Postcard from Iwo Jima foxhole – WW2


Iwo Jima 1

The text of this card is printed below.  After some research, I believe Emery put the wrong year on this card. It should be 1945. ~ sekanblogger

Iwo Jima 2

(from) Pcf. Emery B. Schwartz  904965 – Co. A. 5th tank Bn. – 5th Marine Div. FMF – c/o F.P.O. San Fransisco

(to) Leon & Betty Hodges – 2409 E. Kellog – Wichita, Kansas

(body of text) Iwo Jima – March 18, 1944

Dear Leon & Betty,

  What have you kids been doing all the time since I’ve been gone? Alice says that Leon kept the kids amused the other night by drawing them pictures. I hope you keep drawing alot as it will come in very useful in many ways later on. On the way here a boy on the ship drew a different scene nearly every day. How are you getting along in school? Tommorrow will make one month staying in a foxhole every night. I’ve only had my shoes off three nights and things have been plenty rough all the time. I hope you study hard in school and learn a profession so you won’t have to go through this. I have to put this Japanese card in an envelope as they won’t accept it otherwise.  Love, Emery

———

(for the official Marine report from Iwo Jima on March 18, see below.) Please notice the casualty count. (X marks the end of sentence)

This is only the 5th Div report, the 3rd and 4th Div were also at Iwo Jima.

SECRET                                    18 MAR 45

FROM:       5TH MAR DIV
TO  :       VAC                     INFO: EXTROPAC  X  3D AND 4TH MAR DIVS

THIS IS SECRET X DISPATCH SUMMARY FOR THE PERIOD 171700 TO 181700 FOLLOWS X
ONLY MINOR ACTIVITY OCCURRED ON THE DIVISION FRONT DURING THE NIGHT X

IN CT 26 Z OF A THERE WERE LIGHT INFILTRATION ATTEMPTS AND OCCASIONAL HAND GRENADE EXCHANGES X THE JAPS USED SMOKE AT 2210
ON THE FRONT OF LT 3/26 FOR AN UNDETERMINED PURPOSE X IN CT 28 Z O A HEAVY SMALL ARMS FIRE WAS RECEIVED ON THAT PART OF THE FRONT
OCCUPIED BY THE PIONEER BATTALION BUT NO ATTACK DEVELOPED X

AT DAWN LT 1/28 OBSERVED THAT 4 OUT OF A PARTY OF 7 JAPS IN FRONT OF THE LINES WERE WEARING MARINE UNIFORMS X DURING DAYLIGHT THE JAPS OFFERED BITTER RESISTANCE IN THE NATURALLY STRONG DEFENSIVE POSITIONS IN 234J  AND IN THE ROCKY GORGE RUNNING TO THE SEA IN 250W X

MANY CAVES WERE FOUND IN THE AREA NORTH OF THE GORGE BUT FLAME TANKS WERE QUITE SUCCESSFUL IN FLUSHING JAPS FROM THESE CAVES X THESE CAVES FURNISHED THE STRONGEST DEFENSIVE POSITION AVAILABLE TO THE JAPS COUPLED WITH THE DIFFICULT TERRAIN WHICH MADE MOVEMENT OF TANKS AND BULLDOZERS SLOW AND TORTUROUS X

THE FIRE RECEIVED TODAY WAS MAINLY SMALL ARMS MACHINE GUN AND LIMITED AMOUNTS OF LIGHT CALIBER MORTAR FIRE X THERE ARE 33 TANKS OPERATIONAL OF WHICH 5 ARE FLAME THROWERS 2 OF THESE FLAME THROWERS ARE FROM THE 4TH MAR DIV X FRONT LINES AS OF 1700 X 250W CENTER TO 234I EAST CENTER 234O CENTER TO 235K NORTHWEST TO 234E CENTER TO 240X CENTER X

CASUALTIES AS OF 1500 X KIA 84 OFFICERS 1674 ENL X WIA 246 OFFICERS 5819 ENL  X

MIA 4 OFFICERS 208 ENL X SK 17 OFFICERS 813 ENL X

TOTAL CASUALTIES 351 OFFICERS 8514 ENL X INTERRED IN DIV CEMETERY 68 OFFICERS 1729 ENL 43 UNIDENTIFIED X AWAITING INTERMENT 20 X

ENEMY CASUALTIES 10197 X POW 51 X SUPPLY 36 AIR EVACUATIONS DURING LAST 24 HOURS X 26 DISTILLATION UNITS IN OPERATION X 28150 GALLONS OF WATER PRODUCED DURING LAST 24 HOURS X 65000 GALLONS IN DIV DUMP X

FOLLOWING NUMBER OF RDS INFANTRY AMMUNITION RECEIVED DURING LAST 24 HOURS X 60MM MORTAR ILLUMINATING 672 X FRAGMENTATION HAND GRENADES 2000 X ILLUMINATING HAND GRENADES 1500 X

13TH MARINES BEGAN REEMBARKING OVER WHITE BEACH X HIGH SURF AND ROUGH SEAS INTERFERING WITH LOADING X SUPPLY SITUATION SATISFACTORY X NO CHANGE IN LOCATION OF COMMAND POSTS X

RAY A. ROBINSON
COLONEL, USMC
CHIEF OF STAFF

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9 Comments

Filed under AMERICANA, History, Kansas, Postcards, WAR

9 responses to “Postcard from Iwo Jima foxhole – WW2

  1. Wow , that is so sad as it is interesting. But guess what Sekan, Mr Emery B. Schwartz may still be alive. He is registered on the Waller/Lincoln Park Alumni Newsletter. If you scroll down the page of this link he is listed on page 11, under headline BRAVO! FOR ALLWHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED OR RENEWED MEMBERSHIP
    His name is on the first column 24th name down! You owe me a drink 🙂

    http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:cx5vlf9ce5oJ:lincolnparkhs.org/ourpages/alumni_newsletters/022Winter2008.pdf+Emery+B.+Schwartz+Iwo+jima&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk

  2. Cristina

    Sekan, I’m wondering where you found this letter? Is it in your possession? Have you tried tracking down the owner? This is such a fascinating story.

    • Hi Cristina!
      I have the postcard. I got it at an estate sale in Parsons Kansas, probably 10 years ago. I have no idea where that owner got the card, but he had an odd variety of war memorabilia. Being a poor man, I only bought two items; this card and a Russian Army shovel.
      I have made a first attempt to contact somebody, just this morning. See the Friggin Loon’s post above.

  3. JCH

    The letter appears perfectly legitimate, but Emery was on Iwo Jima on March, 18, 1945, not 1944.

    He is listed on the roster for the 5th Tank Battalion. He is not listed as being WIA or MIA, so Emery made it through unscathed – other than a psychological wound. It was horrendous combat – 100,000 heavily armed men on a 36-day campaign to kill one another on an island of about 8 square miles.

  4. No member of my family was in the combat during “the” war. In watching the Ken Burns’ version, I ended up understanding the impression of the tenacity of the Japanese, and at least better understanding why we chose to (so far) be the only nation to have used nuclear weapons.

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