America's Greatest Generation

Living Their Finest Hour:
World War II -- 1941 - 1945

Stories of Men and Women who experienced the greatest event in the history of the world -- World War II...As seen through their eyes and told in their words.


The pages that follow in the category of "Marine Heroes" are dedicated to the men and women served with distinction in the forces of the U. S. (Military) Marines.

Following the devastating sneak attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 which hurtled this country headlong into the global conflict -- these men began the island hopping campaign that was to be the backbone of the American strategy in the Pacific theater.

So many Americans recall the island hopping battles that placed the Marines in the forefront of the battle to take ground from a tenacious and well dug-in enemy. How can we ever forget the bloody names of the battles that helped to forever establish such undying pride in the U. S. Marine Corps with names such as: Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Saipan, the Marianas,Iowa Jima and Okinawa.

The one moment forever frozen in time is the awe inspiring photograph of the Marines raising the flag atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima in the bloody struggle that would kill thousands and forever change the men who took part in this bloodies of bloody battles.

While remembering the exploits in the Pacific, we also need to recall the experiences of the Marines who never got to see action on those islands so far away from home. Many of them served and did their duty stateside and performed to the utmost of their abilities. All of them, overseas and stateside, in our minds and hearts are heroes.

This series of pages will be a sounding board, have you, for the generation referred to as "America's Greatest Generation". Their generation, collectively, experienced the most turbulent and terrifying era in the history of this great nation.In their own way they played their small part in doing their part in World War II -- helping to shape the world and stopping the tide of world domination by some of histories greatest tyrants.

Heroes: the Marines





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Harry (J. R.) Kelley
Co. F. 2nd Btn, 28th Marine Div,
5th Marine Div
Battle for Iwo Jima

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"...Well, I had breakfast on Honolulu, and a Japanese, fella, was sharing the table with me. In those days, no seat went unÉ, it was just so crowded in Honolulu. And he was readin' the paper, and he put it down, and there was a picture of Mount Suribachi. I'd never heard of it. And, Iwo Jima I'd never heard of. And he pushed it across the table to me he said, " That's where you fellers are goin'". And I said, "Where is it?" He said, "It's up close to Japan." And I said, "How do you know that?" He said, "Ah, I just know it..."


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Russell C.W. Crom
1st R.I. Platoon, Fleet Marine Force
Iwo Jima, February 1945

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"... The beautiful skyline of San Francisco was a magnificent sight. Home at last! Just a few more days would pass and it would possible to embrace loved ones who had not been seen for such a long time..."


New Information!

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"The Returned Photo Album, Part 3"
Keith W. Johnson, 1st Radio Intelligence Platoon
U. S. Marine Corps
Story Added on 25 September 2004

"...In checking the objects, I was surprised to find they were all in new looking condition, and I began to sort through them. I found a raincoat, a velvet purse with bills and coins still inside, cigarettes, two small flags, one a meatball and one a rising sun, various writing tools, including what seemed like a personal stamp, and a photograph album with many pictures of what seemed like young men all about the same age in uniform..."




Jefferson J. "Jeff" De Blanc
U.S.M.C. VMF 112
"Above and Beyond": Newspaper Article

Story Added on 7 September 2004

"... De Blanc went into action. The first float plane he hit went into a firey tailspin. The second exploded with a flash. De Blanc says, that matched the setting sun..."



John Bartlett
3rd Marine Division
Iwo Jima, February 1945

Story Added on 11 June 2004

"...They had to stack dead Marines up for protection from machine gun bullets..."



Richard H. Carter
B.A.R. Man, M. Co., 3rd Raider Battalion
U. S. Marine Corps, 1942 - 1945

Story Added on 11 June 2004

"...What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?...our unit landed on a little island called Puruata. That was where I saw my first dead Japanese. He was a sniper, and he was lying there close to the water where we landed. I looked at him, and that's when I decided, "It's them or me, and you have be the first one to pull the trigger..."


A NEW Heart warming Story!

Herold "Al" Tesch, CPL.
3rd War Dog Platoon
U. S. Marine Corps, 1942 - 1945

Story Added on 31 May 2004

"...God, My Dog and I"...and starting firing my carbine and then everybody opened up. The entire tree top just leaned over and down against the trunk. So we walked over and started pulling and poking and here's this sniper hanging there all cloaked with palm fronds..."



Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945,
First Flag Raising
An Eyewitness Account
by Radioman Raymond Jacobs

Story added on 16 March 2004.

"...Today, almost 60 years after the event, inaccurate information continues to be circulated about the identity of the Marines and Corpsmen who took part in the events that day on Suribachi..."

Mr. Jacobs has contacted us at World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words and has asked us for assistance in "telling his story" of his participation on the patrol which ascended Mt. Suribachi to raise the FIRST American Flag as the battle for the Iwo Jima raged on down below. Read his account and look at evidence that places Mr. Jacobs in the patrol led by. Lt. Shrier on February 23, 1945.


Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945,
First Flag Raising
An Eyewitness Account
by Radioman Raymond Jacobs

Story added on 14 October 2004.

Conclusions! A letter recently received from Mr. Jacobs on conclusions made regarding Mr. Jacobs photographic evidence. This report is both interesting and informative. Decide for yourself.





Gone But Not Forgotten! Another
Honored Veteran Has Gone to His Reward!

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Another Very Sad Day!
Our Family Lost Sidney Last Week!
He Will Be Sadly Missed!

Sidney J. "Chick" Richard:
Military Police Co.,Guard Bn.,
Marine Training & Replacement Command

Story Updated on 6 September 2003

"...For Sidney, he spent the early months of the war working as a meat cutter at a meat packing plant in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. He regularly went down the street to the enlistment office to try and sign up..."




Updated Story!
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Keith W. Johnson,
U. S. Marine Corps, 1942 - 1945:
the Returned Photo Album, Part 2
Story Updated on 22 July 2003

"...Sometimes we had to hide in the cave for three days without eating anything. One day when we were taking a nap in jungle, we were suddenly attacked by American soldiers. All of us, except me, were killed (my classmate Kuroki Takemasa was also killed). I managed to escape. I wandered in the jungle again alone, and found luckly another Japanese soldier, and cooperated with each other. Every day the U.S. army was persuading us to surrender becouse the war was over..."



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Joseph Bernard,
Veteran of Guadalcanal, Saipan, Iwo Jim
U. S. Marine Corps, 1942 - 1945

Story Added on 21 June 2002

"...One particular story that Joe recalls is that of himself and the other marines on the island (Guadalcanal?)listening at nighttime to the japanese in their camp whooping and hollering, drinking saki and smoking muggles, getting pyched up for the sunrise banzai attack. They would attack Marine positions with bayonets tied to bamboo poles and never stop, even engulfed in flames..."



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Joseph (Last Name Withheld),
Pacific Campaign,
U. S. Marine Corps,
1942 - 1945

Story Added on 30 December 2001

"...In mid-July we again went west and finally suceeded in getting off the ship when the invasion of Guam got underway. I was part of the Southern Force which landed at Agat, south of the Orote Peninsula in support of the lst Provisional Marine Brigade..."



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James "Jim" W. Wood,
M. Company,U. S. Marine Corps,
Marine Corps Raiders
1943 - 1945.

Story Added on 22 October 2001

"...Well anyway, here comes the Jap - running. His helmet was off. But he had two grenades. He had one in his right hand and he had one in his left hand. He threw the one in his right hand and hit me in the groin. It didn't go off. Then he threw the one in his left hand at my head and it went behind me. The reason they didn't go off was because his helmet had come off..."



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Sidney J. Richard,
Military Police Co., Guard Bn.
Marine Training & Replacement Command
U.S. Marine Corps

Story Added on 17 July 2001

"...He softly states, 'Richard, I asked you how many children you have -- Do you not know how many children you have -- is it two or three?' Sidney calmly replied, 'Sergeant, when I left this morning, my wife was going into labor and was on her way to the hospital to deliver a baby. When I left, I had two children at home and when I get home, I will probably have three..."



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Paul C. Hebert, 543rd Platoon,
Okinawa Veteran U. S. Marine Corps
Story Added on 31 July 2001

"...So, I was walking around some of the ruins -- when I saw a small piper cub up in the sky -- and within minutes there must of been about 100 Japanese Zero planes in the air strafing us..."




Place YOUR Photo Here!

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Add YOUR Story Here: Combat Infantry
Support Troops, Marine Raiders, Training Personnel, Medics, etc.

Story Added on ----------

"Now you can add your story to the growing list of men and women who have come forth with their stories of World War II. We are collecting stories -- anyone who did their part! No story is too small, nor insignificant. Contact this webmaster to tell YOUR Story."


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Survey Form

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Would YOU be interested in adding YOUR story --
or a loved-one's story? We have made it very
easy for you to do so.

By clicking on the link below, you will be sent
to our "Veterans Survey Form" page where a survey form
has been set up to conviently record your story.

It is fast -- convenient and easy to fill out --
Just fill in the blanks!

We would love to tell your story on
World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words.

WW II Stories: Veterans Survey Form