Ross whitney usmc

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Dedication to my father who sacrificed and paid a significant price for American freedom.

Dedication to my father who sacrificed and paid a significant price for American freedom.

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  • Hello Bob! This picture has been sent. My mission is to help children of Iwo vets know their dads' better since so many did not talk about their combat experiences. I was fortunate to publish an article in the 5th Marine Division Association news paper - The Spearhead - with this mission in mind. I've had a couple of responses from children of vets, which has been very gratifying.
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  • My dad was a survivor of E-2-23. Is there a way I could get a copy of Jim Reed's photo? Sgt Bob Irons Jr USMC 1970-74
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  • My dad was a survivor of E-2-23 and is probably in this photo. Is there a way I could get a copy?
    Sgt Bob Irons Jr USMC 1970 - 74
    birons@cfl.rr.com
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  • 1. Flag of My Father Dedicated to Ross A. Whitney, Jr.
  • 2. A story about faith, family and valor. • Dad was baptized at 12 • Honor – right response to attack on Pearl Harbor • Courage – tried to join USMC @ 15 years of age • Commitment – Graduated H.S. early – Father signed waiver – V12 officer training – Marine Raider initially* Letters from Aunt Mearle * View Internet Dedication www.ww2gyrene.org/photoalbum_32.htm
  • 3. America wanted Iwo Jima for its airbases, but it was Japanese soil. • Eliminate early warning & intercept by Japanese • Better bombing by U.S. – Closer to Tokyo – Fighter escort • 2,251 B-29 damaged bomber landings saved over 24,700 airmen from potential death at sea • Invaded 19 Feb. 1945 • Officially ended 26 March • Returned to Japan in ‘68
  • 4. Dad was in the first wave. • Dad landed Red 1 • Company E 2-27 • 27th Regiment* landed with about 3,310 men • 5th Division • Move to West coast • D-day objective North to airfield number 2 • Kitano Point goal * A “Regiment” is frequently referred to as “Marines” in USMC terminology.
  • 5. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was the genius who made Iwo Jima the hardest* USMC victory to date. D-day Progress, Iwo Jima, 19 February, 1945 * Only victory in WWII where Marine casualties were higher than Japanese
  • 6. The “… finest fighting organization in the world …”* would win … Dad in mortar training, top row second from right, Camp Tarawa, Hawaii, 1944. 45% would be casualties on Iwo. Source: The Spearhead, Conner * General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur on USMC
  • 7. “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” - Admiral Chester Nimitz • “… unit with outstanding performance in action ... • … extraordinary heroism … teamwork … • … obedience, sobriety, military proficiency, neatness and intelligence • … service … • … occupation of Japan.” DefinitionsDad’s Awards
  • 8. Presidential Unit Citation Presidential Unit Citation for Iwo Jima The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to ASSAULT TROOPS OF THE FIFTH AMPHIBIOUS CORPS, (REINFORCED) UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following citation: "For extraordinary heroism in action during the seizure of enemy Japanese-held Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, February 19-28 1945. Landing against resistance which rapidly increased in fury as the Japanese pounded the beaches with artillery, rocket and mortar fire, the assault troops of the FIFTH Amphibious Corps* inched ahead through shifting black volcanic sands, over heavily mined terrain, toward a garrison of jagged cliffs barricaded by an interlocking system of caves, pillboxes, and blockhouses commanding all approaches. Often driven back with terrific losses in fierce hand-to-hand combat, the Assault Troops repeatedly hurled back the enemy's counterattacks to regain and hold lost positions, and continued the unrelenting drive to high ground and Motoyama Airfield No. 1, captured by the end of the second day. By their individual acts of heroism and their unfailing teamwork, these gallant officers and men fought against their own battle-fatigue and shock to advance in the face of the enemy's fanatical resistance; they charged each strongpoint, one by one, blasting out the hidden Japanese troops or sealing them in; within four days they had occupied the southern part of Motoyama Airfield No. 2; simultaneously they stormed the steep slopes of Mount Suribachi to raise the United States Flag; and they seized the strongly defended hills to silence the guns commanding the beaches and ensure the conquest of Iwo Jima, a vital inner defense of the Japanese Empire." For the President, John L. Sullivan, Secretary of the Navy * Assault troops are select battalions of regiments. A “corps” is a military group typically three divisions or more; in the case of Operation Detachment (Iwo Jima), 3rd, 4th and 5th Divisions.
  • 9. Cost was staggering! Dad with his fire team was one of less than 500 of the 27th Marines remaining.* * Source: Iwo Jima, Legacy of Valor by Bill D. Ross, 1985, 1986, Page 325 Good friend Jack Wiedenbeck died on Iwo.
  • 10. Cost for dad was high. • Faith – “No God” • Father - divorce • Future – lost friends, education, families, jobs from “restlessness.” Source: Aunt Mearle, 1999, Grandmother’s scrap book, 1930s and 40s
  • 11. I miss you Dad – My Hero! Dad at Rest Camp after Iwo Jima, Hawaii, 1945
  • 12. They were indeed “the greatest generation.“ – Tom Brokaw
  • 13. Ralph Simoneau was D company 2-27 and survived with Dad. Ralph invited me to the 58th 5th Marine Division Association Reunion in Raleigh
  • 14. William Wick was F-2-27 with “Devil Dog” son passing on warrior spirits.
  • 15. F Co. landed in hell and was consumed 25 days later. F Company D-Day 19 Feb.* * About 225 – 270 men per company, 4 co. plus HQ & Services per battalion (Bn) "F" Company returned to bivouac area near Bn CP at 0740. "D" Company completed mopping up mission and returned to bivouac area near Bn CP at 1130. Remaining personnel of "E" and "F" Company were reorganized into one company under command of Lt. Tilghman. One man was left in "F" Company to preserve its identity. D+25 16 March 2-27 Daily Report from Iwo
  • 16. Marine Raider and Paratrooper* are still “Gung Ho!” * Raider and Paratrooper units were disbanded in 1944 after their missions became unnecessary. Men like my father transferred into the 5th Division.
  • 17. Jim Reed was E-2-23, 4th Marine Division on Iwo and still very active. Clark Middle School, Frisco, Texas
  • 18. Jim was in the first wave too. Remains of “E” 4 March Waiting for Replacements Jim Reed’s Report • 23rd Marines • Company E, 2nd Bn • D-day objective was to capture airfield number two • Only 15 left in Co. E after 10 days of fighting • Jim wounded 16 days later • Returned ’08, walked 1 hour to the place it had taken 26 days to reach in March ‘45.
  • 19. Dad died with bitterness toward the Japanese, but Jim forgave. Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 12 March 2008 Suribachi (すり鉢 or 擂鉢) means grinding-bowl and so it was for 2-28 - 89% casualties by the end of the operation. Source: Flags of Our Fathers, Page 246
  • 20. God bless the United States and her Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen. Source: Grandmother’s scrap book, 1930s and 40s
  • 21. “Bear up bravely under the Cross.” http://wiki.whitneygen.org/wrg/index.php/Coat_of_Arms - Whitney Coat of Arms Moto