Iwo Jima Veterans Answer
Why do I want to see the Iwo Jima flag raising monument at Camp Pendleton? What would seeing the Iwo Jima Monument at Camp Pendleton mean to you?
Marine Sgt. Major Michael “Iron Mike” Mervosh who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam spoke with passion about his time as a Marine and his support for building the Iwo Jima Memorial at Camp Pendleton. — John Gastaldo ~ Image Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune
It was a great moment in US History that needs to [be] remembered by all generations of Americans.
-H.P. 1st Sgt
21st, 3rd Division
It would mean everything as I was wounded and decorated there.
Co. A 1st BN. 26th Mar. 5th Mar. Div.
As an Iwo Jima survivor/veteran I would, with great pride, like to see displayed, the monument depicting the flag raising on Iwo Jima. I think it is important for the people and visitors in the area to see what has become the symbol to the Marine Corps- and what better place than Camp Pendleton.
To honor everyone who was there Feb. 19-Mar. 26 -all names of those who died there should also be inscribed there-in.
Co. G 3rd Batt. 28Th Reg. 5Th Div.
Because of these brave and courageous men of the USMC & Navy men who went through hell and back deserve this and much more. I was an assault boat coxswains for approx. 18 months at times living in our boat; 28 months WWII aboard the Belle Grove LSD2 lead boat 3rd wave green beach when all hell broke loose. I landed on a few beaches Saipan and Iwo were the worst. All are very dangerous and was very proud to serve with the Marines and Army. Camp Pendleton should have been the ideal locations to all who gave their lives and thank God that we made it back. Semper Fi Mike and all Iwo conquerors.
This is where we trained.
D Co. 2nd Batt. 27Th Reg. 5Th Div.
It would be wonderful to have the monument on the West Coast. I’m not able to travel and I’ve always wanted to see this special tribute to the Marines and Iwo Jima. It’s not only for us to plan and get it to the West Coast, but it’s for future generations. My great-grandchildren will be able to see this and know the history, and know that I was there. Thank you. I’m so proud to be a part of this mission.
S&S Co. 26th Reg. 5th Div.
It would be a fitting memorial for all Iwo Marines and the Marines of today.
H&S Co. 28th Marines
Because it truly belongs on the west coast of the USA at Camp Pendleton. This is where the 5th Div. was formed on Jan. 1st 1944.
28th Marines 5Th Div.
I do not want the Battle of Iwo Jima to be forgotten. I have thought of that terrible place every day for 70 years. Only those who visit Arlington will see the original statue. Already, the Japanese have changed the name of the island to “Iwo To” and the new name is on the control tower at the Iwo Airport. The statue means more to me than most others because I was there at one pm on Feb. 23, 1945 and saw the simultaneous lowering of the smaller first flag and the raising the of the second larger flag. The 6 men all are wearing their jackets because it was cold! I am angry at Pres. Carter for giving the island back to Japan.
-R.B. Petty Officer 3rd Class
As one of a special group in the Air Force chosen to land with the Marine third division as soon as the #1 air strip was taken for service the P-51’s for missions over Iwo where the enemy was still entrenched and surrounding islands. I personally owe my life to the Marines and I saw, first hand, their courage, strength and sacrifices. The monument would be an inspiration to all and a heartwarming tribute on the very best west coast site. My wife and myself would be one of the 1st to offer our help. Thank you Laura Dietz for your very kind and thoughtful efforts. Best of luck.
To see the monument which would honor the 6,800 Marines and Navy personnel who died in the Battle of Iwo Jima. For a Navy corpsman like me, it would remind me of George Wahlen, a fellow corpsman who received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Truman in 1945 for heroism above and beyond the call.
-E.M., Corpsman 1st Class
F 2nd 26 5th Marine Division
I remember all the training for operations- like Roi- Namor- Saipan- Tinian and the bloodiest of all:- Iwo Jima:- I ran out of equipment by noon of the invasion day- had to ferret medical equipment from bodies of corpsmen. On airfield #2 I was caught on film dragging [a] Marine with head wounds over the airfield to safety at a ditch at the end of field. 2 days later I was hit by blast concussion from a 700 lb. Missile, we called “Flying Asacans.” I have titanium spine and a titanium ring on my heart valve. Training on Camp Pendleton helped get us back alive.
-H.R. “Doc” Corpsman
3rd Btn. HQ- 23rd Marines
Great- I was on Iwo Jima and saw both flags. This monument should be here.
Think as conquerors of the “Battle of all battles” with shear guts and determination against steel and concrete we manage to kick their asses. Been there done that and willing to do it again! Semper Fidelis.
Co. 1 24th, 4th Marine Div.
It would be just fantastic and when I return to Calif., it would be just breathe taking for a person from Alabama. Semper Fi.
It means honoring some of the most gallant men who ever lived. No matter what branch of service they were in- it was a deadly fight won against almost impossible odds. The Marines carried the burden of the battle, but Navy and Air Force was part of the struggle. It would be an honor & recognition to all.
USS Zebra AKN-5
I think the flag raising monument would be an appropriate tribute to all the bodies that were sacrificed 3 days earlier on the surf and black sands at the foot of Mt. Suribachi. [I] suggest we honor Chuck Lindburg and his boys who took the first flag up before the mountain was safe.
-W.E.H., Commander USAF
VR-17 from USS Hornet
The Battle of Iwo Jima and its monument are symbolic of the American spirit. Words cannot do justice to the feelings that this monument brings to our memories! Cherish them!
-P.R.M, LtCol USMC
G Co., 2nd BN., 9th Marines, 3rd Mar. Div.
As Iwo survivors I drove to DC to see the monument. And to see flag raising monument would be a dream come true and to share.
A sense of pride that I helped contribute [something] for the next generation as our greatest generation is passing away.
3rd Amph. BN
I think it would be a constant reminder of the WWII campaign and a symbol as easily recognizable as the original in Washington. That symbol epitomizes the tremendous sacrifices made by those who participated in the invasion. Symbols are a continual and present reminder for all who pass by to a fact of our history that should not be forgotten.
27th Regiment, H&S Co., 1st Battalion
His company raised the flag and he wants people to see it and remember it.
-Mrs. W.S.W for W.S.W., Cpl.
3rd Pltn. Easy Co, 2nd BN, 28th Marines
…Camp Pendelton is a logical place for Iwo Jima Monument West to be located since it was so very much historically tied into the War in the Pacific… The Iwo Jima battle has taken on such a unique memory vehicle for Americans and a signature piece for all current and former service members and their families. I will be very pleased to have it local.
-R.O.P., PhM2c (corpsman)
5th Amphibious Corps’ Evacuation Hospital #1
Let’s hope that this monument is ready to go soon. I want you [Iron Mike] to be standing next to me when I see it for the first time.