Night Time Exposure of Mt. Surbachi, 1965 by Joe Richard




Rate / Rank

Service Branch

Service Dates
6/1937 - 2/1945




Iwo Jima Memoirs


Tom M. Trotti, Lt. Col.
3/26th, 5th Marine Division,
February 19-22, 1945
United States Marine Corps



      On Saturday November 24, 2007, we received the following information via my World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words guestbook entry... 7:37:15am

Your Name: Ginger Morton

City/Country: Chesterfield, SC

Referred By: Web Ring

Comments/Suggestions: Thanks for a great site on our military who served in the Pacific.



     My G-Uncle, LtCol. Tom Trotti of 5th Marine Division 3/26th was KIA on Iwo Jima on 22 FEB 45. I never knew him...never have had much information about him with the exception of the little bits and pieces I have found via the internet. The following is all I know about his service to our country...If by chance, anyone remembers him of anything about him, I would love to hear from you.


Tom Trotti, commander 3rd battalion, 26th regiment



TROTTI AND STAFF Battalion officers, 3/26, Trotti, seated center



     The advance on Iwo Jima was progressing more slowly than anticipated. In order to provide impetus for the attack on this fourth day of battle, Generals Rockey and Cates decided to effect relief of some front line units. On the corps' left flank, Colonel Grahams' 26th Marines moved out at daybreak with the mission of relieving RCT 27 and continuing the attack northward. Upon the passage of lines, 1/26, already at the front, was to revert to its parent regiment and 2/27, in 27th Marines reserve, would become attached to RCT 26.

     The 21st Marines moved out at 0500 to relieve RCT 23 (with 2/24 attached) on the left of the 4th Division. At such time as this relief was completed, the 23d Marines (less mortar platoons of the 1st and 3d Battalions) would take up positions along the northeastern part of Airfield Number 1 as VAC reserve. The mortar platoons were to remain in position to support the attack of RCT 21. The 25th Marines, with 1/24 attached, would remain on the division right, while the 24th (less 1/24) continued as division reserve.

     With its 1st, 2d, and 3d Battalions abreast from left to right, Colonel Graham's 26th Marines relieved RCT 27. The move was made in a miserable downpour of rain, under extremely heavy enemy fire, and as preparations for continuing the attack began, so did a series of unfortunate events.

     As so often happens in battle, the relief of front line units while under heavy fire brought about confusion and disruption. Information concerning adjacent units was insufficient, contact not what it might have been, and attack orders hastily issued. Lieutenant Colonel Tom M. Trotti's 3d Battalion extended 200 yards into the 4th Division's zone and received demoralizing fire from a bluff on its right flank. This elevation was 100 feet high in spots, and ran down the west center of the island, curving across the 5th Division's front near Airfield Number 2.

     Rather than attempt immediate adjustment of lines by lateral movement, Trotti decided to accomplish this move gradually while advancing toward the O-2 line. But heavy Japanese fire from the dominant ground on the right flank permitted only minor gains and caused many casualties. At about 0940, while attempting to pull his battalion together, Lieutenant Colonel Trotti was killed, as was his operations officer, Major William R. Day. Since the battalion executive officer had previously been wounded and evacuated, Captain Richard M. Cook, commanding Company G, assumed command of the battalion, to be superseded at 1200 by Major Richard Fagan, 5th Division Inspector.

     By 1400, the centermost units of RCT 26 had gained about 400 yards, but with flanking units not abreast, it was necessary to pull the advanced troops back to more secure positions. Between 1630 and 1800, uncoordinated enemy counterattacks on the left flank, and to a lesser extent in the center, were repulsed by artillery and infantry fire. heavy fire from the bluff, as well as from positions to the front of the regiment, continued to fall in RCT 26's zone, but by 1730 the three battalions held goo positions for the night.



     Ginger Morton, Chesterfield, SC...g-niece of Tom M. Trotti.


South Connellsville Marine Given Purple Heart for Wounds

By SERGEANT JIMMIE DUGAN of Los Angeles, Calif., a Marine Corps Combat Correspondent.



     - Marine Private First Class George W. Weimer, of South Connellsville, Pa., recently was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in January, 1944, during the Bougainville campaign. Weimer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weimer, of 126 Hyndman street, was presented the medal by Marine Lieutenant Colonel Tom M. Trotti, of Chesterfield, S.C.

     Weimer attended South Connellsville High School prior to his enlistment in December, 1941.


Source: The Daily Courier, Thursday, March 22, 1945 Connellsville, Pennsylvania



Obituary found in Virginia Trotti Dormon Miller's personal Trotti book.  Probably from one of the Charleston, SC, newspapers.


Lt. Col. T. M. Trotti Killed in Action


     Word has been received in Charleston of the death of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Mulloy Trotti, who was killed in action February 22 on Iwo Jima, while commanding the Third battalion of the Fifth marine division.  His wife, the former Miss Jeanette Michel, of Charleston, who is residing at present in San Diego, Cal., was notified Tuesday by the war department, and sent word to her parents, Mr. and Mrs.  William Franklin Michel, of 90 Wentworth street.

     Colonel Trotti was born December 29, 1913, in Chesterfield, a son of the late Dr. Louis H. Trotti, of that place and his wife the former  Miss Margaret Hanna.  He was graduated in 1937 from the Citadel with a bachelor of science degree, after majoring in pre-medical studies.  In his senior year, he won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award and the General William Moultrie saber, presented by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

     Upon graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the marine corps, and after attending a parachute school, became a marine paratrooper instructor at Lakehurst, N. J.  He was promoted last year to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

     His marriage to Miss Michel took place August 20, 1940.

     Surviving are his widow; his mother; two brothers, both in the armed forces, and five sisters, one of whom is an officer in the WACs.


Obituary found in Virginia Trotti Dormon Miller's personal Trotti book.  From one of the Columbia, SC, newspapers.


Col. Tom Trotti Killed in Action


     Chesterfield, March 14 - (Special) Mrs. L. H. Trotti has been notified that her son, Lt. Col. Tom M. Trotti serving with the marine corps, was kill in action February 22.

      Lt. Col. Trotti entered the marin corps immediately after graduating from the citadel in 1937. He was a paratroop instructor before going overseas, first seeing action in the invasion of Guam.

      His wife now lives in California.


image of american flag

Taps for
Lt. Col. Tom Mulloy Trotti
22 February 1945
Entered Service: Chesterfield, SC
3/26th, 5th Marine Division
World War II Veteran
United States Marine Corps


The two photos above are courtesy of Richard Cook, son of Richard M. Cook who is mentioned in the article about the incident that took Tom Trotti's life.



Note: 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:

WW II Stories: Iwo Jima Photo Album 1965-1966


Did YOU serve on Iwo Jima?

Did you 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?

Iwo Veterans Organization



We, at the Iwo Jima Memoirs web site wish to offer to Ms. Ginger Morton our most profound THANK YOU for information with regards to her great uncle, Lt. Col. Tom. M Trotti -- of his experiences -- during his tour of Iwo Jima and especially for allowing us to share those memories.


Original story transcribed on 25 November 2007


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    Updated on 25 November 2007...1612:05 CST




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