New Hampshire Marine Raised the Flag at Iwo Jima
Love as ever,
The war irresistibly drew Rene toward combat. In September 1944, his division embarked for Hawaii to receive more specialized training. In January 1945, Rene left Hawaii aboard the troopship USS Missoula for a destination he knew only as “Island X.” Throughout it all, Rene continued writing home to New Hampshire.
On February 24, 1945, Rene wrote a hurried etter to Pauline from Iwo Jima. It was the day after the flag raising on Mount Suribachi, the extinct volcano that overlooked the island from its southern tip — an event he apparently did not consider important enough to mention.
24 Feb., 1945
Here’s a line to let you know I’m all right, and I hope to hear the same from you … Now I can tell you why I didn’t write: We were in action on Iwo Jima. You’ve probably read about it in the papers as it was a pretty tough battle — outside of being muddy, dirty, and needing a shave pretty bad, as we’ve been here quite a while. I’m all right, so I guess you’ll forgive me for not writing … I got your pictures with the evening gown aboard ship, so I put them in my helmet and [they] arrived there with me. I still got them and they’re not banged up too much. You still look beautiful, darling.
Love as ever,
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