Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Walked On Hallowed Ground


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 85th Engineer

85th Engineer

    Long Time Member

  • Regular Group
  • 59 posts

Posted 20 March 2005 - 11:57 PM

Returned from the trip of a life time this past week. I was privileged to walk on Iwo Jima with 87 veterans of that battle. I'll never forget it.

I went to place a plaque in memory of my Uncle who was killed on Iwo. Ended up meeting a vet who was in my Uncle's company and we visited the beach where he and my Uncle landed. He related to me how he was carrying an M1 when he landed, but when a tank was knocked out near him, he took a thompson off a dead crew member and that's what he carried until he was wounded by shrapnel in early March. Said that Thompson saved his life more than once on Iwo.

I got to meet Jack Lucas, one of only three remaining medal of honor recipients on Iwo. He dove on a Japanese hand grenade to save four of his buddies and lived to tell about it.

I also met Teddy Draper, one of the Navajo code talkers who was on Iwo. He was wounded by shrapnel during the battle. It was heart wrenching to watch him sob as he leaned on the Division Cemetary Monument on Iwo.

On the Continental 737 flight to Iwo, the pilot asked if he could leave the door open so he could "be a part of the group" since he was a former Marine. Everyone agreed and he invited us to come up and spend some time with him. Got some great video while up there behind the captain's seat.

Also hung out with R. Lee Ermie while on the trip. He was doing a segment of Mail Call on Iwo. Got some good Vietnam war stories to supplement the WWII stuff.

It was an honor to be able to spend a week with those Iwo vets. A greater group of guys I've never met. Kept my video camera rolling and got some war stories I can listen to over and over again.
  • 0

#2 John Jr

John Jr

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 1956 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mena, Arkansas, USA
  • Interests:Plenty

Posted 21 March 2005 - 12:48 AM

Sounds like you had a good time. Why the hell didn't you invite me!?

biggrin.gif

Pictures???

  • 0

#3 Jay Baker

Jay Baker

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 499 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Atlanta GA
  • Interests:Firearms, history, science fiction, old movies.

Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:39 AM

I can't imagine better time spent.
  • 0

#4 Sgt

Sgt

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 2047 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eastern TN
  • Interests:Militaria, Chess, Tools, Sherlock Holmes, Printmaking, UFOs, Ghosts, Electronics, Comic Books, Long walks in the rain, with my Savage 1928a1. (just kidding on the last one; it doesn't have to be raining) -- Ralph

Posted 21 March 2005 - 07:17 AM

Enjoyed hearing of your adventure and glad that we commemorate those survivors, while they are still with us.
  • 0

#5 Nick Iannamico

Nick Iannamico

    Founding Admin

  • Moderator
  • 906 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Drexel Hill, Pa. 19026

Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:37 AM

That sounds like a very interesting trip indeed! I would love to do something like that.
  • 0

#6 TSMG28

TSMG28

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 21 March 2005 - 12:59 PM

What a WONDERFUL opportunity. Thank you for taking the time and money to honor those that fought and died for us! I am certain the vets appreciated your presence and the opportunity to share with someone who cares.

It sounds like you could create quite a documentary of your trip. Any more stories or pictures you are willing to share would be most appreciated.

THANK YOU! You improved my day immensely.

Roger
  • 0

#7 21 smoker

21 smoker

    Long Time RKI Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 1333 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West coast ,FL
  • Interests:collecting nfa, old cars, huntin` n fishin`, reloading ammo

    NRA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
    MVPA RESTORATION MEMBER
    MARINE CORP LEAGUE PISTOL TEAM MEMBER

Posted 21 March 2005 - 07:20 PM

That sounds like a trip of a lifetime...thank you for sharing it here....salute... wink.gif
  • 0

#8 LSU Tiger

LSU Tiger

    Long Time Member

  • Board Donor
  • 324 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisiana
  • Interests:Military weapons from the 1700's to present day, pipe smokig and collecting, straight razor shaving, collecting WW II US uniforms, weapons, and equipment. Thompsons, especially!

Posted 21 March 2005 - 08:52 PM

I had an uncle wounded on Iwo. That was the end of the war for him. He called it "that g%& d#&% rock."
  • 0

#9 Walter63a

Walter63a

    RKI Member

  • Regular Group
  • 1430 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Guns (Thompsons, Lugers, and Walthers mostly), History, Politics, Education, Nature, etc.

Posted 21 March 2005 - 10:00 PM

Thanks 85th Engineer! smile.gif That is a great story and the photos bring it all home, 60 years later, especially the one with Jim Huff holding that shell fragment. This is going to be quite a year of WWII 60th anniversaries: VE Day, the "Trinity Detonation" on July 16th, the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and, finally, VJ Day. cool.gif Regards, Walter
  • 0

#10 LSU Tiger

LSU Tiger

    Long Time Member

  • Board Donor
  • 324 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisiana
  • Interests:Military weapons from the 1700's to present day, pipe smokig and collecting, straight razor shaving, collecting WW II US uniforms, weapons, and equipment. Thompsons, especially!

Posted 21 March 2005 - 10:04 PM

Awesome pics, 85th!
  • 0

#11 full auto 45

full auto 45

    Respected Member

  • Board Benefactor
  • 4555 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Looking over your shoulder right now
  • Interests:Thompson's, Any Machinegun, Harley's and scuba diving. In that order.

Posted 22 March 2005 - 08:07 AM

Great pics. Very very touching event. Both then and now.
  • 0