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75 years ago today

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HectorFuego
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75 years ago today

#1 Post by HectorFuego » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:59 am

75 years ago today, my dad and a lot of other men from the 3rd Marine Division landed on a miserable volcanic island halfway between the Marianas Islands and mainland Japan. That little island was know as Iwo Jima. 75 years ago tomorrow, he was in combat. On March 2nd or 3rd a severe blast concussion from and artillery shell or mortar round scrambled his synapses enough to take him out of the battle and eventually out of the war.

Those courageous young men who survived that battle no longer feared hell, because they had already lived it. Take a moment to think about the men and women of the greatest generation, who sacrificed so much to give us the life we enjoy today.

Hector
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The first rule of intelligent tinkering is, "Save all the pieces."
It'll feel better when it quits hurtin'.

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Re: 75 years ago today

#2 Post by Rapidrob » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:05 pm

My Uncle Walter was a Sea Bee and ran the water distillation plant on the beach. So many of his fellow SB's were shot trying to set the 6 ton machine up that Marines has to be on watch for the Jap's swimming up to the beech to try to destroy the machine. He said there were so many holes being shot into the machine that they could not make the water needed for the Marines ( see history on the lack of water at Iwo.)
My Uncle carried a M-1 Carbine and shot it a lot while trying to get the machine working.
Once he did manage to get it to work the Marines were well off of the beach and the problem was then Jap's trying to get water to drink. Many tried to surrender towards the end of the battle to get water but were shot on sight by the Marines. The Marines were told, "You will only have two canteens of water, if you want to share it with the Japs,it's your call". I don't think too many did.
On a side note, the machine,which is quite large was used all through the Pacific. It ended up on the Island of Mindanao, in the Philippine Islands which I have been to many times.
I took a five mile walk to an old staging area where I was told an old portable Water distillation plant stood by some locals, and it was still there in 1972!
I was met by some local "Security Police" thinking I was going to take some souvenirs off of the machine. I told them about my uncle running the machine during the war, and they got real friendly and even drove me back to my ship miles away.
I took a photo of it and after Vietnam, I showed it to my Uncle Walter. He said it was most likely the machine he ran for three years in the Pacific as it has modifications on it that they had to do to keep it working after being shot up a few times. I had the negative of the photo printed up larger and he had it on his wall in his den until he passed.
He had some great stories about this machine/water and the Japs.
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HectorFuego
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Re: 75 years ago today

#3 Post by HectorFuego » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:01 pm

Rob, I've read a book on the Battle of Iwo Jima, a book on the Ninth Marines (my dad's regiment), and the 3rd Division after action reports on the Battle of Iwo Jima. Any time the Sea Bees were mentioned they received high praise for their ingenuity and persistence building something resembling an infrastructure all the time knowing they could be under fire at any moment.

Hector
If you can't kill it with a 30-06 you ain't in North America.
The first rule of intelligent tinkering is, "Save all the pieces."
It'll feel better when it quits hurtin'.

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