Iwo Jima 1995
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    Iwo Jima 1995

    Well, our ship, the MV 1st Lt Jack Lummus, named after a Medal of Honor winner in Iwo Jima was asked to attend the 50th anniversary of that battle. I was on this vessel working as a military equipment mechanic. We pulled into Iwo Jima, but not to a port or anything. We were way too big, so we used our ships ZODIAC. Rode the boat to a point not quite on the beach. The driver said the swells were too high so if anyone wanted to go to shore, we had to wade in. Wade in my ass. I jumped in and sank. There was no bottom. I grabbed the straps from my bag and swam in riding in with a wave. The shore line was deep only about a foot or two from the shore. It dropped off. So I made it to shore, took my camera out which I had water proofed. I was able to take a lot of pictures of Iwo Jima. I didn't go to the top of Suribachi, but being there was good enough for me. I saw several old veterans walking along the beach. They came in by airplane. Our ship provided the backdrop for their reunion. Excellent timing for me to be on Iwo Jima. Right place, right time. I cannot say the same for those before me in 1945. Unbelievable footing, must have been horrible.

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  2. #2
    One of the Merchant Marines on our ship, a baker, had his old man ride the ship with us. He was a Marine fighter pilot attacking shipping off of Iwo Jima. I understood on the day we pulled up to Iwo Jima, he was with the Captain of the vessel on the bridge as an honored guest, and he broke down from emotions on that morning. I had the pleasure of talking to the old man. What was really neat was he worked for some company and lived in the Philippines where his son sort of grew up and spoke Filipino. When this guy talked in Tagalog, all the Filipinos would freak out. This white guy speaking Tagalog. That's a site to see indeed.

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