We learned recently of the passing one of our sweet Iwo Jima veterans: Mr. Jerell Crow. Mr. Crow was a Coast Guardsman during WWII, but the U.S. coast was the last place he was to be stationed. Taking part in the invasion of Iwo Jima, Mr. Crow landed some of the first waves of Marines onto the island and continued until all troops had been taken off the ship. Even 70+ years later, Iwo was a subject too difficult to talk about. "[I] have never wanted to go back. The first day there was all that I needed to remember it." And anyone who has read anything about the Battle for Iwo Jima understands why.
Before even Iwo Jima, Mr. Crow had already had his share of experiences. A newspaper clipping he sent us from shortly after the war says, "While serving on Guadalcanal, [Jerrell] Crow was operating a small boat carried on a destroyer. The boat making for shore, was attacked by the enemy and destroyed. Crow and the marines swam to the island, where they were out of contact with U.S. forces for 47 days. Only six of the men were alive when they were picked up after U.S. reinforcements came to the island. For wounds sustained and for his bravery, he received the Purple Heart, and the Silver Star."
Following Iwo Jima, came the landings at Okinawa and regrouping in the Philippines to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Thankfully this invasion never came, and after four long years, the war came to an end. Mr. Crow was one of the brave and silent men to serve our country when she needed him most, and for that he will never be forgotten.