assigned in September , 1946 to the 147ACS Squadron as
a final controller in the GCA trailer.
still Japanese Marines prisoners in a stockade while US
writers were detailing the history of the
two items, a picture of me with a Japanese sword I found
in one of the dark, dreary underground caves; the
other is a signed statement of a trade I made with one of my
buddies in that he was returning home.
I remember the
captured Japanese Marines yelling at us as we passed them,
they were in shackles and chains. They were cleaning up the
debris after a massive typhoon. They yelled in English
"F..... Babe Ruth!
He was the one
person they related too after the war, we responded by
saying the same about Emperor Hirohito.
We would tie
cord around each of our waists as we toured the dark caves
with machine guns, I understand that there was an
article in 1949/50, N. Y. World Telegram describing a Japanese
Marine that surrended during that period!
noticed that our garbage cans were disturbed, but thought
the rats had been in the cans.
borrow automatic weapons and take flood lights to the caves
at night. The caches of Japanese rice in the
caves were feeding grounds for the rats.
these incidents because of the history, loneliness and of
the stories that were told to us by other service people
between the end of the war and then.
In the USMC
cemetery below MT. Suribachi the graves of Sgt. Johnny
Basilone and his dog rested.
that the Congressional Medal of Honor winner was taken for
burial back to the states after I left.
transferred to Nichols Field in Manila in December of 1946,
and because I lost everything to wear in the typhoon, I had
a pair of Japanese knickers, a USN shirt, another Japanese
sword, a small ditty bag, and I had not had a
haircut in months. When I reported to the base the staff on
duty asked me "What Army are you with?"
I look back
now at those years and realize that life offers us many
experiences, good and bad.
But it is a
To view images taken by the web master on World War II
Stories -- In Their Own Words during his year on Iwo Jima,
please click on the following link to my World War II
Stories Photo Album:
II Stories: Iwo Jima Photo Album
Did YOU serve on Iwo Jima?
know that there is a group of veterans who have gotten
together to form an association of servicemen, no matter
what branch of service, who served at one time or another
starting at the invasion of the island on February 19, 1945
and continuing until the island was eventually returned to
the Japanese in 1968?
the Iwo Jima Memoirs web site wish to
offer to Mr. Raoul M. Ilaw our most profound THANK YOU
for his poignant story of his personal experiences -- during
his tour of Iwo Jima and especially for allowing us to share
Original story transcribed on 22 October 2007
Did YOU serve on
YOU have a story to tell?
have a picture or pictures
that tells a story?
Contact me, Joe Richard and I can help by
adding YOUR story to my site devoted to veterans who served
on Iwo Jima.
Check out my
other web site on World War II. Click on the Image