Tuesday, March 15, 2011
March 15, 1945
Sixty-six years ago today Paw Paw was severely wounded on Iwo Jima by Japanese machine gun fire while directing tank fire against an enemy pill box, a buried concrete defensive position. To do that he had to stand up in clear view of the Japanese who had been tearing apart his company all day, talk on telephone attached to the tank, and fire tracer rounds into the pillbox. For his actions he was awarded the Silver Star and a Purple Heart, his fourth. He had been in combat on Iwo Jima for twenty-five days and nights and was within "a baseball throw" he said, of Kitano Point, the northern limit of the island. Iwo Jima would be declared "secured" the next day while he lay half-dead in a battalion aid station on the beach.