world war ii: usmc

On February 23, 1945 (72 years ago today) a 40-man patrol of U.S. Marines, not knowing if they would reach the top or not, summited the 545-foot extinct, volcano of Mount Suribachi and raised the first American flag over Japanese soil. Later, a second Marine patrol reached the top and raised a second, larger flag so the entire island could see the stars and stripes waving in the wind. Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, who witnessed the flag raising said, “The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.”

Private Marion Pillsbury assembles a .50 caliber machine gun at a Marine Corps base in San Diego.

From: USMC Archives

Chester Nez, last of original Navajo code talkers of World War II, dies

For more than two decades, Chester Nez kept silent about his role as one of the original Navajo code talkers responsible for developing an unbreakable code during World War II.

His death Wednesday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at age 93 was lamented by the Marine Corps as the end of an era – for both the country and its armed forces.

“We mourn his passing but honor and celebrate the indomitable spirit and dedication of those Marines who became known as the Navajo code talkers,” the Marines said in a statement.

Nez was the last remaining of the original 29 Navajos recruited by the Marine Corps to develop the legendary code that was used for vital communications during battle.

(From CNN)