Segment 9


The casualties were so great on Iwo Jima that privates would become leaders of platoons. Squad leaders would become platoon commanders and so forth. The chain of command was constantly being readjusted. On Iwo Jima it was all frontal assaults. It was hard to pull flanking movements and so forth.Mervosh landed on Blue Beach Two. The fortifications across Turkey Knob and the amphitheatre and some of the other named sections of the island were the same. The fighting was the same but each different area required different types of fighting and improvisation to take care of the enemy.Mervosh had a friend on Iwo named Sergeant Alfred Oksendahl. Oksendahl had been on Midway and told Mervosh on Iwo Jima that he had never seen anything like this before. Later that day as Oksendahl had just finished his foxhole, it took a direct hit from a Japanese shell. Mervosh noted that he could have picked up the remains with a shovel.Mervosh notes another time when he and three Marines were in a foxhole that took a direct hit. He received a piece of shrapnel in his eyelid. If his eye had been open he would have definitely lost the eye.


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