Greg Columbus, Herschel Woody Williams, Guam discussed on Veterans Chronicles


You couldn't see them until it was too late. Did you wear protective gear? You mentioned all the things you couldn't carry with you if you had the flame thrower, did you have to protect coverings to make sure you didn't burn yourself? Not a bit. We weren't that smart. No, one we were training. We learned rather quickly. You do not fire into the wind, because you're going to get the result, not him. And if you fire it at body shoulder level, it doesn't go anywhere simply because of wind resistance. It burns out before it can go anywhere. That's why this gunnery sergeant came up with the idea of firing it on the ground and let it roll. Because the wind resistance wasn't there. And I don't know whether any other outfit ever did that or not. I have no idea. I've never talked to another flamethrower operator that just have an encountered one. With some other some of the other combination. And I'd like to we'll come right back on veterans chronicles. Welcome back to veterans chronicles. I'm Greg Columbus, honored to be joined today by Herschel woody Williams, Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima. And we're now at the stage of your story where we can talk about the Battle of Iwo Jima, February 1945. Take us ashore. Okay, when we boarded the ship off Guam, that's where we had lived since we had taken Guam in the previous July in August. We had a more chip. Brought out a board that had a diagram on it that outlined the looks of Iwo Jima. And that's where we first learned, where we were going, and the night of it. And but we were a reserve division to the fourth and 5th divisions. And each one of those divisions had 20,000 people in them. So we were just a backup, in case they would need us, and we were told that probably we would never get off ship. They would get us together up on the top deck. Everybody sit down and they would brief us. And of course, they would do that over and over because we had about 20,000 people on that ship. That would probably be gone. 5 days, and then not be used, didn't think they would have to have it. Because the island was only two and a half miles. Wide, and 5 miles long, and were just taking Guam that I think was 16 miles from coastline to coastline. So nobody could have imagined that it was going to take that long to take 36 days to take that little piece of rock. And we didn't have any intelligence about The Rock at all. The only thing that we apparently knew for sure is the underwater demo people from the navy had gone in and cleared the coastline where the haggis books were going to come in to make sure they weren't bombed the boat shop..

Coming up next