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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Jocko Podcast 127 with T. Fred Harvey. Hell Yes, I'd Do It Again. Lessons From Iwo.

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this is jaco podcast number 127 with echo Charles and me jakka willing

good evening echo good evening Iwo Jima is to me

hallowed blessed spiritual sacred pure ground if the spirits of the Dead could

speak what would they be saying to me count off Marines and sailors you of the

vanquished Dead when your number reaches seven thousand we will know that you are

present and accounted for in this your eternal duty station serve

well your ranks are growing each passing day as some of us your mates and war are

coming to join you those endless hours of terrifying nights the carnage

devastation and pain turned hope into despair the remnants of formerly dynamic

human bodies that carried hearts filled with dreams of peace home and loved ones

after the rush of battle my eyes became heavy with tears my body trembled with

rage as I looked upon the broken bodies the searing invasion of human flesh

aftermath of war an elemental suffocating fear through and through my

very soul the intensely surging immediacy of the action was aggravated

no place to hide there was not only an incompatibility between the Marines and

the defending Japs but the very nature of this morbid little island the sounds

of battle which were intensified by the human voice with all its emotions are

absent today the moral revulsion that took

place here so many years ago has been forgotten except by those who fought

here and survived and those who lost lost loved ones here and that is an

excerpt from a book called hell yes I do it again written by a man actually

written by a marine named T Fred Harvey who fought in World War two in the

Pacific Theater including in the Battle of Iwo Jima where he was severely

wounded for a second time but he survived the war and has lived an

amazing life and it is an incredible honor to have this hero here with us to

share some of the lessons that he learned mr. Harvey

welcome to the show I'm glad to be here I've heard a lot about this show and I'm

really pleased that you've invited me to come here and speak to you yeah well

maybe you can just keep coming back because we'll just sit and listen to you

we got no problem with that sir

so I guess we always try and go back to the beginning a little bit and learn a

little bit about you and and I know your your code up and your book has a bunch

of incredible anecdotal stories about what it was like growing up in Texas

during the Depression so you know I was talking to you earlier and I said people

don't know what the Depression was really like and you described it in one

word you said hungry so that's a real thing huh during the Depression yeah

the real thing vividly remember all the good times while leading and the hungry

times when I was really hungry I joined the Marine Corps that's the first time I

had adequate food satisfied with a hunger within them here so and you you

you grew up with a single mom for the most part so you yeah I know your dad

was doing good in construction but then the Depression hit the Depression hit

and it really hit the Harvey family at one time the Harvey family consisted of

seven people nine girls two boys a father and mother and my mother was the

center of my universe when I went in through the Marine Corps and the last

night that are spending Odesa before I got to boot camp the train stopped in my

hometown of Odessa and they had the band high school band and a lot of people

from town were there to greet us the conductor said we were gonna stop for 20

minutes because the people of Odessa want to see you off it was three of us

going to the Marine Corps at that time when we got there there were girls there

that we're throwing kisses on me that never dreamed to being able to even

touch not about ready to quit the Marine Corps to say that well you know there's

some somebody grabbed my ear and jerk me around behind the depot and it was my

mom Jesse Lee she my mom was a Comanche Indian and she was a warrior she pulled

me around in the dark of the night behind the outside of the crowd so

nobody could hear what she had to say and she called me Sonny because I was so


she put these this hand up in front of me like yes right there so I can see it

she said Sonny you listen and you listen good yes ma'am

she said number one when this war is over

you come home to us ma'am and don't you come home no drunkard and

you don't come home no coward

you know what that fortune was and you don't come home with no tattoos and I

sure don't have any tattoos and that was when she sent me off to San Diego and

I'll tell you a little bit later in this session she came out to see me and

you'll see the reason why she came out to see me

so you actually at at one point and I thought that was a real interesting

thing because it seemed like you got a lot of weight on your shoulders as a

young as a youngster and I'm gonna go to the book here for a minute I greeted my

mom cheerfully she avoided my eyes and this is just you coming home from school

a degree to my mom cheerfully as usual she avoided my eyes and wiped her home

with her apron I noted with concern a puffy redness about them she got up and

went to the oven and brought out a baked potato and a big bowl of pinto beans

thanking her I dug in in silence she entered that same bedroom my thoughts

centered wholly on the food without preamble I heard a loud beseechingly

desperate cry come through the closed door no Jessie not that and that was

your dad with a gasp I spewed a mouthful of food knocked over the small table and

went through the door without benefit of the knob in the dimly lit bedroom I

viewed a scene of heart choking horror a picture forever etched in my memory my

father desperately grappled for the pistol my mother tried to bring down on

herself or him without wavering or hesitation I lunged at her with all the

force I could muster like with a fist to the side of her head she

sang at the knees dropped the pistol and fell forward inert she laid down on the

floor I was horrified by what I had done my father staggered back and slumped

whimpering into a corner I headed to the bathroom and came out with a bath towel

sopping wet with cold water I applied it to her suffering face until she came

around unsteadily I helped her to her feet and then seated her on the side of

the bed all the while dad remained in the corner

- shaking to get up or offer any assistance - shaking to get up or offer

any assistance sobbing I cried why mother why why with a clear steady voice

she said your daddy does not love us anymore he has another woman it's a lot

of lot for a young kid to deal with yeah the saddest moment in my whole life

I'll never forget that and my mom was a great mom she held the

family together after he left us he applied the for divorce and I went to

the judges chamber with my mother and the judge calls us me and my father to

come to him and my mom was too weak to get up together go to the judge the

judge said mr. Harvey I'm granting your divorce

the six remaining children and her family will remain with their mother and

you will pay in the sum of 42 dollars for child care a month for six children

and herself and that was the last penny my dad ever spent on us and

we just abort him cleared completely from our minds and so forth I had

nothing to do with him after that and

there was the saddest moment of my whole life when that happened and it was

interesting to you mentioned later in the book that you could have gotten

because now you were like the sole supporter of the family you could have

actually gotten a deferment from going to the war yes uh-huh and and your mom

like didn't give it to you or she knew that you wanted to go in the Marine

Corps yeah well for while she held off wouldn't sign the papers for me to go

see I was just sophomore in high school and I was failing all my subjects

because I was trying to hold down two jobs to hit my mom and my sisters and it

was it was hard times it was really bad for us all but my mom Hill the rest of

us together and and I'll be able to through it and they did so your mom knew

that you wanted to join the Marine Corps yeah and she thought they owned it and

one day my cousin came home and I went to the recruiting office with him and he

signed up because he was old enough to sign and I took the papers home to my

mom she was at the clothesline hanging up wet clothes to be dried you know and

I put that paper in front of her I said this is for you to sign when she decided

now because I'm going into the Marine Corps she'd lead that wet towel on the

basket walked down our to the end of the line I'd built her a line for drying

clothes and there was some excess wire six strand

she took that thing and twisted it into it

long whip-like things came back to me took my left hand in her left hand and

whacked me cross to the rear and I made a complete circle around it and I

stopped and glared at her and I could see that she was shedding tears the

first years of it had ever seen her said that broke my heart

and I stood there for a while and she turned and walked and went through the

house and then I cried I cried hard and so about a week later I came home from

school and she handed me a paper that she had signed for me to go into the

Marine Corps and so that was the birth of my marine corps how old were you I

was 17 okay I was 17 and and I couldn't pass English and so I quit school and

joined the Marine Corps before where were you and where were you when Pearl

Harbor happened so that was what a year prior no I was in school but it was a

Sunday day and Jake Rhodes my buddy had a little coop right there and we had

dates and we called her big birthers the little coop was too small for all of us

to sit abreast of each other so I said on her lap I just waited 118 pounds and

she popped out waiting about five or six hours and we heard that Pearl Harbor had

been attacked and that that was a day that I learned that I was gonna be

and involved in a war because of age you know and so how would you heard about

the Marine Corps as opposed to the army or the Navy well I wanted to be a

paratrooper and then I thought I'd go into the army and be a paratrooper then

I found out that the Marines had paratroopers so I joined the Marine

Corps instead and I found me a home yeah so you you leave on that train your mom

tells you you know don't be a coward don't get any tattoos don't be a

drunkard yeah and come home to us these are good basic fundamental rules for a

lot of people I think to follow and you head off on that train to boot camp

which is right here in San Diego California

yes so I got through boot camp okay but a big problem when they land us up we

fitted out with shoes and clothes and everything when it came to the shoes out

there they made was there and they said son you can't join the Marine Corps cuz

their feet are too small and I thought well gosh he not gonna send me home is

eating everything i Worf sighs five-and-a-half issue and he said we

just don't make she was that small and so I had an old pair of shoes that had

worn out should have been thrown away and I played a lot of Poker I knew how

to play poker before and you maybe seeds well then where I catch that cards

around all the time so when I went ring Corps I had to use the whole deck

putting about three in through my shoes that had holes in them my civilian shoes

that had holes in them and and they finally one night I'd always take the

top bunk in whoever I went there what barracks I was in you know

put my shoes on the deck under the bunk next morning I woke up and there was the

touch somebody had taken a car tire tire and cutout sold for me the thing was

about that thick you know so had a pair of shoes that I could march in anyway

and then when I had to cut down my dungarees cut down you know because it's

too big and so forth and I had a lot of trouble because I was

so small and the other at one time I was small enough that Ralph hauled my

captain or my platoon leader he was the first lieutenant at that time and not

for various picked me as the runner and so one night we just sitting around the

campfire and and I said why don't pick me as a as you as a runner and they said

well you were so small so you made a small target and he was so fast afoot

that you could run outrun any Jap in the roar in the world so the reason I was

made a count a company runner so you were saying that your mom it's in the

book - it's a great story about your mom bringing you something to bootcamp

visiting you been bringing you something to bootcamp

oh yeah well it wasn't exactly the boot camp is when I came back from overseas

and the found out that there's going to be in a demolition man in there soaked

squad and the social squad was composed of five men with specials and I was

going to be a demolition man I was supposed to carry so many pounds of

demolition on my back and and on in front I would carry my regular pack you

know so for me so I couldn't handle a rifle so

at first I said well we've tried to get you a pistol because it couldn't handle

a rifle with all that weight and so forth

and he said we're going to get you a pistol I've waited around a week for a

pistol and finally came out said the Marine Corps doesn't have any pistols

any any left and so I was desperate so I called my mom I said mom find me a

pistol I'd like to have a colt 1911 cold and my mom went out and looked all over

town well I looked all over San Diego here for a pistol myself and there just

wasn't one that we had you know and so I called my mom and told her what I needed

and she senators the money I sent her seventy-five dollars that I'd won in a

poker game I sent that to her and she went around all over town looking for a

pistol couldn't find one until she came to a trailer house down close to the

railroad tracks with a guy that had a gun shop there so

she went at the house trailer and knocked on the door and mr. Armstrong

came out and said what do you need ma'am she says I need a pistol

what kind of pistol do you need she said she took out the piece of paper that I

written it on called 45 1911 and he said I just happened to have one of those and

she said how much is it and he said $200 and she said I can't afford that

he said well that's all that God why do you need such a big pistol she said well

my son is in a Marine Corps and he needs a pistol and so he said well this is the

only one I have but two hundred dollars and in solution she backed it out of the

door and went down room mr. Armstrong came down to talk to us

she said he said he said his son was in the Marine Corps and and needs a pistol

said surely they can give him a pistol and she said no they don't have any and

she said well come on back we'll work up a deal so she walked out with that

pistol cleaned of cosmoline and he had his seventy-five dollars and she needed

to get there as soon as he could you know so she went down to the bus station

got on the bus with a paper grocery bag in it with extra clothes you know and

got on the bus and 36 hours later she got the San Diego now she crisscross

because in those days you know military guys had priority and she'd be in one

place they would bump her off let a guy come in take a place and see crisscross

you may stay in Arizona for 36 hours well we're loading up to go overseas and

covered arts and I were up on the truck with a bunch of see bags and Fisher my

sergeant at that time was sitting in the cab with the driver and everything so we

went through the gate over Camp Pendleton and eight guards said is there

any marine up our named har Fred Harvey and Cobra woke me up I was

asleep woke me up said hey they're calling for your names so looked over

and I saw my mom look up at me and nice little thing real fast

I came over real fast well after a while Fisher said it's hard we got to gotta go

I want to let your mom sit in the seat I'll get up i with yellow and so we

drove down town and was looking for a place for her to stay we couldn't find a

place anywhere I mean we tried every hotel and so forth so finally I this is

around twelve o'clock at night and so I went to a policeman and I said sir can

you tell me where we might find a place for my mom to stay hotel or a motel or

something you know and he said well I just don't know of any place and so

forth I'll tell you what I'll call my wife

if your mother was stayed with her I'll call her and we'll go out there and so

the wife said yes bringing been around so he called off office in the police

car came out and drove into the house and his wife well welcomed us with open

arms you know and she stayed there three different nights and and then I was able

to Fischer would let me off quite a bit at the time there was three days that

she was there and then she finally had to put her on the bus and he wrote her

know making the priority she wouldn't be bumped and the thing when she got home

we loved was a story of how I got my pistol

and it was shortly thereafter that you went on you had it overseas

yes uh-huh and that was on a on a formal former cattle ship is that that was the

first time I went overseas okay so you came back in between in between so that

you got the pistol after your first time going overseas yeah it was the second

time I went overseas okay what's the first time I went over was on the Blume

fun team okay you want to hear about the Blume Fontaine well I read about it and

it's a pretty nasty story in many ways oh that was a nasty shit hey but I

thought that's what it was you know I hadn't seen ocean until I've gotten in

the Marine Corps and so they they put us on on the bloom Fontaine and they've

been a cattle ship a Dutch at a Dutch captain and he was he shipped I mean he

transferred cattle from Australia over to through the Dutch Holdings in the

South Pacific well when the war broke out he had just dumped out a load of

cattle and when he found out it was at war well he headed for San Francisco you

know he got to San Francisco he offered it to the Navy and the Navy took it made

it into a troop ship they didn't clean that stuff up very good you know they

shouldered it out and they left a lot of stuff and they just painted over it of

course when it started selling that shit wood buckling and everything and that

cow droppings is ever forever you know and the bunks were stocked up eight high

and I was lucky I was small enough to get in there without any trouble a lot

of those little guys couldn't get in and the head you know or the Navy and

Marine Corps that the bathroom is called the head you know the head was just a

long shed from the bow of the ship back to the holding say you know where the

captain stood and so forth and what had happened they'd made a tray of what yeah

doctor for water would flow down the thing right and they had a pipe for you

to sit on whether you just sit on that pipe and then do you thing and get up

and leave you know well that thing broke down and so here we were out at sea with

no way to dispose of you know the droppings well anyway so the Dutch

captain signed this crude set make things on the front of this about the

ship and it kind of like saddles deals on the side of a horse you know you just

go up her and drop your pants and sit down on that thing and and doctor didn't

feed the fish you know well I was too viable to go out to and use that because

there were 13 naval nurses on that same ship and they set up and I held office I

was trying to hold off to a dark I was too embarrassed to go but finally I had

to go so different opened all my pants like the rest of them did well yeah you

know when you're floating along now you're going up and down first thing you

know your butt is in the water and it comes back a lot and you didn't really

need toilet paper because you didn't need them because there wasn't any on

there that was a problem the whole time I was in Marine Corps overseas was

toilet paper oh that was something but that's the way we travel there and when

you go through the our seasick our seasick all the time

they put bin in the sickbay and for some reason there were lots of high hole

crackers in there I don't know what it was doing on a troopship but they were

so lonely and so I'd eat a couple of those every hour and they'd hide them or

nobody else could get them and was on that ship for 29 days to get the new

caledonia and one day the ship broke down here we are drifting that time we

drifted for probably 30 or 40 hours you know and was taking bets that's where we

were drift to in South America and and they they get past the word out that

we're sports a keeper life belts on them at all times

and keep your eyes looking out for

submarines because we didn't have any ESCO we just out there by ourselves and

over slow cattle ship and we is in real trouble and and we drifted for 72 hours

and they finally got the engine going again so here we are going to overseas

we didn't know where we were going you know and then we got a scare that there

was possibly a Jap submarine in the area so we pulled into the nearest island we

were close to you know we pulled in there and I fell in love without that

island it was Tonga to food and just went in

either one of these things you see in the movies you know and we pulled in

that Bay and dropped anchor and here the natives came out paddling canoes and

they had coconut pineapple a lot of fruit stuff but I'd sell them up our to

us and then we fight for so saying well anyway they came

came back that night and entertained us on the deck of the ship we were sitting

around there and they were they doing their dances the hula dancers and it was

a beautiful island I mean it is beautiful and I swore brother I said to

myself it Harvey there's a lot more in this world than Odessa Texas and I'm

going to see some of it before I die and so they put on the show and at last they

sang their island song you know what it was you are my sunshine and we pulled

away from there and we got started then we stopped went back what's going on six

guys had jumped ship it went to show Herbert draw him back well I didn't

think about jumping ship fun thought about it I'm out of joy and so we pulled

out finally got to New Caledonia he'd been at sea for 29 days and we as old

tickle to finally get there but that ship was a hell ship you know and when

we got there they took us off the ship and this is now in New Caledonia your

caldo and so you're a couple months out of boot camp at this point yeah okay and

this is the first place you stop and and you're gonna basically just for people

that don't know you're gonna get to New Caledonian you're gonna kind of train

and prepare for for going out and taking down some islands yeah well there was

two reasons we went to we gonna farm up with the rest of the troops you know the

first parachute battalion was already there in fact they were involved in

Guadalcanal and

so we were going down how to replace the guys so I was went to the first person

battalion they were 60 miles from the base that we came in on I can't remember

the base that we landed at or the port we landed at but it was a capital of New

Caledonia and our the parachute battalions were stationed out all about

60 miles from nouméa yeah you mayor was a capital of that

place and then once you got this is that where you met your your that were you

joined up you're saying with your parachute company yeah yeah I was

assigned to the first parachute battalion in did you did you if I

remember correct you go to Guadalcanal this at this point no we went later when

we went up to our first action together after Guadalcanal was we were supposed

to go to Belo la vella anything so we're on our way up there we stopped off at

Guadalcanal okay and that's after what a canal had been secured you know and so

they let a scrimmage we went up to find some of the old guys that had escaped

Japanese had escaped and we didn't see anything so we didn't get to shoot any

Japs so we were there a couple of days and we got up for chow one morning just

about before sunup and everything and I was up front of the line I'd always

managed to get the front of the line for Chow yeah for child yeah you you've

mentioned cool throughout the book that you're a guy that liked your child oh I

love child I was trying to catch up with her The Hunger I'll had then during the

Depression well anyway he's in line waiting to go in to get child you know

and then I heard a lot of laughing and carrying on back to the lines

I read never sees what the action was you know and there's three bedraggled

Japanese had just come out of line out of the jungle and got in line and an

officer got that came down it and that could speak Japanese and they he said

they were hungry and everything so they took my part fed them and they kept them

there I guess as long as they needed them they was washing pots and pans and

doing work then when we left and so forth

and they got off flight and so as you were preparing to go now you're working

you had a couple guys that you mentioned in the book you know I'll start with the

first one I'm gonna mention three of them major Fagan fate for gand is that

he say again ya Yin major Fagan he sounds like one tough customer he was

too man he was I was scared I'd see him coming down you know the trilled or

anything like that I'd jump in the jug or keep with me because I was scared of

him well everybody was scared because he was tough he just drove us he found out

that Japanese March with full packs and a 24-hour prepared March 39 miles he

said we're going to beat that and we marched 50 miles with full packs at our

own new caledonia and we would walk up the hills and trot down the

heels came down and we went 50 miles and I don't know whether it's any kind of

record book or anything but we was proud of it yeah so forth I don't know if it's

a record book either but I know it hurt yeah

now you also did a couple you tell a couple stories in the book about him but

he put you is he had no problem putting people on bread and water all no problem

no problem no in fact I was put on bread and water I had a buddy there that was

went through the parachute platoon with me right Ernie he nearly got us killed

the thing I won't give him yeah his name you know but he passed away several

years ago I don't want to say anything we don't want to incriminate his ass

well he when was going through parachute school his name was well I'll tell you

his name last name his name was Harmon so when we lined up alphabetically and

everything we did you know well he's always right behind me so when we went

to parachute school we wound up together you know because of her name's have been

real close to one another well anyway now when we jumped Marine Corps jumped

from the plane we know about headfirst their theory was that when you jump out

and that parachute opens or I tell you kind of swing with it

well the army jumped him out feet first and came down so forth so we jumped him

we jumped out headfirst we were training there and out here in camp Gillespie

that's worthy purser school laws and we lined up and made to make our first jump

will Harmon was behind me well in the plane we had we called it the blue

Goo's now we had to borrow that from the Navy because Marine Corps didn't own any

planes itself so we used the Blue Goose so they took us out there in a truck you

know the guys that had volunteered to go into the parachute school and that truck

driver Dover southbound and and the barracks and the officers and everything

was at the top of this hill and below was the runway and that's where the

where we jumped into that area right there that drivers over up on and stop

real fast he said they're fixing jump you guys wanna watch and so well jumped

out of the truck there's about 10 and 15 of us you know jumped out of the truck

watch them it flew over man here they come diving out one of them was coming

down fast here were flailing like this his parachute didn't open and so just

before he hit the deck that parachute opened he had to pull out his his

reserve chute now the reserve chute was on the front and it didn't have a pilot

chute on it so when you pull a rip party is supposed to pull out that silk

yourself what wasn't the seal kit was nylon well he was pulling that out just

he got it filled out he hit the deck and a jeep was on this way down there and

they put it put him in that Jeep put a parachute on him got him on the plane

plane went up out he came again and that truck driver said any of you guys were

gonna go back to boot camp and two guys got back on the truck and went back and

I thought seriously buddies I want to know and that's not a good initiation

into parachute jump that's reserved yeah well we had to pack our own chutes he

learned how to pack suits and we and every step you took a parachute school

you had to be running if you weren't running an officer NCO would catch you

you were in trouble you know so every step we took we learned how to pack

shoots right and up and down I got where I could pack a chute in 12 minutes

one day they said you're gonna pack a shoot today and you're going to jump to

tomorrow and I said I better take a little bit more time so it took me 30

minutes to do that well that night

Oh what was that Indians name but IRA Hayes he was in the

my platoon new pastor you heard I don't pay his hip raise the flag on evil he

was real quiet and there was another ending in there with him and that night

before we jumped that guy jumped off and hollered gung ho you know and broke both

of his ankles so that ended his pursuit but I was a it was a good marine

he was quiet you know he'd never never said much I'd talk to him you know

because my mom was a Comanche Indian I had some Indian blood you know I'm not

tell him that you know and and we became close friends but he's so quiet you know

this great great guy but this is quiet whether you know the history of what he

did you know what happened to avoid guy yeah well anyway we came out and that

first jumper made we made the jump and when I came out I don't want my chute

opened I was standing on another shoot she below me was Harmon he should have

been above me because he's coming out there well we didn't think much about it

you know I just started us with jumping was like well the next day we jumped

again and we came up we were tangled together and and there shoots you know

when there's slanting up like that air was going up too fast you know when

holding this Sheba to pray and when we hit man is like a ton of bricks hitting

you know man it hurt another thing because that she doesn't wasn't able to

those shoots weren't able to hold us up so we hit the ground pretty hard to jump

masters and the guy on the deck watch something that's what happened and I

don't know if they didn't ask anything of Harman you know he's always meeting

looking at you know well anyway but in fact it's looking at me because I

didn't even have boots on their $1.00 where's your boots I said y'all don't

having it they were fit me so he finally got me a pair of a six size and told me

to wear four pair of socks you know I was in first boots ahead

well back to Harman well the next time would jump I came out and bruised up and

everything and when a jump will I was my shoot at the shroud lines in channel

tangled up in my boot you know so I whipped out the k-bar knife and cut

those two strands of rope being older let me down just before I hit the ground

world I got my feet down first you know they come running over her to me and

what is going on there what's happening I don't know and so what had happened

when my purse shoot when I jumped out our dough Laval of the thing right there

I was facing the plane and my sad decline was playing out between my legs

and so Lou got tangled up in the cerrado lines man they came up burning they

decided I was too light to be in and in a part shoot you know and so the

sergeant over there at they at the loft for we packed our chutes you know he and

officer were talked and he said well he's just too light and and I was

standing there talking about I said I said y'all can't kick me out I want to

stay in this outfit I want to stay in it nothing

and so that sergeant he said why don't we put him in a Army Navy canopy now the

Army Navy canopy was only twenty six feet diameter and the the ones we used

the nylons no one's used was 28 you know we're just a bigger canopy and

everything so this guy took an Army Navy parachute took it out and put it it only

all the carriage you know I forget what they call it you know where you folded

you shoot and put it all night and so here I am with a with a parachute you

know made out of silk and instead of nylon and silk reacts lot faster than

nylon does so so when that sheet opened I got a pretty good kick out of it well

when we came out and that day we were gonna jump with weapons and so they gave

us all a risin gun you ever heard of horizon gun no it's about as worthless

as a grease gun so we called him your grease gun it was a terrible weapon they

they outlawed him in the in the military right quick well anyway I had one of

those and when I went out the door the Harmon hit me and knocked my that rising

gun down it went down stuck in the dirt and they they this is a our fourth jump

and and the sergeant said they were they were considering just really drop me

send me back to boot camp tour be assigned somewhere else you know with

tears and my begged him let me stay you know well in then the sergeant said

I'm gonna go up tomorrow and watch and see what is happening and

so he went up and found out what was happening I hear we're coming down this

white line and the fuselage of the plane and then their white line was right

there leading out the door so we were supposed to come down and make a sharp

turn and dive out well I was coming down down and going out to a proper way

Harlen was coming down there and he was cutting across and he was going through

the door at the same time I was and it was knocking me against the side over

there and and he's just knocked me honey he he was a suitor was opening for mine

was opening and so we got that straightened out and and that wasn't the

only trouble I had with Harmon but that's a different story or maybe I

shouldn't bring it up here so you actually you actually talked about when

you did find to get your first jump everything went good and you said you

know I had never made first-string in any sport because of my size but when

they pinned those wings on my chest and shoved a rifle into my hands I had at

last made first string with that rifle in my hands sighs no longer seemed

relevant I had made the team and found a home the Marine Corps filled all my

dreams and all my needs Harmon actually ended up getting you in trouble

Yeah right while you were in New Caledonia yeah well I won't go into the

pink house but I do in the book don't I don't know our day off was Wednesday

first battalion got Wednesday off you know they didn't let us all off at the

same time because they didn't or another Pearl Harbor type thing because the Japs

are still on the offensive at that time so he he got where he would go down

there every Wednesday and he fell in love one of those

girls and they fell in love or she fell in love with him but he went in there

and he didn't get the bus but last truck going back to base and he didn't get

back in time so he had to hitchhike I don't know how he got there but he got

to her about all about an hour after roll call and everything so when he

showed up well Fagan just put him on five days

bread and water feeding don't play around yeah well when you buy it would

buy something move out from the PX you couldn't go in and buy one bar a candy

or one can of beans or anything like you had to buy a whole box so on his third

day I went went over and got me a Jill boy now Joe wood was a non chocolate you

couldn't have chocolate candy in the tropics because it melts you know so

they had this new get covered with peanuts and it's called Joe boy some

went by there one night man open up not as eating one of them two holidays him

through the barbed wire thing he was in a tent and it was kind of in a clearing

in the woods you know he said tell me one of those things I am had anything

but bread and water for three days now I said no I'm not gonna throw you guys

against the root aw come on please I would do it for you just kept on so I

looked around took to him out until the line corporal of the guard thinking

they'd seen me well he came over and he said put this guy in there and unfairest

happened to be the corporal of the guard at that time and he said well we can't

we're all packed up you know we don't have they're just one buck one thing you

caught in there and arrest them are all packed ready to go and said there's no

place for to sleep easy we'll take that guy out

and put the guy in there and so the next day I was sitting there oh how did I

don't really had a couple loaves of bread and water he came by with a box of

candy I said come on show me one of those things I just know that's against

the rules I don't want to get in trouble he never did so one over to cold blooded

yeah now you were gonna get sort of written up for that and lieutenant Hall

who you know you got a lot of respect for I'm going back to the book here he

is now you're checking in with lieutenant hall and he's supposed to

write you up and put this in your permanent record yeah and he says Harvey

he said with a document in hand I was ordered to write you up but I can't put

it in your records as all the records have been stowed away to remain here

I'll have to carry this paper with me and it will surely get lost in the

jungle before we get back to civilization again I got a knowing smile

and a pat on the back now get out of here and forget what has happened get

your gear and order I think we're taking a boat ride I gave him the smartest

salute possible and said thank you sir I appreciate what you've done for me I

think I might have skipped to my 10th filled with a deep joy and the

deliciousness of being a Marine I left my troubles behind me and soon

got to feel the thrill of combat I realized soon after in the heat of

battle that the harsh demanding training of that major Richard Fagan Sergeant

Ferris and Lieutenant Ralph F Hall put us through paid off we performed well

under fire Ferris and Fagan received wounds in the Battle of Iwo Jima

Lieutenant Hall died in the Battle of Iwo Jima I shed bitter tears when I

heard the news of his death he was a great marine at Iwo Fagan earned the

Navy Cross as we fought for Bougainville sergeant Ferris did some amazing things

for which he received the coveted Silver Star later at the battle for Iwo here in

the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals then he went on to win his second Silver

Star and Purple Heart during the Korean War

hack this guy hung around to fight in the Vietnam in Vietnam in the 1960s a

Marine Marines Marine I found serving with him a great honor one of the high

points of my life even today 70 plus years later we get together from time to

time what do we talk about of course the war and our buddies of that bygone era

so you had I thought that was just a great leadership story about how

lieutenant Hall just said hey you know what we're gonna we're gonna shred this

document and it never happened and then you move to your first was it your first

combat was being in Bougainville Novello the Vela was okay

yeah and what was what was going into Bella Bella Bella

what was it Bella la Vella Vella la Vella well you know we were island

hopping over there what we would do would evade an island put in an airstrip

and everything and to use to hop to the next Island because it didn't when we

were still reading it's nearly vacated that an all-out they our feel that with

you padeen and everything and so Vella LaBella was one of those stages and

everything and across the bay there I think is something like 13 miles or

something was : bangerra now that was just an island just sticking up volcanic

island just sticking up in the ocean and it was all the Jap occupied it and but

we took Bella love Bella and put in an airstrip there we landed there and that

was when I had my first taste of action we moved in to the Isle due to the

jungle and they Seabees we're supposed to follow us in you know and start

building there well the Seabees was tough outfit they were getting ahead of

us and we've had to hear she'll die so they made a ask us get on the put

snipers on the their tractors and that's what we did never thing but then we move

when we were moving out of the Bates well we had send out of there patrolled

because we've had and when we invaded we didn't run into any Japs but we found

that there were some up bar so we were going to go up and attack them before

they could get down and and work over the Seabees that were building the

airstrip you know and so it was so hot in the jungle were so thick we had to

have guys using match it's you know to chop our way through there well we last

only about 10 minutes using those choppers to get through there

they're just big blades you know just use you just chop through the vines well

we were staggered the guy was here I was here and then another guy was here and

we were working our way through it and and the Jap Nambu opened up on us

and this job was up in a tree and he shot and it killed these two guys that

was in this line over here and I was over here so they didn't get us yet at

all three of us well anyway then he went out to me and I just jumped under the

threads and the brush and everything and I just crawled for one place or other

and I don't think he could see me but he was probably to see the leaves and

braces working he is firing at me and everything and so a guy a big guy had an

a4 machine gun you know that's an air cold 30 caliber weapon and he had a

bestest glove and he was big enough for strong

enough that he could fire a short bust at a time with it and everything so he

said Harvey what tree is that guy in I said that big one over here on the left

he said that doesn't mean a thing they're all big on the left and right

and so I said fire at one of the rods oh now I'll give you directions where to go

so I got fired at me and they saw the four he was shooting out so this guy I

wish I could think of his name this big guy admired him could he is so being

strong but he just saturated that thing that a four machine gun and sure now

fear came a Jap hanging that he had a rope around his foot and that Nambu

machine gun nuts first that weapon not seen that's first time I've been shot at

you know so I remember the name move real well well anyway as well was my

first action and man I hated those jet machine guns but if I had to go to war

right now I would get me out Jap Nambu machine gun and there's a picture about

there that weapon was something else and she had a magazine to hold 20 sales and

Luke and I ran across another one at Iwo Jima and that's another story and but

and then then you guys pretty much mopped up that first operation then

there wasn't too much resistance now there wasn't too much resistance and

then and then you moved on after that was that when you had it to Bougainville

that the night we went to Mogan Vale after that you got an interesting story

in about about Bougainville that kind of thinks worst might be worth talking

about a little bit because it kind of shows how you know war is not always

what it's made out to be in the movies so here we're going you you were

actually speaking a toilet-paper and in this particular situation you were just

done getting done you'd gone to relieve yourself by a little house and then you

hear the order I heard the order move out on the double as I stood between the

house and the banyan tree buckling my belt something in the vague misty light

caused caught my eye I stood in rapt amazement as a guy came diligently down

the tree I could see that he had only a piece of cloth around his waist when he

reached the bottom he bent forward as if to pick up a sandal I watched an utter

wonderment as this scene played out before me just a little guy when he

straightened up I stepped up and brought my rifle stock across the back of his

head with a glancing blow he turned as he crumpled and landed fully on his back

I looked down and to my horror found myself looking at a female instead of a

male stunned and shaken by my act I choked on a sob and trembled

uncontrollably what had I done as I stood there bathed in pity and

compassion all hell broke loose the shatter and clatter of small-arms fire

broke the silence trying hard to choke back the sobs I raced to join the fire

fight glad to leave that pitiful pathetic scene and act an outnumbering

force pinned us down all day although desperately busy during this time my

thoughts kept going back to the base of that banyan tree at midday our

ammunition ran low the sergeant ordered me back to the rear to find more I

veered from a direct path to the beach to pass by that tree of infamy I found

neither her nor her body I quickly ran around the tree and under the house to

no avail I ventured up the steps to look inside

the house inside it looked like an infirmary or aid station but empty I

hope that I had only stunned her and she had walked away from the area after the

incident I gave a great deal of thought to that lady in the Coconut Grove

definitely of oriental heritage I wondered her purpose there I thought of

several possibilities she could have served

as a nurse in the Japanese military or a resident of the island brought there by

the late lever brothers soap company to work in the coconut groves also she

might come from Korea one of the many Korean women kidnapped by the Japs to

serve as prostitutes for their military no matter the reason I hope and pray

that she survived the blow to her head and the war in my lifespan I've stored

many many items in my arsenal of memories the memory of that day so very

long ago rests among my most vivid the memorable events on that lonely Beach on

the far side of planet Earth have not dimmed over time nor distance it all

took place because I crawled beneath a house I think I lost the last vestige of

the little boy within me that day yeah that was really tough for me you know it

I remembered my sisters you know and and thought to have terrible it would be if

they were hit like that and it stuck with me all of these years you know I

remember that little little lady in that jungle that was another story there we

were setting up her what was the name of that beach Corie Corie beach we had

heard that the Japs were fixing to come up our so was he since 1st battalion

upper and a company of Raiders up and we went up I left our base at about 12

o'clock and there's 12 miles up the island and when we invaded evaded it

during the night we wait until the beginning to get light well there was a

Japanese an officer came in walked into the group I didn't see him I because I

was out on the flank but it was a Japanese officer he came down there

hollering instructions and everything and he didn't know it was Marines that

had come ashore he thought it was thinking because they were building up

to invade that area where we revealed in the airstrip snow and so they shot him

dead right there and then all hell broke loose because we were outnumbered 10 to

1 and when I finished with doing my job and hurting that little girl

well I rent catch up with the bus you know well the first guy got caught up

with whitey mains and he was in and my company and everything so we went on a

burn and we used on the very end flanks and we both had Johnson rifles and

that's all we had to protect that flank with and that's a weak part of the line

and haul came up by oh I'd say about nine or ten o'clock he said what y'all

doing down here you're supposed to be up our with us and they had gone on up and

we worked be company we were with B company and a company was in the middle

of the of the group you know and so he just said well stay here and I'll get

get an A for down here to protect this flank you know the flank is the weak

point of the lion said y'all protect it well it was a coconut girl that we hit

into and they had a road behind that Coconut Grove and those Japs were using

that whole material up prior to invade that airstrip and so here Wiley and I

were on the flanker and that's where we detected well it began to send planes

Dino they were straight from that road that we were struck out along you know

and those planes were coming hard and fastest

and come up our protectors they better wiped us out a whole regiment of Japs

are fixing to invade that deal what time and those planes were coming just one

after another and they didn't bother to put up their landing gears they just

left them down and it's come along strafe David to drop bombs along the way

and we were on the very end we we've afraid there's gonna start their

shooting before they got to we'd get out there and wave I don't write there and

they go by signal here at us and start strafing and we were there all day long

and and the commander done that at the Dyer base told him to do that just

sending it up Krause to take us off and thinkin's answered no we're not going to

be the first man Marines to be pushed off of a beach we were scheduled to be

taking off at 7 o'clock and that's when we will start boarding over books so we

was out all day long and it was a long day and haul it came up our few times

and we had Johnson rifles we didn't have the n1 rifle we had dirt johnson

ralpherz a 30 caliber cylinder fed same didn't used clips in them now thought it

was the best weapon that I had but in the in the war beside the Nambu and

Hollywood bring us ammunition up there and then he finally come up there late

in the afternoon he said you guys make this last because there's we're nearly

out of ammunition and so here we were and was couldn't do anything until 7

o'clock so we ships Higgins boats were out there circling waiting for 7 o'clock

I guess because then odd fares came up and he said now we're

gonna be taking off and we were started at 7 o'clock that's about an hour and a

half from now and the guys next to you there in Company B now because the

mix-up you know why he means and I was involved in well anyway on first told us

that when these guys over here they're gonna leave and when they leave they're

gonna holler and let you know that they're leaving you count to 50 as fast

as you can and then get down to the beach okay so we sit there or sit there

we hear these boats coming in and taking off and shooting and everything on it

Rutter has of white Akash what time is we should be getting out of here and

everything and why I said hollered over at those other guys are telling they

didn't answer us so I walked over there they'd already left and didn't call it

out so here we were only two guys left on the beach I guess and we started

running well I was pretty fast so I took why this Johnson rifle and I cared both

of them down there and I still beat him down to the bus I mean through that

higgins boat but that when the Higgins boat it was say it was what LCVP LC VT

is heavier than the Higgins boat is all steel right there so here we are running

down there and hollering don't leave don't leave and everything well odd

Ferris was on the deck and and the ramp on that the LSB was at about a 45 degree

angle because that was taking shots from the Japs and out Ferris was they died no

he didn't and

and Captain Hayes he captained by this time he was trying to hold her something

everything and Fagin was on that boat and this little toxin on the thing right

there said we're moving out okay we're leaving not faking city forties void

feed because the guys down there put that pistol in that kid's hand put this

back on blow your bleep head off so he put it back on there and the guys that

around that they there's telling us about what happened and so here we are

running and so forth and I got down there and articles to rifles through

them up up there into the boat and Hall got him to Lord a little bit throughout

the thing in odd fares Turkish tickets for our foot you know and heaved us up

and haul put her sewing in and I got a burn here or why the mains finally got

that and that's how we got off the island but you held the line until 7

o'clock yeah as you were ordered yeah yeah it took about 30 to 40 minutes I

guess to get everybody off their knew we were the last to get off the island and

I'd been on the beach before it night not in one will be on a beach again and

Japanese territory now once you got back on the boat or you got back out now the

next thing to do is prepare for you oh well we got back they took so we got

back on a destroyer and was heading back in to impress Augustus Bay that was on

Bougainville us where we invaded have set up a airstrip you know to attack New

Guinea but anyway

we got the word I'll forget the exactly when he got it that is breaking up the

paratroopers we're coming back to the States

okay and so we got back to the states and was integrated into the fifth

division okay well that's interesting that you

saw that this is when you told the whole story about your mom coming to bring you

45 this is when this is now happening yeah okay that one and did you did you

guys just sailed back to America yeah we came on back to America who his

own Liberty ships okay and and they got goddess backed Pendleton and we got a

little leave I don't know how long it was it might have been 30 days leave you

know and and we started forming up in the fifth division and that's when I

when we got back I was I had what they call the crud you know I broke out all

over a body it just like having athlete's foot on the old wadding and so

they brought us back and and another story Larry might I might throw in here

we were stationed over there at Camp Pendleton and we lined up one morning to

go into chow you know it was still about half dark you know and we were standing

down and odd fierce is out in front and there's a group come marching up there

turned out to be women and I'd first said well man is this this man's outfit

is going to going to pot we have dogs and then we have this group in here and

everything now we got women in here as she's shaking his head then we heard

holding her the guy up here said fire - for effect another guy down here

hollered back Bam Bam and those women nearly broke

ranks ok one hair - those guys and I found out what Bam meant that meant

brought ask marina and they didn't go for that so they won't break rank Singh

come out of him when I first found out that there were women in the Marine

Corps and so now you're preparing at this point you're preparing to go back

overseas you're with the fifth the fifth Marines yeah and in her division or

sorry fifth division who is in the 26th Marines got it got it

and is this when you is this when you met Bazelon back here in california yeah

his group was over there at Childline one time and several of the guys a

that's nice alone there's mice alone of course he is my hero too you know

so this soon as we got there lined up to go into the chow hall like sneak over

and I said sir can I shake your hand he certainly does they shook my hand there

was like and that was my experience with Iceland now cabra Dartz had told me

quite a bit about Basilone because they were he was about how for DC we 30 yards

from Basilone when Basilone was earning his Congressional Medal of Honor you

know he was the first enlisted man to be awarded the Medal of Honor and in the

Marine Corps and World War two and and then you know he came back he was in

parades and Oh bond drives and so forth and he had

it made but he wanted to get back to the Marine Corps and working with the

Marines groups again so he joined up and came back and he got killed at Iwo Jima

now was wasn't and we'll get to that for sure wasn't um did I read that cobber

was actually chesty pullers runner yeah in Guam was that Guadalcanal Rotter

canal yeah he was talking about water canal all the time you know and I had

never heard chesty puller until cover started telling about it and everything

and and cob reload that all the Marines load those chesty pullers and I'd like

to observed under him but I served under some good guys Fagan was one of them he

was you know he wasn't little like chesty puller was but he was efficient

leader of men not and then with the so you're back home in America for how long

you back home for getting ready to head back over well let's see wasn't one too

long you know they I had to go to your over that I told you I had to go to the

hospital and be treated for we called it Japanese crude no Chinese crud and it

was just breaking out you know kind of like I'd always started kind of like

athlete's foot or would they hold Wadley and the only treatment they'd put some

kind of blue medicine on us and everything and so I was over in about

Balboa hospital for nearly a month before I was released from there for got

real there's a lot of us in that same position you know and then back on

another - head back overseas well we trained

over here for a couple of months and then we was trained up for to go

overseas and we may practice invasion of one that is Islands Elfa over here and

we invaded it you know practicing and and when we got there we lined up on the

beach and there we kept sitting out waiting to be told to move on the end or

something or - we said to her and sit there and everything

finally officers came on tour said hey we're going back on the ships we're

heading overseas Ian and so we went back aboard ship and went over here came over

here to Camp Pendleton and started getting ready to go back overseas again

and that's when I asked my mother is finding me a pistol and that's when she

she came over anyway to do more training in character

that's the Big Island of Hawaii yeah okay

this example is called Camp toggle so we trained and I was that's when I was

assigned to an assault squad and there was a demolition guy and that thing and

that was quite an experience and let's see then we trained and got ready to go

- to evil and while we were training there at camp horrible on the Big Island

you know it land us up every Tuesday no I mean Wednesday and give us two cans of

Lucky like or beer well I didn't drink right there but covered loved that beer

and so I would give my - to him and he would take and hide those

and drink history would the boys you know and he swore me to secrecy don't

you tell anybody that I got to so when he hit the island of iwo jima he was

kind 14 cans of beer well anyway on the way over there actually there's a

picture in your book and you got hit with a little demo satchel on but you

say there's no demo in that satchel it's all beer yeah and he threw away his desk

mask and had four cans of beer in that gas mask oh that's what it was gas

basket theater bag you know well anyway we heard on the ship we listened to

Tokyo Rose you know we like to listen to her because she played good music you

know and she's supposed to be breaking our morale down but she wasn't helping

our morale she said well I hear that the Marines but she always had with the

heard that the little Marines are going to be hitting one of our island soon and

she said they'd better bring their gas masks and we heard that you know and I

said cover what you gonna do I'm gonna shoot you so they didn't use gas gas on

us thank goodness did you uh when do you find out back then when did you find out

hey the target is zero Jima that's where you're going when did you start getting

that briefing and know where you're actually heading was that once you're on

board the ships yeah we we were on the board ship for we well we got a board

ship and we sailed around that we went over and made a couple of practice

landings in those islands and Hawaii you know and so we went ashore the anchor

down Pearl Harbor you know and they gave us three or four hours leave off the

ships you know so there's a group of us together we've been in town here

in Hawaii this is not Hawaii though is it close anyway anyway we were all that

and and one of the guys in my group was walking around and and galkin is

everything you know an island and it's got named Lucas it was in my group when

we was walking around he looked at he said there's my cousin over there and so

we went across the street and it was

Lucas his cousin you know what was his name

Jacqueline Lucas you know and so he stayed with us and walking around there

and everything and we said we got to go back to the ship and so we went back to

her ship and Jacqueline and Lucas was still with us and when he went oh boy we

got aboard he went and checked in he was on there about three days out I said I

talked to them that the other Lucas you know so was he a civilian was jacket was

the cousin a civilian or was he had another marine or here's another marine

chuckling Lucas was marine so he just went aboard with us and and he was there

for about three days and I said you better take your cousin over there and

tell him that he's not aboard this ship where he's supposed to be with his

outfit he was gonna be a replacement in the first division but he wound up in

the fifth division yeah he's 26 Marines with us and he he got hurt he threw

himself on a hand grenade and and our two hand grenades and saved him his

buddy's you know and he got the Congressional Medal of Honor

you have probably seen I heard of him because he and he was from Mississippi I

forget the name of the town and I just thought I was going over to see this guy

and his in Georgia and I went through that town and and I got past it I said

I'm Kris Kobach I see Lucas and so I turn around of the turnaround is going

back as heard on the radio that he had passed away there in the night and that

was last I seen I heard of him you know

then so you finish up your training in Hawaii now is your next stop gonna be

Iwo yeah well yeah did you guys did you guys know what did the intelligence that

you got paint the picture that Iwo was going to be a really really hard fight

did you guys know that going in now we didn't we had no idea what was just

another island but when I when it got light and I looked around saw

battleships and and just so you weren't any more nervous for that you just

thought I'm gonna go do what I've done the last few times

no I were scared today fair enough well you know unfair sand captain Hall I was

a runner and I was telling them before I had ever seen any action I said I don't

know how it'll be when we said the sea action I afraid I'll be scared to death

and everything and captain hall said that's what you want to be you want to

be scared to death he said you should be scared half to death and you know

there's no meaning for that being scared half to death because I was just scared

half to death a lot of times you know still alive

but they said when you're scared there takes over at dumps adrenaline into your

brain and to your muscles and you react and everything and I know that's what

happened to me because when I got hurt I was I knew what was going on and you

what I had to do but still just scared it I could be and that's what saved me I

think the reality did you already get what had you already been wounded at

this point before you old who you wounded in any of the other oh no huh so

you're still you're still as lucky as they come right this one wounded at all

now cabra had been wounded before we hit evil he had been wounded that brought a

canal and he got that not Basilone was did his thing and he was about 30 or 40

yards from Barcelona on that line you know and assailed hit him so they took

him off and he had a lot of those guys got malaria and he had malaria real bad

and they took him to Australia and there was a ship there going back and he was

so with that that wound that that they hadn't been able to treat it because the

Navy took off with all the the medical gear and everything so he actually

didn't see a doctor until he got back to Australia and so he went back got back

to the States and he wouldn't take a discharge and

they sent a corpsman back with him you know he has put on a merchant ship is

going back it wasn't a Navy ship at all the merchants it was going by and that

Corman said copy this they're sending you home to die and

they're going to discharge you and so cover he said he didn't know whether to

believe that corpsman or not but they sent him up to Tillamook Oregon and

there's they had a balloon stationed up but you know they put big balloons up in

the area with own cables you know to protect areas you know military areas

that the Japanese would probably seat if they tried to invade us so he got in

with cross bill cross at Birth that time and a guy named horsefly he hosts flower

I can't think of his name but he's from Wichita Falls and we nicknamed him

horseflies he's always talking about horses well

anyway they were up our garden a naval base at Tillamook Oregon and he was

trying to get back to the fleet Marines you know and they wouldn't send them so

they was doing things that they shouldn't be doing they wrecked the Jeep

never brought it to a head and they said here Hornbeck their fire to a rifle

company so that's the way he got back in the rifle okay yeah there's that's where

you want those guys that are out wrecking jeeps put him right back in a

rifle company yeah well I'd as we're not put in the hospital where there's a

Chinese crud and and lost contact with my outfit and so forth and I wind up

with nails copeland and and the barracks over there there's nearly empty

and so i went over and checked the end and Coplin was a sergeant and so

and he was the only guy in the whole barracks and I said where is everybody

said well this is emptied out we were waiting to fill up again he said just go

down there and find the bunk anywhere in the end I said well what room do you

want me to be in well the lower floor that said there's not three or four guys

down anyway just take any any bunk you won't you know so I fooled around there

and ate supper and everything and and got in in the bunk hung my uniform on

the end of the bunk on a hanger and and I was sound asleep and about 10 o'clock

the lights went on and all these guys were hollering and singing and

everything right there I said you guys knock it off and turn out that light who

said that big boy who said that well I said I said and I get those lights

turned off and here he comes over war are you whores boy so he comes down and

he was gonna fight me so I jumped off of that bunk out of mad enough to find

anybody so here he come he was not much bigger than I was you know because he

been hurt you know and everything and he saw me uniform and I had my ribbons on

own everything hey your combat marine welcome aboard come on over here we got

some there's some sandwiches and some beer and so forth

come on over here and join us I said I'll need a sandwich so I don't drink

beer and so that's how I met cabra Dortch

and we'd go on Liberty together and and they liked their booze and and housefly

liked his booze student he he he drank pretty heavily so it wound up I didn't

drink so I'm having to take care of horsefly

and they were dates and he and cross covering costs would go off to somewhere

and I had to take care of horsefly well we got we were out in olive grove or

someplace here and close to San Diego I guess what is closer to LA I guess and

we couldn't find the taxi or anything and I didn't know what to do we couldn't

find a place to stay with him and everything so there was an all-night

movie going on showing porno films so we went in there and we both went to sleep

woke up next morning films were still showing so I got him out we finally got

home and ordered back to camp and my experience with housefly housefly was

killed at Iwo and cover and and cross were wounded too let's see I in the book

I told how Cobra was winded didn't know yeah you did that's if you want to hear

that now yeah absolutely yeah I mean you you hit the beach at I mean let's let's

just take it from you you hit the beach it at Iwo yeah and I mean you weren't

the landing at Iwo relative to some of the other landings that the Marine Corps

done at this point was well I mean what was your what was your well before evil

the Japanese always tried to stop us before we got to the beach and he will

they let us get on the beach and that's when they really opened up with

everything they had you know and and and it was more effective than trying to

stop us before we got to the beach or we were on the beach and and a lot of

officers and NCOs were killed you know off the beach so here we are laying on

the beach and and slope and guys were laying down on

that thing and a little smarter say that larger said over coming in like Lent

raindrops when they'd hit and this it explodes that goes out and up you know

what it was all the laying on the ground and not just inviting ourselves to come

in close to us you know and and so cover said we got to get off this off this

beach so we started trying Holland get off the beach run so was it ran man I

ran and first thing they Long Beach on the other side that's when I realized a

little I and so we got over there and and I heard that Hall had been killed on

the boat and I cried because I loved that man I mean he was treating like a

son and I'd Ferris had been wounded too but Hall got off rudder on the beach and

one of those cells he got him and I was we were got over there and and it wasn't

they weren't firing in that area so we spread out waiting for somebody to come

her to take over you know we didn't know what to do so I was laying our propped

up against a deal and I heard a shot real close to us and everything I looked

around and and I couldn't see anybody shooting you know and then looked over

about 20 or 30 yards there's a piece of ten raised up and I rightfully come out

shot some it made another shot so I told the guy and over next to me and he had a

riot gun we called him it was a 12-gauge shotgun with just a few balls and the

cartridges you know I said come on follow me he said what are we going I

said we're going to go over and have some fun

so I said there's a sniper in this hold under this piece of tea and I'm gonna

raise that up and you just shoot just shoot in there and so I raised the other

a Jap looked up finding that guy cut loose with that shotgun about tap for

what'll miss that one god never seen nice and before with had

a shotgun he threw up and but that's that's the first real thing I did on on

the evil you know a couple things that I wanted to just real quick asked about

one of them was you described in the book how the ground was literally hot

from like the lava and it was uncomfortable to lie down on oh you

couldn't lay on the scholarly it's a steam heat coming from up to that

volcanic ash you know they keep talking about the sands of Iwo Jima

I wasn't said that was it was ash volcanic ash it was like BB size deals

and it not saying yeah and it was literally too hot to lay down on in a

lot of places and it was too cold house I was gonna say you know in the military

we always get the worst of both worlds yeah and you and it was too cold at

night yeah yeah it was cold at night you needed something moving so we'd lay

something on the deck you know box or cardboard or extra blankets or something

just to get off there and then you put a punch over and that would hold the heat

to keep you warm but it wasn't scholarly yeah no yes and then what about the the

razor razor grass I've heard about that let me tell you when I heard about we

heard about the razor grass MacArthur decided he won't use paratroopers in the

jungles of New Guinea and so they decided to send in a regimen I forget

how many or sent in and they took pictures of where the

warmth of the land in the jungles you know and they found this place that the

grass in area and no trees in that part and so forth ideal placement so they

jump in there and that was that raised her glass 12 feet high and they had guys

all cut up on it and all the parachutes and this grass was terrible and two of

them are killed in the Jumpman and a couple of them landed in the jungle you

know nor hurt bad Madelene and then they told us two guys

were never heard of or seen again they never really didn't they had to march

out because he couldn't land to plant playing in the jungles to take him out

and it took him six weeks to get back to their base they had to be you know feds

along the way they have to parachute stuff into them and so forth so that's

when the Marine Corps said hey we're not using this fire troopers in the jungle

so that's when they brought us back to the States and put this in now how long

was it after you guys landed that John Basilone was killed well as well as I

remember I guess is the first day yeah that's because I was I had to go back

get some TNT and and the guy was with me he had to get some napalm you know he's

a flame thrower and we saw this group of guys over there and and and a guy given

the last rites to someone what's going on here and this guy said Basilone this

was just killed and it was a sad moment for me because he like all the other

Marines he was a hero to us all you know and

that was bad and then I heard that Hall had been killed I cried again

I cried under samely you know because they mean a lot to me you know and I

just found out where Hall was buried you know he didn't evidently didn't have a

family I mean a wife or anything like that and I couldn't find out worried

where he was you know where he's been buried or anything and this girl that

found this thing pharmacy was her neighbors Liberty Phillips and I'd been

trying for 20 years to find this guy you know and what happened to him and

everything and I told her my problem and three days she had this magazine on the

way she found out the computer you know what but it was this all about and I was

amazed at that and then she found out that Hall had been buried in well at

first and evil they got so many dead that the hospital ships couldn't take

them and so forth so they had to do something with the body so to begin to

bury him there and they stayed there temporarily for several years and

brought him back to the States and he was buried that no one who cleans it

Bobby he was buried here and I mean in Hawaii

at the punch bowl of things Rose I'm gonna go over some day to visit his

grave because possibility you know I found a second cousin to him he's he

works with the Symphony Orchestra's Orchestra in

Cincinnati and he didn't he never met Ralph but just heard his second cousin

and he didn't know anything about Ken folks are in things you know as we

progress through the the battle here you wrote about it obviously here in the

book and I think this this description here is worth reading so I'm gonna go

you're out on patrol you're trying to get back to friendly lines daylight's

coming and here we go I brought up the rear when we took off in a low moving

dog trot cuz lights coming so you're you're trying to make some movement here

yeah we're not gone far when from within five yards of my five o'clock position I

heard the bolt action on a machine gun declaring the operator had braced it for

firing I had heard this harbinger of death before it stood as one of the hard

lessons I had learned in the jungles during the Solomon Islands campaigns I

recognized this telling sound of an Ambu a Japanese light machine gun this deadly

weapon could spit out a clip of twenty cartridges in less than two heartbeats

damn I hated that nasty little 25 caliber weapon at that first metallic

sound I shouted hit the deck I landed on the ground at the same instant that a

short burst of gunfire ripped through the air just inches above my head I lay

so flat on the deck that I could have crawled under a snake's belly for Joe

the guy in front of me luck had played out he had taken luck had played out he

had taken one or more slugs in the back the other man ran helter skelter toward

our lines his headlong - grabbed the attention of the Nambu and it continued

to spit short bursts at this hustling marine while this happened the

adrenaline and sense of reasoning within me worked in tandem

feeding off each other my situation was critical I lay in the Japs backyard my

position exposed with only my pistol to defend myself I took a quick peek at the

inner body seven or eight yards ahead of me

seeing no movement I reckoned Joe had bought the farm he carried an m1 rifle

to survive this untenable fix I needed that rifle and a position of concealment

I knew that the nambas clip held twenty cartridges and the gunner fired in short

bursts of three to four bullets I figured he had only a burst or two left

he had one when the clip played out it ejected the sharp tinny sound singled

meet him signaled me to move and move I did I came out of that prone position

like a bolt of lightning man in that span of eight yards I could have beaten

Jesse Owens my plan was simple I'd raced by pick up pick up on a dead run and try

and make it to the line of boulders about 20 yards beyond damn about a third

about on about the third step I saw Joe move slightly the plan had changed I

opted to take him instead when I got there I grabbed the back of his collar

utter panic poured raw journaling into my engines I could never have dragged

him that far fast otherwise the rocks as a safe-haven no longer stood as an

option we couldn't make it that far out out of gut-wrenching terror I reacted on

impulse not rooted in thought or reasoning with Joe now in tow we moved

into a slight depression in the volcanic ash no more than a shallow dip it had to

do as duty it had to do duty as shelter for the time being what a poor place to

defend and it offered very little in way of protection but nothing else showed

any more promise by instincts I hit the deck my timing proved perfect the

rattling peal of gunfire passed within inches of our heads well I figured we

were safe for the time being then problems began to escalate faster than I

could resolve them so this is a bad situation here

right now man and then you look down and you see there's a thermite grenade

that's that's that he's got on his gear that Joe has on his gear and it looks

like it it's been shot or it's been hit with a glancing bullet and it looks like

that thing could go off at any time as well not only that you got the Nambu

being reloaded so from there you I think you stick Joe with some some some

morphine and you kind of hold station how long were you in that little

depression in volcanic ash waiting well there we estimated it was about a six

and a half hours that we were in that the desolation and volcanic ash and it

was kind of a slope and then the depression and that the bullet would hit

at that above us you know every could get you know and we were safe at that as

long as we stayed down and on top of all that you start receiving friendly fire

from mortars mortars start going on oh yeah they were that was just normal you

know they were throwing a lot of mortar shells in there and and the ships were

firing the heavy stuff but not rotted in that air where we were and what do you

think what prevented the Japanese from maneuvering on you were you just holding

that position of the best your ability throwing grenades and whatnot yeah

that's the only thing that could do it I couldn't move so I just had hope that

he didn't come and then when they gave out hope or I I was prepared I had the

pistol I was gonna make sure that we didn't take wouldn't taken prisoner you

know because

at Villa La Bella we were on a patrol and opportunity of us and we met some

Japs and one guy was hurt and we didn't know he was hurt and we fell back a

little bit and then we realized that this guy his name was Joe some I think

for the last name now and the Japs had captured him and we dug in for the night

and they begin to torture him and and he would you know screaming and everything

and our officers don't move don't move we can't help him

they're just trying to get you in position don't move don't move and

everything we sit there and listen to him and through the night and in the

morning when it got lights you know we went after him and he was tied to the

base of a tree with his penis cut off and there was in his mouth and had taken

strips of skin and pulled Adolphe that along and just really tortured him

something terrible and we when we found out that they were royal Manchurian

Marines you know Japanese had in Manchuria had colony up there and they

were bigger than the regular Japanese they might have been Chinese and but

they were big guys and and we got got back at him everyone about ten of them I

guess in that group and we finally caught up with them but poor guy

suffered and it was hard not to jump up and go

but that's what they wanted us to do you know to come out of those holes because

once we got in a foxhole that night we were not supposed to move for any reason

if you had to use the toilet where you use dug a hole in your hole and and

those holes in the jungles with water would seep in them overnight and you're

constantly using the tin cup to take water out and throw it out but then the

jungle does was terrible really terrible day you know the conditions were bad the

mosquitos were bad just jump and fight and I hated that and he didn't get that

at Iwo Jima you know I don't remember seeing a mosquito or having a mosquito

bite in the wool Jima and with that in your mind there's no way that you were

gonna get captured you were no island John already I I wasn't gonna be

captured on what I was ready to take Joe out and myself because I didn't want him

to suffer like that either and of course I didn't tell him that I was gonna shoot

him but I was ready to do it you spend the whole day there and I'm going back

to the book as the long lonely hours ticked away thoughts ran the gauntlet of

my mind early in the wait I resolved to go down fighting

I considered surrender out of the question and never an option

I had heard and seen the results of the enemy's treatment of prisoners no words

can describe the pain and suffering the Japs laid on a person before permitting

him to die while the political correctness might these days might frown

on calling them Japs I'll call them anything I please my buddies and I have

that right we have earned it yes when a showdown came I intended

that the enemy didn't take me or the Marine lying next to me alive as my

longest day neared the halfway point through the din of battle I heard my

name called damn the voice of bul Fischer my platoon sergeant boomed over

the other noise he had brought in a combat patrol to find us now you you

kind of link-up and he's trying to figure out where the NAMM bow is Nambu

is located we see you now throw I did in the Nambu answered giving away its

position a platoon laid down a withering barrage of small arms fire putting the

Nambu company out of business Peter Adam got to me first along with

several other guys he directed them to put Jill on the stretcher and sent them

on their way he said he said let's get you out of here I'll cover you I got set

to make a run for it but as an afterthought I told Pete that I wanted

to pick up Joe's rifle I took one last look at the shallow defilade in the

sands of Iwo Jima what a lifesaver the dearest plot of ground that I ever

occupied Joe and I owed our lives to it the state of Rage Pete said we would

have found you sooner but ski came back a blithering idiot he refused to go back

to show us the way to you guys he reported you dead some of the guys

wanted to shoot him the bull sent him under guard to be taken off the island

and now I'm gonna read a an award citation the president United States

takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star medal to private first class steel

F Harvey junior the United States Marine Corps for services set forth in this

following citation for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving

with Company C 1st battalion 26th Marines 5th Marine Division in action

against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima volcano Islands 20 February 1945

when his three-man patrol which was sent out to establish contact with the

adjoining company was ambushed by heavy from an enemy machine-gun and one of the

men was seriously wounded private first class Harvey dragged the Fallen Marine

under heavy fire to the shelter of a nearby hole remaining with the wounded

man while his companion went for aid he held off the hostile forces with his

rifle and hand grenades until the arrival of the rescue party then

exposing himself to enemy fire and directing accurate heavy fire on the

Japanese position he successfully covered the evacuation of the casualty

by his initiative courage and unselfish devotion to duty he undoubtedly saved

the life of his comrade and upheld the highest traditions of United States

Naval Service for the President John Sullivan Secretary of the Navy

don't really know what to say after reading that sir oh well that was a long

day for me but I didn't think these did a reward I was just doing what the

Marines have taught to do you know and I was surprised when they pinned a medal

on me there you talked a little bit earlier about what it was like at night

and I thought this was a really good section of the book here's the way we

handled the nights on the frontline once darkness said in everyone went to his

foxhole orders said no one left the hole for any reason as I pointed out we

seeded the night to the enemy from caves and tunnels within our lines and units

these adversaries in infiltrated our positions they sought to come into our

holes and kill with knives bay nuts bayonets or guns some simply moved in

close enough to toss in a hand grenade if they found the occupants on the alert

for them so we declared open season on anyone moving around above ground to

combat this type of warfare each foxhole comprised more or less a mini fortress

within itself the man on watch with weapon ready sat near the top of the

hole so had a panoramic view of his surroundings

this proved vital as the deadly nocturnal infiltrators came in from all

directions while on watch you had to stay mentally alert clear-headed and

responsive to any movement near your position a moving shadow in the night