The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Veterans share Iwo Jima stories at NE luncheon

By Lee Mendez

Two World War II veterans who fought in the famous battle of Iwo Jima told of their experiences at a NE Veteran’s Association luncheon Oct. 17.

The battle, which produced Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph featuring Marines raising a U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi, lasted 36 grueling days.

An estimated 20,000 Japanese soldiers were killed, and approximately 21,000 U.S. Marines and sailors were killed or wounded during the battle of Iwo Jima, three times the amount of casualties on D-Day.

Don Graves and Bill Scholl, both age 91, spoke about their time in the Marines and the trials they endured on Iwo Jima.

Scholl was part of the sixth wave of Marines to hit the beach during the initial land invasion of Iwo Jima.

He had quit high school to join the Marines.

“Everyone was joining, and it was something I had to do,” Scholl said about enlisting.

Graves was part of the third wave of Marines to land. He described his memories of the “black volcanic ash that [made] you sink into about 18 inches every time you took a step.”

Graves detailed how enemy fire rained down from Mount Suribachi adding an extra degree of difficulty in maneuvering up the beachhead.

Both veterans tell their stories on a regular basis to community organizations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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