Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

In Marine Platoon Raising Flag at Iwo Jima

Dyce, Graydon,
                                  Iwo Jima          April 1945

    Graydon Dyce, with the 5th division of the 28th Marines ... in the bloodiest battle of all history ... on Iwo Jima ... has the distinction of being in the flag platoon, raising the first American flag at Mt. Surbachi, pictures of which have appeared in the large daily papers of the country recently. There were several pictures taken of various groups of Marines on various  occasions, about the American flag, which caused some confusion about the first official picture, but in an interesting letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Dyce, Graydon confirms the story about his platoon being the first to reach the top of Mt. Surbachi.
    However, the picture combining the "Spirit of 76", originating with the New York Sun, is the one being used by the US government on placards promoting the Seventh War Loan Drive ... one of the flag bearers being selected to tour the states in promotion of the bond drive. Graydon's letter is as follows:

Dear folks,
     Suppose by this time you have guessed where I am. Yep, that's right, Iwo Jima. I am safe and sound thanks to your prayers and mine.
      Keep your eyes open for pictures and write-ups on the raising of the first flag on Mt. Surbachi. It was we who raised it. Our platoon was the only one to reach the top of Mt. Surbachi and was the fifth man on the crater's rim.
    We had a nice time with the Nips in the caves. Our Platoon Sergeant  whose name is Thomas,  made a nationwide broadcast and news photographers snapped pictures of us for a couple of days.
    I hope to get some pictures of the ceremony to send to the parents of my buddies who were killed ... and there are plenty of them.
    I had a keen bunch of souvenirs but had the same luck Quentin did Somebody snitched them. I had two Nip rifles, a bayonet, two Jap flags,, pictures, fan and chopsticks and lots of such gear.
I had them all rolled up in my blanket and when I came back from the line I didn't even have a blanket. Oh how I would like to catch that guy! I also had a thousand stitch belt which the Japs wear as a symbol of good luck. The Japs wrap their flag around them when they go into battle.
    I'm perfectly safe and sound so don't worry. I am now out of action and getting plenty of good chow and plenty of "sack time".
    Well I'll sign off for now. Write Sis and Quent for me and let them in on the "scoop" as I won't have time.
    All my love, Grady 



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