February 19, 1945 … 70 years ago today the war in the Pacific is raging. In order to effectively and safety bomb Tokyo into submission, the Allies need a place for planes to emergency land and refuel if needed. The volcanic islands of Iwo Jima serve that exact purpose and they must be taken at all costs if victory in the Pacific is to be obtained. In the midst of all this is PFC John Felix Collie, my great-uncle.
Attached to the 9th Regiment of the 3rd Division of the US Marine Corps, Felix was in one of the very first waves to assault the island of Iwo Jima. The 9th Regiment had the distinction (a distinction which left the Regiment bloodied and battered) of being part of the main body who secured the first stretch of high ground against the entrenched Japanese forces.