African American Voices from Iwo Jima

Personal Accounts of the Battle


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About the Book

Nearly 900 African Americans fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, but accounts of their service have gone largely unrecorded. This book seeks to correct that omission for the sake of the brave Americans who served and for the sake of a more inclusive American history. Eleven veterans contribute their memories and experiences, starting with their youth in the Depression, their enlistment, the battle itself, and their experience of returning to a nation that continued to treat them as second-class citizens. Appendices include a history of the Montford Point Marines, a history of the Army’s 476th Amphibian Truck Company, a chronology of the Battle of Iwo Jima and a task organization chart for the participating U.S. forces.

About the Author(s)

Retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Clarence E. Willie is a former school district superintendent and now a consultant and grants evaluator.

Bibliographic Details

Clarence E. Willie
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 47 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4158-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5694-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Foreword by Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen      1

Foreword by Major General John R. Piatak      3

Preface      5

Introduction      11

Part One: Living in Prewar America and Answering the Call to Duty      13

1. Eleven Men Who Would Share an Extraordinary

Experience      19

2. Military Training      38

Part Two: The 36-Day Battle      55

3. Assignment to Iwo Jima      57

4. Going Ashore      69

5. Taking the Island      79

Part Three: Back in America      97

6. Coming Home      99

7. Life after Iwo Jima      109

8. Personal Memoirs      142

Appendix I: A Chronology of African American Service during World War II      183

Appendix II: Operation Detachment: The Battle for Iwo Jima      196

Appendix III: Task Organization for Iwo Jima      221

Appendix IV: Strategic Location of Iwo Jima to Mainland Japan      224

Appendix V: 476th Amphibian Truck Company      225

Appendix VI: 43rd Amphibian Truck Battalion      230

Appendix VII: History of Montford Point Marines      232

Appendix VIII: 8th Marine Ammunition Company Roster      235

Appendix IX: 33rd Marine Depot Company Roster      238

Appendix X: 36th Marine Depot Company Roster      240

Appendix XI: Executive Order 8802      243

Appendix XII: Executive Order 9981      245

Bibliography      247

Index      251

Book Reviews & Awards

“a significant contribution …highly recommended”—Choice.