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WWII Colorado Veteran Don ‘Whip’ Whipple Witnessed Flag Elevating On Iwo Jima – CBS Denver

(CBS4) – The raising of the flag on Iwo Jima is taken into account one of the crucial iconic pictures from World Battle II. A 96-year outdated former Marine in Westminster spent 36 days on the island and witnessed that historic second.

View of members of the United States Marine Corps 5th Division as they raise an American flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945. In 2019, the US Marine Corps positively identified the six men pictured (in no particular order) as Corporal Harlon Block (1924- 1945), Corporal Harold P Keller (1921 - 1979), Private First Class Ira Hayes (1923 - 1955), Private First Class Harold Schultz (1925 - 1995), Private First Class Franklin Sousley (1925 - 1945), and Sergeant Michael Strank (1919 - 1945).

View of members of america Marine Corps fifth Division as they elevate an American flag on Mount Suribachi in the course of the Battle of Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945. (credit score: Joe Rosenthal/Photograph 12/Common Pictures Group through Getty Pictures)

Don “Whip” Whipple grew up on a farm in Kansas however knew he wished to serve within the army. Along with his dad and mom’ permission, he enlisted within the Marine Corps in 1943 only a month shy of his seventeenth birthday.

“I had eight brothers,” Whipple mentioned. “And 4 of my brothers have been within the Navy and I believed I may do some higher than that. I could be within the Marine Corps.”

He instantly began coaching in amphibious touchdown drills in San Diego.

“We knew we have been coaching for one thing huge,” he mentioned. “They advised us they have been coaching us to land on an island of Iwo Jima. We didn’t know the place it was at or hadn’t thought any extra about it.”

Don Whipple

(credit score: CBS)

His unit landed on the seashore of Iwo Jima because the second wave in 1945.

“The Japanese had made a terrace all the best way up that seashore,” Whipple remembers. “So after we obtained as much as the highest of that terrace, I stood as much as see what was on the facet of it.”

That’s when a mortar landed proper in entrance of him. He suffered a concussion and shrapnel in his leg.

“My captain noticed me land there and he thought I used to be useless trigger I appeared useless as a mackerel.”

Amazingly, he survived.

Whipple was despatched to a hospital ship however requested his captain if he may keep along with his unit however was denied. After two days on the ship, Whipple and one other injured Marine hobbled their approach again to the seashore, in opposition to orders, to be with their fellow Marines.

“There’s camaraderie within the Marine Corps such as you’ve by no means identified in every other group,” Whipple mentioned. “You simply don’t wish to lose the remainder of your buddies.”

As a ahead observer, Whipple was tasked with directing artillery fireplace and he was rapidly advised to go to Mt Suribachi to be a lookout.

“They have been going up and I simply obtained in behind them,” he mentioned. “They have been a rifle group,”

A rifle group that may make historical past, and Whipple was watching and listening close by.

“He mentioned ‘We’re getting fairly near the highest, they’re searching for one thing to place the flag on,’” Whipple mentioned. “A second or two later they mentioned ‘Nicely they obtained the flag tied on and so they’re on the point of elevate it in a minute. In truth there it goes.’ I simply watched them elevate it up and it was the fun of my life.”

Don Whipple

(credit score: CBS)

And like the long-lasting picture, Whipple hopes the worth his associates and others paid for this nation isn’t forgotten.

He served within the Marines for 4 years and was finally awarded the Purple Coronary heart.

https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/11/11/don-whipple-wwii-colorado-veteran-witnesses-flag-raising-iwo-jima/ | WWII Colorado Veteran Don ‘Whip’ Whipple Witnessed Flag Elevating On Iwo Jima – CBS Denver

Huynh Nguyen

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