Monday, May 28, 2012


Click on the letter to see it full sized.

This is my husband's Uncle Leo.  He was 19 years old and was one of the first Marines to go to Iwo Jima to fight during WWII.  He was part of a war dog platoon and had a dog named Rusty.

He was killed in action on March 5, 1945.  The letter above was probably the last letter he wrote to his parents before leaving Hawaii to go to Iwo Jima.  You'll notice the letter was not dated and said, Somewhere in the South Pacific.  They were not allowed to reveal their location.  The return address on the envelope was division headquarters, and they all used that address when writing home.

Leo was Ted's Dad's brother.  Ted's father was also fighting on Iwo Jima, but didn't know his own brother had been killed until he got injured and was being treated for a gunshot wound.  The Red Cross asked if there was anything they could do for Ted's Dad.  He asked if they could find out the status of his brother, Leo, and they were unable to find out any information.

Another Marine living in the same town as Ted's Dad found out about Leo's death because his family had mailed him the obituary.  He showed it to Ted's father and that is how he found out about his brother.

He was buried on Iwo Jima in the 4th Marine Division Cemetery, and two years later his body was moved to Punchbowl Cemetery in Oahu, Hawaii.  Ted and I have visited his gravesite in Hawaii.

Remembering all the men, women, and dogs that have served our country over the years ~


Laura said...

What a wonderful tribute to leo and how heartwrenching, especially for ted's dad and both of their parents.

BeadedTail said...

Beautiful tribute to Leo. It's very special to have his letter. He was a brave young man.