawrence Snowden remembers that, though it was an easy victory, valuable combat experience and important lessons were imparted on the Marines.
"You'll be Sor-ry!" That was the taunt for new recruits arriving at Parris Island. Jay DeGraw said that the treatment was rough, but they made a man out of you. Very important to Marine recruits was qualifying with the rifle, which was the new M-1. It held a larger clip and surprised Japanese in the Pacific who were used to the old Springfield rifle.
Born in China Grove North Carolina, John Bostian graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne college in 1936. As WW2 approached and to avoid being drafted, John joined the Navy and was admitted into the Naval Academy in 1942 until May 1943. Upon graduation from the academy, John was assigned to the USS Arkansas where he crossed the North Atlantic as part of a convoy. They ultimately anchored in Casablanca North Africa where John was transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Franklin. During their time in N. Africa they trained the pilots in carrier aviation tactics. After pilot training the Franklin sailed to the Pacific theater . During John's time aboard the USS Franklin the ship was hit twice by Japanese kamikazes and dive bombers costing over 800 American lives.
During the Battle of the Bulge, there were German spies dressed in American MP uniforms directing Allied units the wrong way on the roads. Charles Emerson reveals how they could be spotted. After the German surrender, he was waiting in Marseille for a ship to the Philippines to join the Japan invasion force. His morale was low and he was looking for some good news and he got it.
After returning aboard the USS Franklin to the Brooklyn Naval Yard for repair following the March 1945 attack that killed 807 sailors, John Bostian remained on board the ship and never returned to combat because the war ended. John spent his retirement years in New York, Jacksonville, Fl and Atlanta, Ga. He worked and retired form Union Camp Corp.
From Parris Island, Jay DeGraw went to Camp LeJeune for mechanics school. They didn't send him to the war after that, but to Quantico, where he installed snow plows on dump trucks. He got closer to the action when he went to Hawaii as part of a replacement draft but the war ended and he became a peacetime Marine. His 1st Sergeant gave the men an unusual mandate.
After his interrogation, the first indignity as a POW for Charles Fitts was to walk sixty miles to Stuttgart. Then he was locked in a cattle car with no food for three days and taken to Fallingbosol where thirty thousand prisoners were being held. Desperate for a break from the miserable conditions, he volunteered for a work detail.
Following the first attack by Japanese planes near the Philippines, The USS Franklin was repaired at the Puget Sound Naval Yard, Washington. The USS Franklin returned to service in the Pacific theater as part of Task Force 58. On the second day after joining up with the fleet, March 1945, the Franklin was attacked by Japanese planes costing 724 lives. The bombs that hit the Franklin caused a massive explosion in the hanger deck where the planes were fueled and armed. Following this attack, Donald Gary the Commander rescued many sailors earning the Congressional Medal of Honor. The USS Franklin was sent to the Brooklyn Naval Yard for repair.
The POW's were told there was no work detail because the factory was bombed by Allied planes. The next day, the prisoners were told they were free and Charles Fitts and the others set off towards the West. They were quickly found by a British unit and evacuated. In London, he recovered and celebrated V.E. Day with throngs of war weary English in Piccadilly Square.
It was during a heavy Japanese counter attack on Guam that George Cashmore, just an 18 year old kid, was killed on the line. Sgt. Joseph Hiott explains how you can't let death in combat affect you to the point that your effectiveness is lessened. It's war and people will die. You know that and keep going.
After recovering in London from his POW experience, Charles Fitts celebrated V.E. Day with throngs of war weary British in Piccadilly Square. He shipped back to the United States and was on his way to his assigned Army base when his parents tracked him down and met him on the way at a train station. Only a short assignment as an MP stood between him and home.
It was on Okinawa that Joseph Hiott was hit by the concussion blast from an artillery shell. He doesn't know how close it landed, but four men further away than him were wounded by shrapnel. Though he was only hit with the concussion, he suffers to this day. Of course, when he was given the choice, the Marine returned to his unit rather than being evacuated.