I joined the Marine Corps 7 September 1942 and went to Boot Camp at Parris Island, Platoon #750. Upon completion of Boot Camp I was sent to New River, N.C. and joined C-1-21 for a few weeks. When they shipped out I was transferred to L-3-23, which was still part of the 3rd Div. at that time.

On 2-15-43 the 23rd was detached from the 3rd Div. On 2-20-43 we became the fledgling 4th Div. On 5-1-43 the 23rd was split to form the 25th. I then became a member of the 3rd platoon of L-3-23 and stayed with that platoon. Through the war in those days we had nine men squads. I became a No. 2 scout and then moved up to a No. 1 Scout.

We then went to a 14 man squad with 3 sections to a squad, and I then became a section leader with three riflemen. Prior to Iwo Jima I became Squad Leader of the 3rd plt. assault squad which consisted of three teams of four men each, with a separate function. The "Pin-up" team had two BARs (Browning Automatic Rifles), three if you could appropriate another, one M1 rifle and a bazooka. The team leader carried a special pack with four bazooka rockets.

The demolition team was equipped with two sections of Banglore torpedos and four satchel charges (20lbs of C-2 per satchel).

The Flame Thrower team consisted of two flame throwers and two rifle men. As Squad Leader I also carried a pack with four bazooka rockets and a carbine. I also had my own personal 45 cal. pistol. The mission of the squad was to demolish pillboxes, machine gun nests, cave emplacements and tanks. I received a slight chest wound from a sniper on Hill 500 after we had stopped a bonzai charge. When we landed on Tinian a 6 ft Japanese marine came charging out of a spider hole firing a Namubu machine gun. Fortunately it jammed. After two rounds he creased my left side cracking a couple of ribs and sliced through my wrist with his bayonet. My rifle had a faulty round in the chamber. I was able to take his legs out from under him. I then worked a round into the chamber, moved the muzzle under his chin and pulled the trigger. I was then patched up by Scotty, our corpsman, and stayed for the rest of the operation.

I took it out of my holster, cocked it, and told him if he wanted it to come and get it.

On Iwo I was blown up on the beach in the 1st tank trap. Whatever it was, it blew me to the top (about 10 ft), blew my pack and carbine off my back, but didn't leave a scratch! Three days later in the quarry as I was rechecking a cave, three hand grenades came flying out and landed at my feet. I curled up like a ball, but got it from my chin to my knees. I then entered the cave killing the three occupants, recovered my pistol and was evacuated to the beach. On the beach some Navy man said he would have to take my pistol before I could go on the hospital ship. I took it out of my holster, cocked it, and told him if he wanted it to come and get it. He evidently changed his mind and left.

I was then evacuated to Guam and returned to my unit later. Shortly after that I was returned to the States with the rest of the men, who had been wounded twice. I vaguely remember leading a parade on V.J. Day in Attleboro, Mass.

Semper Fi!