View Full Version : Map may help find Marine’s remains

09-25-05, 12:31 PM
Map may help find Marine’s remains

A West Side man has given Bob Bolus information that could help identify the site on Iwo Jima where Marine Corps Sgt. Bill Genaust died.

Michael P. Carrera, a Marine veteran of the battle for that Pacific island, carried home as a war souvenir a map showing caves and enemy positions. Mr. Bolus said he believes it would be helpful locating the site — Cave 362A — where Sgt. Genaust was shot to death.

Mr. Bolus wants to find Sgt. Genaust’s remains and return them to the United States. He says he has downloaded troop movements from day one of the battle, hoping to learn definitely whether Sgt. Genaust was carried as killed in action or listed as missing in action.

Sgt. Genaust, whose movie camera captured the historic flag-raising on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, never saw the results of his work. He died nine days later, shot to death as he and other Marines checked Cave 362A for enemy troops. One account says Sgt. Genaust was the initial target because he was holding a flashlight.

Marines who died were listed as killed in action if their bodies were recovered. Those whose remains were not found were missing in action. Sgt. Genaust was MIA because rather than attempt to rout the Japanese from the cave, the Marines tossed in explosives and sealed the entrance, entombing Sgt. Genaust.

Mr. Bolus says his research indicates the cave had several other entrances “and maybe some dogholes” that would enable occupants to escape. “It’s not likely they would have trapped themselves with only one exit,” he said.

Wherever Sgt. Genaust lies, he does not want for company. Marines are still landing on Iwo Jima, more than 60 years after taking the island with their blood, bullets and bayonets.

Every year, Marine Corps veterans of that fierce battle return — to remember what happened there, and those who died.

Those former warriors, like Michael P. Carrera, might just point him to the location of Sgt. Genaust’s remains, Mr. Bolus said.

“Marines fly in there,” he said. “They go to Okinawa and Tokyo and get charter pilots to take them.” He said two airfields remain on the almost-deserted isle, remnants of World War II. The island holds a unique fascination for veterans of the battle. Mr. Bolus said he talked with one Marine Corps vet who brings back small bottles of Iwo Jima sand. These he sells to other veterans for $2 or $3 a bottle.

Mr. Bolus said he is still waiting for the government in Tokyo to respond to a query for information about Japanese military sites on the island. If the approximate site of the cave can be determined, he hopes to use a global positioning satellite device to pinpoint the location.

Other Marine vets, like Mr. Carrera, could provide advice, he said.

He has been attempting to reach a wider audience, sending his story to national television personalities. If he gets to the island, Mr. Bolus said, he will need a geologist and a forensics specialist. “Of course, there’s no guarantees for anything,” Mr. Bolus said. “Just a piece of bone, anything that’s preserved.”