Met an Iwo Jima vet - Page 4
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  1. #46

    An update

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Clay View Post
    Hi, I was googling the LST 758 which I do once in awhile. My Dad was USCG, Gunner's Mate 1st. James H. Scott. He was part of the original crew that picked the ship up at the Yard outside Pittsburgh. Dad was the aaa fire control officer for the Forward Bofors batteries on the 758. Aka "Guns". His guntub was the one with Mammy Yokum making a fist painted on it.
    The 758 had a Coast Guard crew and a Navy Capt. Of the 14 LST's in the Iwo Squadron, 9 had USCG crews.

    The Amphib. group the LST 758 belonged to was called "Island Hoppers" Main reason being that they frequently carried Marine raider groups. 1-2 LST's would drop them off at one end of any one of a thousand tiny islands and pick them up at the other end. It was during these small actions that they discovered how effective 40mm Bofors guns can be in close in support.
    The 758 went in to unload on the 3rd day at Iwo Jima. They were almost on the line separating red from green beaches.
    The 758 is where the flag used in the Rosenthal photo came from. Just after the flag raising, the 758 took a near miss at the stern which bent her screws. Unable to back off the beach the 758 was there for the next 5 days waiting for a sea going tug to pull them off. "I had a grandstand seat for something I truly wish I could forget entirely".
    Dad hasn't ever talked much about those 5 days. A good deal of it was blocked for many years. I would imagine that isn't uncommon with Iwo survivors.

    ADDED- The 758 later carried units of the 5th USMC into Okinawa, though that was primarily an Army op.
    It had also carried USMC raider units in support of the landings at Leyte Beach.

    Dad is still with us. He hits 90 next month. He's had a couple of strokes in the last year. However, the recall, while a little slower than it was, is still amazingly sharp. " Most times I can't remember what I had for breakfast this or any other morning, but I can still tell you what I had for breakfast on the morning of Feb. 19th".

    There are now less than 10 of the 758's crew left alive. The last to pass was 1st Officer Ensign George Peabody.
    I know that Dad would be willing to answer any questions and Emails. It would also be very good for him to have to work his memory a little harder than usual.
    However, realist that I am, I would suggest that you not wait too long.

    BTW- I do know that he has some great stories about the trip from Saipan to Iwo. And mainly regarding interaction with the Marines they had on Board. It was those Marines who gave him the Nick of "Guns".

    Dad, James H Scott, USCG, turned 93 this year. He's still very aware and lucid. Still drives a mile to the store etc. He is now the last living member of the crew of LST 758.

    He's still able and willing to answer questions. I do know he'd like to here from any other Iwo survivor, there are damn few left.

    There has always been 3 days that he blocked from memory. After many years and some research, I think I've figured it out.
    Dad was one of 2 gunners[he on the 758 and another gunner on anothe LST] who opened up on the "night banzi charge" that almost broke through to where the wounded were staged for evac the next morning.

    He did this knowing that "our guys" were up there, and he likely killed some of them. He's had to live with that all these years. However, if the Japanese had broken through the slaughter would have been horrendous.

  2. #47
    Guest Free Member
    God bless your Dad, brother!

  3. #48
    Guest Free Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Providence County
    Great post !!!
    Prayers Outbound for continued good health for your Dad.

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