Raymond Miller recalls famous WWII battle at Iwo Jima

“When the ramp went down on that landing craft, that’s when the war began for me,” Miller said. “You’re not the same person after that.”

His next six weeks were spent in battle with “highly trained, well-disciplined and intensely motivated fighters who lived with indescribable personal fears, most inhumane conditions and grinding fatigue — and still got the job done with pride, alive or dead,” Miller wrote. “I wish I were articulate enough to do the job right of telling it how it was.”

The experience that’s foremost in Miller’s memory involved his friend, identified in the book as Gus. The two were ordered to go into the field and search for wounded Marines.

“We hunkered down, not quite kneeling,” Miller recalled. “We were shoulder-to-shoulder and we heard some gunfire.”

“I remember saying to him: `Gus, that was a close one.’ I looked over to him, and he slipped to the ground. I said I’d go over and get some help.”

But it was too late. “The bullet that killed him was 4 inches from my shoulder,” Miller said. “He died in my arms.”


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