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"When they fire those phosphorous shells there at night, you could hear the screamin.'" (Video Interview, Part 3, 8:37.1)

   William Brooks Allen
Image of William Brooks Allen
William Allen, 2002
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Marine Corps
Unit: Regimental Weapons Company, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
Service Location: Parris Island, South Carolina; Roi Island and Namur Island (Marshall Islands); Saipan and Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands); Iwo Jima; Pacific Theater
Rank: Sergeant
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Iwo Jima was William Allen's fourth island invasion in the Pacific Theater and by far the most horrible. Though he had been told the operation would last only 72 hours, the battle to take the island lasted almost a month. He was supposed to be among the first off the boat on the opening day of the battle, but he was held back by his commanding officer— and his replacement lasted only ten steps onto the beach before he was killed. The Japanese resistance was fierce, the island's terrain offered many hiding places, and the enemy offered a new piece of artillery: phosphorous shells whose fragments burned through clothing and skin. (Allen's account of Iwo Jima begins in Part 3 of the interview at the 4:30 mark.)

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (3 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4  (92 min.)
More like this
»The War
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (3 items)
The invasion of Iwo Jima against a determined enemy with a horrible new weapon (04:24) Coming in to the island on the first morning; escaping death twice by being reassigned to different locations. (03:12) How he was wounded and evacuated from Iwo Jima after eight days; raising two flags on Mt. Surabachi. (01:39)
  
 

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  October 26, 2011
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