Sixty-seven years ago this morning, Feb. 19, 1945, the Fifth Marine Division landed in a hell named Iwo Jima.
McLean resident James Wheeler was one of the thousands of teenage U.S. Marines who participated in the invasion. He saw the historic flag-raising Feb. 23. He also saw the death and horror that makes Iwo Jima not a name but an emotion.
He recalled the battle for Iwo Jima at a November's Veterans Day Observance in McLean.
Of all the Pacific island battles during World War II, Iwo Jima is the best known— and the deadliest.
Marines fought and died on Iwo Jima for an airfield. An airfield that became a base for the fighters that would accompany B-29's on bombing missions over Japan. And a airfield that was the salvation for B-29 crews in damaged planes.
Five airmen lived for every Marine who died.
We share James Wheeler's video story because we can never forget.
If you are a World War II veteran or the son or daugther of one of the heroes, please let us hear from you. And, thank you for saving the world.