Wwii Marine Corps Letter, 4th Marine Division. Killed In Action At Iwo Jima 1945
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Wwii Marine Corps Letter, 4th Marine Division. Killed In Action At Iwo Jima 1945:
This isa long and very scarce original WWII letter, writtenin 1944 byacorporal in the United States Marine Corpswhowas killed in actionin the 1945 battle forIwo Jima. This marine was killedon the 23rd ofFebruary 1945, while serving in F Company, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.
*** This letter was written byCorporal Raynor A. Michelsen, who was killed at Iwo Jimaon 23 February 1945. On Iwo Jima Corporal Michelsen servedinF Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. Before transferring to F Company of the 25th Marines in late 1944 Corporal Michelsen had servedin the 4th Service Battalion, 4th Marine Division, in the 1944 campaigns on Kwajalein, Saipan, and Tinian.
There is outstandingcontent in this long letter. Corporal Michelsen had recently participated in his first campaign, on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. There is good content about Michelsen's experiences there. He describes being sent on a detail to bury Japanese bodies in a mass grave:
"There is one night on the island I'll never forget. About a dozen of us were told to report to an officer in a nearby area - we were under the impression that we were going to obtain cartons of cigarettes to be issued to the troops. When we reported to the given place however, each of us was given a shovel... We went with our shovels to a point about half a mile away and discovered what our duties were - we were to fill in a large shellhole in which reposed about twenty dead J_ps."
Michelsen explains that numerous vehicles had been captured, including an American made sedan: "The roof had been knocked out, and every time it passed our area there was a small group of marines standing up in the back, grinning, yelling, and having a good time in general." Some Japanese trucks had been captured as well, and these were used to carry away Japanese bodies:
"There were also one or two J_p trucks, which were pressed into service despite their apparent twenty years of age. The use into which they were pressed was the most fitting too; they were used to haul dead J_ps to be buried."
There is much more. The marines were plagued in their foxholesby rats. A shell-shocked cat had arrived in Michelsen's area and had initially been welcomed, but was chased away when it failed to hunt the rats in thearea. There were also some dogs in the area, but they could not understand commands in English, as they had previously belonged to the Japanese.
Two full pages of the letter were removed by the censor. The censor made a note of this on the last page.
Ascarce andinteresting original WWII letter, written by acorporal in the 4th Marine Division who later fought at Saipan, then Tinian, and was later killed in action early in the battle for Iwo
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