Iwo Jima April
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:
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
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
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
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