World War II Central Illinois Stories

Oral History Interview: Sam Weldon of Urbana


Pop Up Archive Item: “Oral History Interview: Sam Weldon of Urbana” :
Transcript for file: samuelweldon2007-10-08.mp3


hi this is an interview with
view with Sam welding on October 8th 2007
7 Studio X Campbell Hall Urbana the video auger for
prefer is Jack work and I’m Nancy Rothwell

okay Sam now you get to tell us where your from


I was born in Champaign Champaign County in 1925
5 and how in the world did you end up in ww2
well one day I was walking down on West church
Church Street by my church and it was so late
winter day I was going to do u of Ohio walk down to
how did the Springer building which was our post office and there was a sign
Henry’s blowin and it says there was a picture of a guy says


I need you and then the next sign with a picture of them
Marine on a desert island with three beautiful ladies
and I thought that’s for me and the old for you at that
that’s waiting so you enlisted or you were drafted worst draft
drafted I I wanted to wanted to go in but my father
father had a friend on the draft board when I was 18 in October
he says tell him to stay in school cuz he’s going to be gone by the last part of


December resin to have family argument I stayed but then when I
then when I got up in Chicago where they give you the exam you have to ask for it
fart then it got so bad later on
they just grabbed anybody they couldn’t get enough enough menu so you
so you ask for a particularly the outside part of the Sun which wine is up
which line is the marine line is sergeant there right there son
okay so you went in you in Indian


23 what year did you go in that was
that was not out of the exam was in December of
43 okay and then they sent you back home
and called you back and you got on a training
ship to California trip train around was read your passenger train
you had a nice bump start interesting I never been a long distance
long distance train like that but I found out later


the first there’s a lot longer places on map so
so when did you decide which which phone service you went in that was
that was 18 in Chicago or lighten up there yes I
yes I wanted to go in but I just couldn’t get in because of my father but that’s neither nor get up there
it up there in about Eric took the exam physical and then they sent us back home
home and then we had a bit of Chicago on it they send you your ticket
you had to be there certain day and we boarded up a troop train


Chuckie all the way to San Diego and I think that was
free nights in 2 days it was a long trip
Rosanna sleeper those nights that reunite the federal when your. We got into
down to San Diego they have to pay back to train into the Marine Corps Base
and here’s a bunch of guys civilian no idea
hey I’m the man in charge of the US is a sergeant they woke him up
I came up that wasn’t very good you got into her for clock


and you got up at 5 o’clock 1 hour sleep and then you have to take all these
College tests to have to sit down ass and pussy at the doctor and they give you all your clothes
closing and cut your hair off it was quite a busy time
and that is that where you had training that was that we had
order the Marine Corps training was 12 weeks
weeks but because the need for Marines in the Pacific I cut it down
down 28 weeks and then after you


Hatcher 8 weeks you might have got chance to go home for short hair
short period of time or or go get some advanced training so my
next training place whats up north of a waste of San Diego skull camp LA
but we get up there we found out that though the Navy
the Navy was taken over the base and they didn’t want to surround
call home and get some money and go back to Champaign and so I did
why did I don’t like come back way we move from Camp Elliott


up to the
Camp Pendleton monstrosity marine cap on
unbitten if you could take Senate bill 20 times of butter miles and miles

number one Marine Corps Base on the west coast there and we had death
so we got their wish everything was this is war
is war time there was Arkansas setup and


there was dust on the floor that deep
a walk through the desk and chair seabags University back a cape on your clothes around there
an electron and I ask the surgeon where did you get your water
get your water right up there on top of the mountain
how do you get water from the mountain Jesus that’s melted Canyon
so when you talk about when you take a shower
you pull the car and this melted candle work


are come down and stepped out the soaped up and then jump everybody screamed at once
Cole all it was a coldest water I’ve ever had so we stayed there for
there are 48 weeks and then they shut us out we went down
1002 Long Beach crip s*** and
what to Pearl Harbor and we landed in Pearl Harbor
some trucks arrived and took last place called a trance
Transfer Center little did I know what am I all the everybody


upon request into the other guy was R week or ten days and I put a sign real small
small ship and they have no idea where we’re going was it called the
the landing craft empty and I got out and I can look around and I could see almost
although all the Hawaiian Islands miles and miles away and they pull
they pulled out an extra smiley and the rain cap in Maui
what’s located at the top of a of a flat to a plateau


work had had a volcano that was in inactive
active and that you had a lot of nice dance a lot of nice Cole
ice cold water and you have a dad dehydrated potatoes
powdered milk but here I am rain on your own efforts R&S away
you can’t do anything about it so how long were you there well
well I got there in June
1945 and I was there June July October


sober November December and in December I told her
they told us we were stepping out and we closed our tense up and roll R Way
we have cots with strapon for all accounts and death they said that
Wiki Charlie breakfast and truck lock in the morning when you’re gone
you got out trucks are going to come and get you so we shipped out kami Garcia
clock in the morning we got down to the dock and we waited till
11 o’clock in the morning for the ship


the young man who tried to doctors a very small dock in my life he couldn’t.
Dr schep show they had to go find some Hawaiian food who was up
harbor master could fart this trip you put out there know that so I think we got over
tamale rr2 excuse me Pearl Harbor
about 3 o’clock in the afternoon we got up at 2 o’clock to call at time to get over there
there’s always some snaps it was and then we got all that s*** and we gotta


we got on NLST there’s a hole for a Dell St serf out
little cargo ship by the big is a football field and everything
every company was a sign a ship and while we were there
they were working on some of these ships and somebody was work
it was work on that ship with dynamite ass with a torch
we heard a big explosion and we looked down and there’s a lot of Marines died in the war
the ship was on earth so hot


before we shipped out they had to get another step because that wasn’t it out a fire and it was
seaworthy so we took off and they sell out
LSTs the speed of an LST it is about 3 or 4 miles an hour
what are 250 Marines out of the officers and the crew
and the crew of LSD was all it and so we started wale have any of the other
the other Marines in the Pacific because we could make that time we were escorted with F
outer mid Pacific we were guarded with destroyers and Deuce bar escorts escorts Reno


never saw on a submarine and I’m finally some other ones submarines John
join the staff report Ventura the Marshall Islands most beautiful woman
water you ever want to see gorgeous and they put the front of the ramp down
down in the ELA state and all the men have a swim no bathing suits
and that was for some of those men that was there last swim because they didn’t make
can make it through the battle so after we got our swam I will wait for them
we went down to the earth we went down to the Mariana Islands that was caught him Saipan


and we anchored in Saipan and we lost our fireplace
are places to sleep some marine amphibious
deadliest tanks that will take us into the battle they back them up and they’re so
from I guess we’re four days we had to sleep on
Avon on the metal deck there was no place else to sleep in your head on for a battle where
where party where was the battle going to be well after we left
the Marianas that was Saipan about 3 or 4 days


one morning I can hear about you and a bunch of explosions and I have
I woke up at 2 in the morning and let it begin to get light I looked out
and I couldn’t believe what I saw and I called my friend I woke him up
there was 800 North Thousand army vessels
battleships and cruisers and gun motrin and they are all the shooting had been
it been shell on this island for maybe 72 hours
and they have been ballin the island for babies of the Sierra


Air Force is Ben Whiteman Air Corps been vomiting Allen for maybe 72 days
but unfortunately we don’t know what’s in the intelligence then
but the Japanese had Turtle Island
about 10 miles of tunnels and caves and
the general
was on the Japanese general had made up his mind
that in all the previous battles with the Americans that Dayman


they met you at the end when you get out your boat that mention right away which Elsinore to heal
he was going to let a man so he left the first wave then come in and they had all of them all
aller weapons worth sprint sent a letter do I set the mortars fire
wild at heart rate so we get in there and the first way we can hear the radio,
very light resistance and that didn’t sound right to me or any of the other guys
so amphibious tactics on the beach about 30 yards
drop the ramp in the back we ran around both sides and I guess we’re out


we ran 15 yards in them the first shall hear
well all I can remember is I’m going up in the air
and a terrible pain in my ear concussion after office
off of a shell and I got up and my hands and knees like somebody hit me in the jaw
the jaw and I also my friend and there was my best friend land there
so we want her to him I couldn’t I couldn’t say I will and I couldn’t say blah
a blood and then about the time is going to roll them over


beachmaster who were some major get off the page get off the beach get up there
kill your hair get in there underneath the shelf so we took his weapon
around him and I grabbed that a friend of mine who was he was a cook
but the cooks became an admonition carrier in battle
so we ran away and I found a great big shell holder chart in here and weep
and we drove down a nutshell the beginning of the first days in the battle
everything doesn’t go right it’s not like a basketball or football game everything goes


so we got an a****** and we face what we thought was the front line
and pretty soon within an hour to here come our tanks
and there was a really a brave marine leaving the times he was God needs tank

tank after the show is done I can’t get out so pretty soon the first time master
hit a place where they couldn’t go any further and Aaron Harrison
there’s this line of tanks and Prince and Mayte the Japanese began to shoot


shoot the tax they knock one tank to tank 32 X & I mean bull not safe
and we’re down in the salt like this and everything this mission the tank is going on
the other side the whole like shake my friends look at this steel was just raining
and thus tennis ball cannon - you can believe that
he left and he went like this you’re trying to get yourself a hole you can’t
you can’t you can’t go any deeper and pretty soon young fella jumps in after that
shelling stopped briefly he said you gotta help me I said what’s the matter


I got my lieutenant is wounded badly in a tank can I
and I can’t get him out what the f*** go down to the beach and get yourself a cup
cupola Carmen I said we got chewed out for for trying to help my friend
so he took off and I don’t know whatever happened prettiest of the pretty
what land air and the most time of the shelling stopped just begun
can submit afternoon we go in at 9:30 or 10 o’clock and
I say they say Berlusconi are tracer bullets ever saw


soft pastels this tells the who are aspiring wurst bar Fargo
how come to find out whether or not the front line for bass
behind us we’re laying out for the night between our our lives and the Japanese
but I guess we weren’t the only one so I said 40
we gotta get up out of here we can’t stay any longer so we got up we had a
like I died I had a mortar and he has some rounds and I had my rifle and yet it’s so we start I don’t have
don’t highway that we finally found the company about 3:30 in the afternoon


add everybody was glad to see everybody else and a half
my friend was a radio operator had a great day
radio on its back with a big ant antennae and he says I just got a call
call from the crow that’s what happened he says he wonder
talk to the company commander and I told him that company commander had been wounded
and was evacuated and he says what does let me talk to NE
any company officer sir we don’t have any officers are all dead or what


what would an evacuated who who who’s running the company the top
top sergeant forever but who’s running the patroon the sergeants
office he gulped he said here I got the limitations
what’s your name sir my name is Caister yeah I know your case I remember
firmer breast inspection he said please don’t get me wrong
you’re my only only contact with the company but they won’t let him
24 hours he said I want you do you know when


front lines are no but I’ll find them curl it should you go up there and tell
I tell Amanda to make a skirmish line after line like there One Ring one
facing the enemy he says and then right before it starts diggin
again and when your day can expect on a night attack that’s what Japanese
Japanese like to do they like to attack us a dark so right before Darfuri Austin
we dug in I was the last guy on the skirmish line so I got my little
shovel Knight was taken and often punk rock


where I had to sleep there was volcanic rock and said I had one life
soft place to sleep so I thought well there rednecks choice to go to sleep prayer
so I want to sleep like this maybe about all I suppose 930
3410 o’clock but before they did that the sergeant got into a plastic
rustic bag in the other pen light and they called he went through the roll call
call 250 names and one of the first names you call
call Dennis Nichols I said he’s dead how do you know he’s dead


because it got his face blown off sergeant it come down and got all
all the names in an Asian boys were a lot of trouble we have
99 man left out of 250
not not always dead but they were if they were dead they were wrong and out on
Altoona hospital ship so we dug in and then
we didn’t have any attacks the first night sorry set
they decided they were just going to stay at the same place yesterday gana until we get Maybelline


able to get some more replacement then say so we stayed there two or three days we didn’t move very far
very far and we got some replacements and there are young guys
guys like us and they had Never Summer Madness verb ends in c**
combat someone had never even been out of an office that’s when we ride lady
lady bridge replaced all. The mail store in the off the office job
Brantley needs brains badly to fight so I got there
three sergeants in my school hard pipe first class


but there was no problem they wanted to stay alive so they come
they come back about the third day or fourth day and it says
we’re going to move up in the morning so be ready at the crack of dawn so
at the crack of dawn or artillery starts firing bad ass
really fired fired a lot of rounds and then after women
Dark Tower is done you get up and you can go talk to Japanese Lite and we’re meant
very very stiff resistance and throat


I don’t suppose we let die few days a few hundred yards
I had the third day add a gun to get dark in
since we don’t have enough men behold the front lines
el company is going to come and hear you guys just start moving back where we move
remove back to the rare which was made at 30 or 40 off
40 yards and we just got satellite boy at least I get some rest tonight album
set the same thing on her district why don’t take your squad and


and go back to the front line L company does not have enough men to cover their lines
they had casualties band also so
o I took my one guy with me like the rest of my hands
I have to stay back there and we went up and we were with some range we didn’t know
and was a rather large baked whole may be about this deep
and I just took 4 hours and you could say that actually say
police say the enemy is there but they dont shoot at them


unless they share that because you don’t that they’ll be able to take until where we are
so we stayed up there and I only had a brain with me who I didn’t know
and I actually believed him when he was sort of afraid
I start my washing I said the frog
it’s time to come out and stick watch take my washing didn’t count my money backwards
and I’m not proud of it about the third time around
I been on watch my shaft and Onir Hilson I just I just took my


just took my rifle and like this today snow
you’re coming out to watch it says my life is just as good as your
so I made him go on watch and the other two Marines who have been in there an hour
fortune setting up with me I should grow your friend she was shakin all over
over heat he never want to come out must you force them to come out
and it made me feel bad but later on in 1946 I would live in a pond
7up on north part of champagne I went home on Saturday afternoon after work


Mr struck set nurses Iowa
I don’t know I buy for Iowa and I want around the car my house there was a guy
the same guy at my wife when I put him up we fed them he never met
imagine what happened and I never mention what happened because that was a baller
all of time my date for this is 40 sex and a law
a lot of a lot a lot of guys died
it was so bad that death the band


where’s the burial detail and I got so many dead Marines they could not
did not pick them up by hand yarn carrying with a stretcher they got trucks
when driving the truck one guy up on top of that on top of the
top of the body’s two guys picture no body said it was a health
it was a health hazard you can leave a body like that no way
the plains of gold and I spray DDT all that stuff to keep the disease that was a
that was a terrible job but they game they drove them back bulldozer made an ice pack


my spouse out there was a rabbi and a priest and a Protestant minister they rap
they wrap them in a poncho I took their dog Tek one dog to a god and
set a nice prayer and the boulders or come along and bulldozer it was for health reasons to
that was all on which Island does Ronnie Ville hey that was six
2000 range Devon 30 days people don’t real sex and when you leave the eye
you look back you say all those crosses hey some of those are my friends I didn’t have time to
graveyard and then there was a there was 20000 guys


guys that were were wounded second son fight
big hospital ship in three hospital ships small
and one of the doctors who was on the ship my friend was in the Navy

he was right down on 3rd Street and University Avenue he was ahead of the day
battleship penny said he had a nice visit with him and
after the after the war he that was still this doctor and he says stop your memory


so everyday we move up a little bit more
more and we move up a little bit more and we move up a little bit more and
all the time we ate casualties
you just hope that it’s your friend when get killed so
we come to crossroad where we had to we went back time
gotta ammunition two guys and go back and you currently have


fast life and you can cry too many because that volcanic ash come up over your
over your suit tops most of us were smart enough that we put light inside and
add a wise does volcanic ash dust down in your shoes and socks and health
call source so I just one place that we would have to run
I was like it like this and the Japanese own death
they owned at the ground up there and you didn’t dare go back was all I could see was there but you know
there was this great big in the Rock had a big to great big metal door


metal doors and all of sudden these doors with open and there be two machine guns and they start
start at want a lot of our guys so as we’re going back
come back we were out across states they couldn’t see it once you get out at waterFire they couldn’t go this way or that
so I said what are they going to do he says I heard
by the way you guys going I still going to frontline and get some ammo as a
as a time you get back here that pill box will be eliminated
where am I said they going to bring a flamethrower tank


a pair so the flame start they couldn’t see out they open these doors wired shut
shut these doors big metal door and I come back and there was a tank there
and you could is Biola flamethrowers just smoking and I looked there
and there was 4 dead Japanese
which are cold and their machine gun but we’re so hot the machine gun
what format like that so we didn’t have any more casualties
Isolation after they eliminate that I don’t how many guys got loaded so later on


later on I said to one of my friends I said ad would you take me
make you go back in and pick us up a little bit. Ammo sure
when he didn’t come back I got worried I know something’s wrong he wouldn’t
when slap I so about another 15 minutes were Lena this great day
whole area comes tumbling down his name was Tim
add boil I think was Edmund about Catholic
it was from Philly told me and it come down there and it he was fair skin


Christianity poppin what’s the matter that he says we got
about a hundred yards from here and he said with the Japs start dropping
dropping some shells on a smith says we both doe B on the ground
and he says make Qdoba on top of me accidentally you know and he says would you
would you believe I shall hit him on the top of the head
and I felt so sorry for the guy but because he had just joined us as replacement heads
what had been another battle and the other great big world that was banned as they told me


go back make you the fourth division will take care of you
so he got it you got a second Purple Heart and that was his last
last Purple Heart so I looked at ad and as we have metal helmets
telmisartan camouflage covers and I said hey
would you get me home please my home is just give me your help
natural way to understand me and I’ll what does helmet cleaner
cleaning and ash the other man’s brain cells around to help he didn’t know it


he’ll never know it today but I’m telling you this because this is actually happening
the way it happens so we get nearer to thee we got today
two days we can see the end of the island in the battle is over and we have got burn a guys left
and we can get a replacement and we get ready to go
ready to go to bed and I look up about 30 yards and there’s three Marines up there
doctor who are not in our company I dont know yall been together at night
night and they they put these rocks and they had one wish to young guys like me


me and one man I have heard him talking to his face I like that Kentucky
Kentucky or Tennessee on must have been 30 south
37 38 years old and I woke up during the night I was standing watching you
you can hardly stay awake after 20 days do you keep nodding off
and I looked up and I saw a knife in that hole
smoking all free I can see the cigarettes you can smoke
what you got to get down where nobody sees it safe and I thought my god I hope nobody


nobody sees it there’s a tremendous drop off your whole eye be about 20 or 30 feet
replace all rock an American could never climb that we didn’t have the right kind of shoe
shoes and I’ll end up like this like this and all of a sudden there’s a
there’s a tremendous explosion and I can say fire and stone
I can hear screams and a Jap climbed up there and
and tossed some grenades in with them and it was terrible so
so you don’t move around at night on file


parachute flares that we put paradise by 4 o’clock in the morning we could lose these guys and tell
until daybreak and so we got to a man
Catholic purple flowers after one ring with lost his heel
and it was all full of shrapnel all over we gave him the corpsman gave him
Dave and morphine and the other brand he got a lot at 2
Sam Berns maybe but when we got to the older man is bad
he musta musta set on the Great grenade and a test


blue part of a step away is hip bone sticking out
asking if there’s a lot of pain yes given two shots of amorphous what difference does it make
so when the Daybreak come we carry them down to the ambulance cheap
people just a little cheap dressers at a time with you guys to halt and Jeep so I’m trying to
- 1 guy who I didn’t know and he says what’s your name I set my name Sam
Sam the surgeon was Sammy he says I’m so glad to get
how to get off the island oasis even if I moved it like this he says I get an ocelot


ally I was afraid I was going to get killed so we got to the the last
the last gentleman the older man I’m sorry I was 28 37 weeks old am
and we try to move in an
all this muscle and tissue that held the hip in place wasn’t there and he let out a

piece of plywood underneath it and we pick them up and Carmen
which type his legs up wedding hair down in back and got a man and I love him


how orthopedic doctors repair it but there was no damage to the hip
hip is just getting some cash you know and we’ll stand around
it’s just getting white and I look down in this hole and I can’t believe last day
there was this this paper were wondering land is land for growing age
that didn’t explode hey every guy would stand around like I was
I wasn’t carrying the comet that killed everyone so that at Radio Shack
step so we moved up a little bit and I looked we can look at me to say the end of the island


Island ad say white boy
there’s some cases. There and pretty soon I heard this radio,
Welding take your squad and rescue boat he’s laying out
in the front lines he’s been wounded oh here we go

3 guys in myself and there was a bunch of rocks sex rape victim
battery box outlet Dover and so we go over the first bunch of rocks


and thus the Japanese start shooting at us and we get down to bottom
we get down behind the guy says Sam
I don’t want to die and I said I don’t want to die either just give me a minute I’ll second ascent
what I’m thinking to myself how can we do this without getting off
so we skirted around the rest of this rocks
and we get down we can’t run and we run down as about a hundred yards
hey for muscle running with a stretcher and you can’t believe the Train rocks and boulders in


holes in SAP and we finally got down to my friend and
and open to stretch to stretch your put him on it and to carry a stretcher
picture on level ground and is hard but carry him on rocks in his bouncer
bouncing up and down and finally we got it out of the line of fire we laser stretch or down
down and had his name was Jim Bolton
and he was the machine gun or what he was doing these cuts we’re going to move up and do I stand
about it would be over but he had a pistol tied to his hand and a bunch of Marines die


Einstein about a hundred two hundred Mr Cambridge app and they start shooting headache
Tennessee went down the house the pistol as a rock and he falls
and he shoot himself in the groin and Isis gym
are you hurting he said yes I said just a minute I found a dead marine
dead marine and I want and I gas mask where everybody had a gas mask
as maths West Retta morphine to open a morphine octagon image Avenue Pratt
took some of his blood but Chonga great big am there and I ask one of the guys


there’s a animal is Jeep coming up here would you stay
you stay with me until the Carmen Traymore the doctor gas so the Apalachee
we got gem on their own when the guy didnt come back so I sent with him I just like something
something always happens so the guy come back in about 2 or 3 hours nice as one half
what happened he says when we get back to the first aid station and the Navy had
we had decided that there wasn’t enough food so they moved the main station
first aid station down to the front line and he said when I got there


there was 24 Marines land on the ground and assist to Carmen and one doctor
so they treated the worst wounds first to his was the second-worst no
so they gave him a shot and more
morphine right away they shut them off talking down on small boat after window tint
down to the beach in May at the hospital ship and Mason minor surgery
and he was shocked you want to Saipan or changing world how to army or navy hospital did sommore
then they flew him to Treasure Island in California in April and the Great Lakes


and I was 22 Marines in a room at Great Lakes
that’s the way we look at with the rules for my friend Jim lay there and then and than a man
anthem at the president’s son and they were talking and then look down his name
name and says what you say your name was and a gentleman
my name’s Welton have you got a relative’s got a real short haircut
and ranch ACF says he and his squad save my life
ad when they operate they took him at Great Lakes in the operating


sold he was able to father children that was a concern about it safe and I got away
I got a letter from him that I was single and I never get it needs thanks so much for gas
and I could never find the letter and I could never find his address I could never find a phone
the phone number why boiler Center how many people like all trying to find Jim how he was doing but that
but that was just one thing I know so did you get medals for that for the thing
to get a medal do you have to have a witness and your witness have to be somebody who’s
spare or an officer who’s on blast we didn’t have


no officers no no officers they were all dead or wounded
the company commander who got wounded three weeks later or two weeks later
weeks later maybe he has all the shrapnel dug out of it and he volunteered to come back
you have to keep books the guy’s number number to hear the song
the song so Thai in a lot of paperwork and that he did all the paperwork I couldn’t fight
loaded with a lot of shrapnel said so he’s as we walk out
walk out that day he says to one of my friends


you know he says I hope you guys know it or not water one road goes by
it goes back to the ocean will we get our ship he says
we got dirty for guys left back there the original and that’s all and a cyst
Wednesday so nice so we go back to the ship we get on a ship
or tech RC bags which is laid out there on the beach I still have my uniform my mom
mom saved at home packed away and you
uniform and we got back they made you the captain the ship says now


everybody takes off all her clothes and put them great big mess
cardboard box store all your clothes and everything but your shoes and your helmet
and then they come along and they sprayed with DDT

all of a sudden somebody hello Michelle in the Rye

always bridge down on the ground with no clothes


I said hey all you all your squad leader who inspect
Apple the cap Navy captain boy was mad because. Come on through that balance you could kill
kill somebody accidentally so Wichita auto rifle
rifles at its brightest and then we run and got a hot shower and it gave us all
all clean clothes clean underwear clean socks cleaned under a shadow
but they won’t hear such NOC ice when you eat you can eat all you want but if you
too much bone I’m going to tell you you’re going to spend a lot of time in the bathroom you’re going to have diarrhea


diarrhea because you haven’t had a good food for 30 days and
so I never heard her a lot of screaming the first night wears on the ship I had an
I had a nightmare I dreamt it that they were trying to attack us tonight
is the guy next to me and he carries a great day automatic rifle in the head shoe laces
like that and during the night when I just erased over and I
and I grabbed his rifle and was comforting me is like a hungry man eating
and I got up the next morning as this he’s a little guy


must weigh 235 pounds part 30 pounds during this big rifle
he said you had a bad time since you I said I had a terrible he says your wrist over
Annie SEZ you grab my rifle this all everything I said aren’t you going to come to
come to breakfast dishes no I’ve been asleep all night and I’m not sleepy so we
so we went to eat and we come back and find
finally he want to sleep he slept the whole day William waking my pic of figuratively
freaky anytime it wants so I didn’t tell you one story that are like to tell you


Italian my friend his name was Charles Miller and Charles from Carbondale
Armadale news about 5 years older than I am as been gone about 10 years
died on the golf course in Florida Charlie got wounded on
Saipan he got shot to the shoulder he got hit before that
for the Cat Rescue and they got shot today is another big hole he said he will
he woke up three days later in hospital ship in the carmen was changed in distress
addressing and he says his shoulder hurts so bad any c*** understand a little Japanese


Japanese boat like that would hurt so bad what he had a pistol
a holster back hair he would never be taken alive and during the
firefight the Japanese bullet hit this thing and exploded
became a bomb and he says we’re not Carmen turned around and had a full length
this is why does my shoulder Nokomis and I’ll tell you why the turnaround
iPod to put my hand in that world on my shoulder and it should have took about 6 weeks
Wix so this happened before I was with a man at battle


battle but he was on a was your man and he got it was commissioned where are the charges
cyclist was a lieutenant and he says Sam rhinos last 20 days
payday is she says they set me an alarm Kidde was a Carman and he had no
had no business being a corpsman a looked around and he says his eyes were this big

and if we get a wounded I’ll go with the enterprise and Charlie


it’s not like this and he says not having any sleep he said I dose
dozed off and he said I was awakened by a blood curdling scream
scream while I looked up and saw the holes around here comes the Japanese office
after he’s bringing a sword down on my head should I raise my rifle up like this
like this and block it block the thing it is at his fingers and his rifle
he said I rolled him over and they said I had a knife right back here and I just put him away
and he said hadn’t been for that young could Sam he said I’ve been dead


reset for sale vacuity you can’t have any kind of wounds because infection
he got off and then as I saw him at a reunion and 9th St Louis
bush and I hadn’t seen him all that was Benjamin in the eighties I had seen him since
Charlie let me ask you something
what what did you do after well I got a degree I got married I was a teacher I was
I was a superintendent and then I got called back to the car
the Korean War you told me never to volunteer on this


this was a good outfit that you just bought he said if I didn’t have a choice that was in trees lyrics
so what happened in Korea a boulder fell off a small
small hill and hit me the small of the back and I fell and I laid there and all of them
and all the mud and he says there was no marine first dates result
is all army so they had to get an army guy and he’s laying there that small of back
black bad injury he got frostbite on the inside of a slice a turkey
I took a mentor there until the operating temp and this doctor


doctor says got his records and it’s just Charlie
we’re going to discharge you we don’t need your body anymore it’s Vita
beat up your iPad won’t share with their rooms here and now you got this bad back in Utah
bar fights how much how much more
punishment you think your body is going to take the sugar test good luck charlie
try to say Sinai Hospital but imma get back to the United States on a hospital ship it was in pretty good shape
it was John Hurt in here but I saw him and he would it was there a great golf


what golfer he left the golf and just like Bing Crosby he had a heart attack on the golf course
of course no better way when you were you were alive
a private when you went in and you were what will happen if you don’t do your best
basic you get up you get to be a private first class then after that
how to get promoter you’re just like an hour away Cyrus and I got come over somebody got
tell us that simple because my friend and I they always give you a test
do you want it would you like to be a leader no do you want to become a


man know what you want to do we want to go how far we want to go home
and I also read a new I said boy you guys will never get
you get promoted and I did we did and I got promoted my friend got killed and my friend
my friend when he when he got killed on the beach
later on they said he was missing in action when we landed
good at low tide Lego round check all the wonders as they
I say and the balusters boys jacking off make sure they’re dead we don’t do anything about because you got it


you got it you got to make it stay on there so what happened like a lot of the tide come in
c** in his body floated out to say I know how to go back and read your statement
statement 2 as folks I think it was a name is not important I think it was from Texas
so you could verify yeah but see if they have a
missing in action when they have missing in action the parish
dentist pay for another 12 months ant
one of the days we go get ammo and we had a guy with us


he was a serious and he had something to do it was from Chicago it was a little diva
he knew a lot about rush series make rug so he didn’t keep up
keep up with her she walked away and I should stay up with a snot rug beater and we get down
get down on a Japanese had a farm order about as big as my body
but they couldn’t guide it very well and sometimes I went over the island into the ocean
when I hit it was like have enough earthquake earthquake move like this
like this not as we got down after the first 11 Austin Howard it’s hard in bed


dial to recharge everybody get down they’re going to fire another shelter usually fire
fire to and sure enough they fired another one and I get up
and here’s my friend stand up like this
and I’m looking at him and he is expecting
spitting blood I know that he said he didn’t hurt me you gotta want it
I think you guys got to take Rogers down to the 400 ex remember his name
Ellie Rogers from Kansas you don’t seem that I never knew what his first name la that was that


so they were able to walk him down but I’m sure that he lost a long and
and then we got back daughter ammo and an officer
what’s up we’re missing a map I said hey we’re missing rug beater
and I said remember the last time that she’ll one-off about a hundred yards down there
I thought I saw him there but not yet released track what will you guys go down
go down there and get some of those Marines are in the foxholes asked him to help you we gotta fight
how to find out if you got killed our face not there Sonos bridge help them when they come back


the guys gave me there was a 525 dollar bill and a piece
piece of a shoe with a serial number on it but it was a marine sailor
there was no blood there was no tissue no uniform no nothing
so he got a direct hit and that way he was listed as missing in action
folks won’t get back in the day 3 insurance policy worth $10,000
and its spokes got his monthly salary for a year and then the tenth hour
10 thousand dollars what the hell is a merciful way to die


I rather just die suffer never know what hit him so on the way
on the way back we have a lot of but we never saw I don’t think
the bar was so advanced that when we are on a world they needed that thing
Fang because the big bombers were leaving from Saipan and canyon
and if they are flying over Japan and they got shot up they have to
we have to ditch their airplane and if they dead
they did that they had lost airplane that lost a crewman so we figure out how many but I know


what time the Warriors on how many of those planes landed on it would Jima the restrainer strips 11
1 what’s going in in RCB’s they did a wonderful job to stay fit
they finished those errands strips so I’m a big plant could come in their laps
AmeriSpec before the battle was over guy said he couldn’t get any feel I need to have fun
gasoline so he landed
it was a terrible act bounce bounce better than wreck anything and there was a terror force
sky jump in there real fast and there was a valve stuck and he was available to us


what are strict about told a guy now you’re getting gasoline the gates come right up at shirt
turn the plane around go home so we figured all the all the
all the planes that landed there and counter them by the number of man
we saved at least 20,000 guys from going into the drink
West Plains where did so you were on on
on you and then you went where after that one or that we want back to me
how can I give you are on our way we want back to my way ok and aunt


Anton nice trip ship and we got back there and they gave us are not
don’t bother you too much you know for a week or ten you don’t have to shave you don’t have to make
to make your bed up you don’t want to they know what it is so they gave us a tour
45 days over in Maui and I
we got over there another guy find a nice nice Japanese or oriental
place to stay at with a screened in porches which left outside in a one half cup bras
and then we go down to the restaurant we found a place where have all we could get a glass


glass of beer and I found a place where I get a glass of beer
and some fried shrimp dying for shrimp my folks were in the seafood
Bourbonnais I watch replicas and get it so after that thing was over we went
we went back they come and get us on a ship and take us back to Molly and Chris Hughton ever
tell ne your parents grandpa
grandparents at Knoebels where you were but you could say I saw
I saw a gym the last couple of days I write to my mother that was my brother-in-law


are you as my brother more than that so my mother
my mother would call and tell his mother
that we were together for a few days they and they
that’s what we want and what time at 8 at the at the
after initial submarine quest headquarters all the subs in the Pacific
Pacific come back from the runs they had 30 days off hey they didn’t shave
look like a bunch of animals but they didn’t care that was a submarine service


and the food was excellent I had to end the Navy got the best coffee
you can eat you can have coffee 24 hours a day and then I always got
always got fresh coffee Lyle Lovett I love coffee my grandmother was a tremendous she always
always had coffee I just drank coffee ever since I was 5 years old so when the W
when the war was over there was a lot of guys that had been overseas for
40 months party 8 months and had been a family so they had more points in
I got to go home they have division got to go back to Los Angeles what was the Wiz laugh


is left and they comin I said
you’re going to China Ansul system
I was 20 years old I was not married I thought really bad like I know I could see China
that would be my only chance I’d never get another chance so I put a sinus
the name of the ship was the bomb Homme Richard to Good Shepherd said it was so small
aircraft and it was converted for troop ships the flight deck
flight deck was open and the hangar deck where they kept the plans we had our bunks and roll Boulder


folded down there and it was happened to be full moon the Sun I swear on
we are on the ocean and it was the most beautiful trip they didn’t put the size up you could say
they say I say this dolphin swimming with the ship the next 20 miles of aisles
you are not a part Albany said that goes 100 miles they think it’s fun to get
how to get close to the ship’s bow Japan like that so we’re out to see I guess
I guess about three or four days and also I noticed the answer
is the answer stop and I hear the actor Cody


trickle down anchor chain willie Geist what are you doing I said I don’t know what we’re
what were done I don’t like it like that anchors down they call her dance
report to the top of it to the flight deck well I know something’s changed
change right away just like we used to say always change in orders
where civilians and I want to make so up on the flight that the guy had one of those tables
tables like that sergeant and they have what’s your name welding you’re getting off
getting off air line looked around I said this is not China


it says I know it’s not China you’re getting off air this is Guam
when I had given us about you cold weather gear long johns
heavy boots jackets such as temple closed out
Kohls out of my seat bag and throw my deck somebody else can take these another Marine 2 Spec Ops
wake up someone to go to China they got on there and we got down there and a captain
at the at the dock ready or nice gentleman
new looks after all the names in all the world is a circle


you guys are nothing but a bunch of different for a man all the Irani was your girl like
does that make us bad no I don’t make it bad but it says this is an MPI
you’ll have to get used to it he says when you get in there
you can put your weapon away you have to carry a 45 when you have to drive a Jeep
Jeep through the jungles take turns he says your 8 hour shift
one way to add another eight hours 24 hours a day I drove that even at night you want these jungles
Tetris Japanese there but they never bought it they were just survivors


vibrational and he says you got a guy thats driving that was right
ride shotgun and also a fish and a Navy base decals
tackles in the village you’re wrong amount they don’t want to
they didn’t want the Navy man with the native women because they had to date a boyfriend
cost trouble safe all they would really get mad we make him come out and go back
go back to their banquet never did anything to him that I had so we were there from
September and I think in March


I said you guys are going to go home and I just got already have that we have fresh
have fresh milk we had fresh eggs they have everything out in the Pacific that we never had in Hawaii
because that was Admiral Nimitz’s headquarters and when he drew his rations
fashion she got everything we had steak once in awhile never knew what state was named after
trouble getting spam sometime so anyway
we got on the ship and it was loaded for
burberry is currently putting get another Marine on air who was in March last part of me


part of March no I’m sorry it was a pro so
so we went to Treasure Island and we unloaded Darin
everybody want to get out right away go outside never bend up to drink never seen a lady
nah I can wait go out the next morning
next morning so I went out the next night three of us went out I guess we want.. 1
had a big dinner and there’s a beautiful beautiful bar at the
at the top of Mark Hopkins hotel it was a call the top of the mark it was called a


you could say all about a ship’s everything floating in the harbor and then

Starbucks 7 o’clock will never stop drinking till 5 o’clock the next morning
we celebrated our first night in United States we went back in the day later
later I put a sign of trip time and they
shepherds cross the country the Great Lakes
and we process Theron I got discharged in April 21st


1946 and the war was over the war was over oh yes it was over
do I have to stay long when the war was over a lot of guys got out but if your younger yet it still points
the point system which is okay that’s the way it should have been and as I got out mr. Kohl’s Ann Arbor
cold cold Easter Egg grate

whooping that you’re never wore and it like we put all of those and we drop down
download North Shore train tickets down to


Cubs ballpark and we got off Cubs ballpark all three of us

can walk from there and we walk down there and my inlaws are all
German hate that had food there and they had whiskey and they have y
why did they had the neighbors and when your world Marine uniform
in Chicago you never bought a tree you couldn’t buy a drink


yo policemen firemen really nice people and
after about three days I got a call from my mother 101 ice come
coming home mom I said I’ll be home tomorrow night
and don’t worry I said we’re just having a nice time this too young rings with me
they were my age they were from the east coast so my grandmother
plenty of sleep and area and plenty of food
we would come back to my app with late look at their eyes


look at their eyes Chuck that was my uncle you make an Asian guy
these guys drink hey Julia I said they didnt make a strength we’re just looking for
place to drink sold the other two guys I’ve been home for a while I never saw him again
Paul McGann and I want home at night and when I got home
I got home and stuff at the station downtown there was about sex
6070 Mott high school buddies waiting for me there and they had been in the service
okay okay


did you make them
okay so ss the train that made a funny
my mother my father and my my best friend
best friends sister was there hey when I went away no highways at night
I think she was 15 or 16 law and behold
she told my mother viola I’m going to marry
marry your son and I thought I knew my mother and I


and I’ll bet that that dont go over there a 20 year old son just got home and there’s a young
pretty young girls that I’m going to marry and you know we did get married
enchant cat we had three children. She died I thought
top ten Mexico 10 years ago and when she said that
is that my mom never told me but blonde wife told me later I said I’ll bet that went over Bay
but she became my mother never had any girls just two boys and she
and she became a daughter to her she took my mother is a doctor or a shopping all the things


things that she never no never could do with a daughter and her mother left her mother lives
lesbian S&M nursing home down as salt when she has to be a hundred two and
February she outlived Fiat left chest
has five children to shout them all but two Wow
and I wouldn’t give 1 million dollars for Mike’s
my experience and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody what happened to me
and when I want in the service the day I left I have to get somebody


somebody to hold my mother she says I know you’re gonna get hurt I know
I know you’re going to get hurt cause you got your you got your finger caught in a shotgun
and you got shot in the leg on a rifle bullet that hit you in the
all the things happen to me but I might 14 at 16th and it wasn’t
drink under Dr Zhang Zhang like they just happened yo black stepdaddy and
and when that first shell hit on a word she a man like I find air
I thought about what my mother said when I was up in the air something is going to happen to you


so you know I did get wonder that got bad Harris but
it’s much much much better to have bad errors in Oceanside or no legs
legs and no arms or anything like that and so many young guys get that
I just wish sailed away from a wall look back on this trip ship and I can
and I could see all those white crosses over 6,000 crosses
what they did 6 or 8 years later they came back and
and they exhumed all the bodies and some of the body’s


they were unable to identify they were blowing up so bad or they didn’t have any dog tags
tags for sale and those a very dim sum place under unknown
unknowns in a navy or a rough f*** graveyard
graveyard International graveyard over in Danville Panda
unfortunate it got so bad we usually have a reunion
they decide reunion down & R marine reunion a division reunion
and down in Louisville but my friends were


friends were sold they don’t go anymore they couldn’t travel
and anybody was in my company there was not a soul the last time I went
so it’s just hey we want to the last reunion I want to do is so San Antone Texas
Texas beautiful beautiful hotel once again my way
whats with me then and I Matagorda springs
Express lot of good friends I made in the service but the unfortunate thing was
most young guys not married no responsibility you should have wrote


who wrote your name address and all your friends in a book safe but the war the war
the war come on and ended and panko everybody wants to get home or get for you
that’s where you’re going to get get rid of this and RRK
RCAP was on a plateau and sometimes you Drake
sketcher Tampa and there be clouds coming down the street that’s how high up we were

here down in the town of Wewoka was their main town on Maui


I got acquainted with a lady there’s an older lady she was in the fifties
she like the young red s*** caricature of us how much is a train to hear
maybe to interest a year and yet it was still green
Green honor safe and that’s just about Kano
inactive and so I act like I ask a guy one day who want them a lie
what what is there were the Camp yesterday what level does the government
how to put it back shape they least its ground and subdivisions


do they have thumbs up there and I he said you would never never
never recognize the place that was like going to Guam Guam had when I got there had everything in it
McDonalds and A&W but while Missouri
is a stopping off place for Mary japen
Japanese that was where they honeymooned because it’s real close that’s nice beaches none of those play
those places have burial grounds no fr
I don’t never heard of a or perhaps


M&I analyst I did
why did hear one ended question everything what are they had it was from Illinois
where there’s a whip there’s a military explosive that you still use today
is today it’s like a piece of putty and you take it take a pencil
make a hole entered you put a crime or primer cap diner
how do you put a fuse in it hey when you can put wrap around and you can blow up
butter over there and blow up anything but you do not force the cap and we were


we were down Eminem verse in my life at one time and I heard just terrible explosion
lotion namless come down the young guy I just forgot
the nearest do unless a force the cap
that’s why I wonder how they probably buried him in Maui
because I had no no no I didn’t I was had I have
I have burial at sea you know that’s another thing there’s no way to keep earth anybody when your itchy
you put him in a body bag and Utah shells shell casings


play taps floating around his body
BBQ the saying that would be to me a very terrible for the folks
Danny don’t have your boy is not closer Helia never have closure
but most of the guys that went in the Marine Corps
realize what they’re getting into and when they go in today they know
they know what they’re getting into I feel sorry for the mothers and their fathers and their relatives but that’s what
that’s what they want to be something that happened to me I wouldn’t begrudge anybody so


so when you say a man going to the rain car young man the worst thing
slang is going to get killed the next thing is going to get MAME the next thing is
saying he’s going to get maybe I maybe you get a light wont our flesh bone of my car
my cousin had that it was on that was on Saipan
Pizza shrapnel went through a tank what to his elbow
that’s the one that ended up in Great Lakes and I think it’s seven operations and 8th
and he had a short farm the rest of his life but I finish college and


had he got a real good job with them State Farm
as ever junior executive a truck in percent ship came out someplace in Connecticut
nice place to raise a family in the last two or three years he came back
can’t back down they were from now Northwood and last
what is the last exit on the interstate my wife died
and 97th and he had
he said she had cancer and he called her and talk to her


and he says we deserve better than this tell my wife.
I said that’s the truth you do both so he he had a big military funeral had
bagpipes that’s what he wanted so my brother and I went up to the funeral
my brothers truck with the triple twist
all the small towns up their subdivisions we got lost we didn’t get
I didn’t get back back to the family home for 1 hour Kelly
Kelly R Kelly a relative that your former friend from sapping got lost on the Great


this is summed up
up all of your experience could you could you sum it up could you
if it wasn’t worth it yes pay if if I if I was
if I was 18 today and there was a war on
that would be the same thing I do the same thing to me it was a
it was the hardest and the toughest and the meanest and yet when you get done
get done you know just like a guy called me a year and a half ago


and he says hey how would you like to join the Marine Corps League
Lake I said fine meet me out there
VFW and I went out there and I sound 20 guys
Sam Yonker a lady marine she’s got the bay 60 Pyron
Riddick she was in the band was called after they call them Ray Bans and she’s at
activator and we’ve got a couple guys who are wounded
add effect 2 weeks ago I had a funeral this man


this man what are some range to be at his casket five ministers all day
and he was an ex-marine so we just did that as a favor and they have a color guard
face replacer Marine color guard we got we got friends that do that night. Uniforms and ever
everything probably so I can’t I’m getting sold I can hardly remember the meeting tonight

21 does her something to a door
we’ve come to think we’ve covered it or not I think we’ve covered just about all of it I hope


I hope they wouldn’t care about it also wants to go into the range
how to do we need anything we do the sum it up for anything
anything you just hit his family his summary was was kind of a good ending
good ending

Sam Weldon grew up in Champaign, Ill., a Midwestern college town. He was drafted and became a member of the 4th Marines Division at 18. Following a shortened training session, he and his fellow Marines were put on ships and sent to the Pacific. He was part of the second wave to land on Iwo Jima. His stories of the days and nights of battles there are amazing and touching and very human. He became a Corporal when the officers ranked above him were killed. Weldon talks about friendships made and friends lost and those who survived during the fights on Iwo Jima and afterward. His stories of being discharged and celebrating in Chicago add another picture. Looking back over it all, he can still say he would do it all again.