Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
24 folks showed up and we filled the long table!
I should have brought my Nikon in to use. Getting the group to pose for a photo long enough to get a good shot is not easy. They are a good fun loving group!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Jerry attended the Birthday Dinner last night at the Alpine Country Club.
Jerry sat with the organizing committee. Steve Cileli, Ed Malloy, Carl Weston, Bill Jamieson and other Marines.
Jerrry gave out his special challenge coins. They were minted in the shape of the 4th MARDIV Patch and the Eagle Globe and Anchor on the opposite side.
Ed Malloy senior presented Jerry with a picture of Jerry and Ed Junior at the VE Day celebration in Smithfield.
I sat by the bar for a few minutes and several young guys were talking about the Iwo Jima Marine at the head table. A marine who I know but will remain nameless so as not to embarrass him said. "That is Jerry Sherlock. Dude is a ROCK STAR. He is a ROCK STAR! Saipan, Tinian and Iwo. Gunfighter from the old days. You have to meet him."
Jerry was in his element of fellow Marines. The colors were posted by the Marine Color Guard contingent. The Pledge of Allegiance and then the convocation by Carl Weston. With special emphasis on 3rd Battalion 5th Marines. They have borne the brunt of the casualties while taking the fight to the evil doers in A-STAN.
God Bless them and keep them safe!
Dinner and the nights events.
When I returned I was able to watch Marine Manny Soares play the Marine Corps Hymn on the Bagpipe. The Entire crowd came to attention and sang. With the assistance of Steve I'll be posting that video. It is especially motivating! Didn't Jerry get in trouble for singing the Marine Corp along time ago? Not last night. These guys don't play around. Wait for the video. OORAH!
Jerry ran into Paul Chalko. Paul was with the Frozen Chosin and was seriously wounded along with Jack Mainor. Paul and Jack were friends. Jack is another legendary Marine in the extended Sherlock OUTLAW clan. Paul and Jack fought in Korea at the Frozen Chosin and shed blood for this country so that others might have freedom. Jack has left us too early and is standing post on the streets of Heaven. Semper Fi Jack!
Jerry was surrounded by the Marine Color guard who fought to have photos with him. These guys speak the same language as Jerry. Freedom and Honor our not just simple word to the MARINES.
The Marines have been kicking ass and taking names in places with names that people can't even pronounce. It is written indelibly in blood on the MARINE Corps Battle Honors. Here is to guys like Jack Mainor and Jerry Sherlock. Guys like them, and guys that want to be like them!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES!
SEMPER FI DO OR DIE!
Joe Proulx is a great example of the "Can Do" spirit that the Seabees where he served reinforced. He knows parts and logistics. He'll tinker with something broken, pulling it apart and putting it back together with parts from something else so that it works. He is having a hard time these days with Parkinson's developing and taking over his life. Parkinsons's in not something he is prepared to deal with. He can't take it apart and put it back together. When he does starting taking something apart, he doesn't remember doing it.
He will fall. Out of control, he just will lose balance and fall. This can be real dangerous when navigating the stairs in his house. He has already had several incidents with emergency room visits, stitches and bruises. He fell this past Sunday. Coming up from the basement, his shop where he does all his tinkering, he fell backwards. The family is still not sure how far he fell but he fell. Broke his neck this time. Second vertebrae so he was lucky. If it had been the first vertebrae, the situation could have been far worse.
Jerry Sherlock, my father, you may already know some of his story. We have been recording parts of the story of his life. We started with his first memory about three years old and worked our way up through school, baseball and World War II. He served in the Marines, in the Pacific Theater. He fought on Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. He came home, started working, married Rita, raised six kids and did what he needed to do. We did not hear of what he did in the war. I do not know that we will ever hear all that occurred on those islands. I know enough that war is cruel, and horrible, and the worst that can be.
Jerry is challenged these days by diabetes, poor hearing, and recently has become legally blind. He keeps his routine as much as possible. He likes to read so his paperback and hardcover books from the library have been replaced by talking books. His newspaper has been replaced by a radio broadcast service that read the paper to him. Yet, when he gets up in the morning, he still walks out to the driveway to get the paper. A paper he really can't read.
The habits and routines that helped both Joe and Jerry survive are now creating some of their tough times. As much as we try to help them, they are set in their ways and won't listen. They made it before, they intend to make it now.
This Veterans Day is a great opportunity to just step back and say "Thanks for your service!"
This was originally posted to Steve's 2 Cents
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
SOUTHINGTON — Marianna "Hundy" (Shields) Moody, 78, of South Farms Terrace, passed away Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of the late Noel J. Moody.
She was born Jan. 2, 1932, in Providence, R.I., daughter of the late Frank J. and Anna (Flynn) Shields. She received her bachelor's degree from Mt. St. Mary's in New Hampshire. After graduating, she became a school teacher in Rhode Island. In 1979, she moved to Southington with her family, where she worked for the Southington school system until her retirement in 1995. She was a member of the Southington Women's Club and a parishioner of St. Thomas Church. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and was an avid reader.
She is survived by her son, Frank Moody and his wife, Joan Sherlock, of Providence, R.I.; her two daughters, Mary Ellen Coe and her husband, Bill, of Watertown and Joan Roberts and her husband, Steve, of Cheshire; and her son, John Moody and his wife, JoAnne, of Unionville. She is also survived by two sisters, Joan S. Tracey and her husband, Bill, of Providence, R.I., and Nancy Bloor of Warwick, R.I.; and a sister-in-law, Beatrice Shields. She leaves her beloved grandchildren, Melissa, Sarah and Megan Coe, Brianna and Kegan Moody, Ashley, Annie and Jack Roberts, Alexandra and Devlin Moody. She was predeceased by a brother, John F. Shields, and a brother-in-law, Carl Bloor.
The funeral will be held Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. from the DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St., Southington, to St. Thomas Church for a Mass at 10 a.m. Burial will be in St. Thomas Cemetery. Calling hours will be Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Founders Affiliate of American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005. For online condolences and directions, visit www.dellavecchiafh.com.
This was originally posted to
Sunday, October 31, 2010
It's a great essay Celia, thanks for sharing it with us.
By Celia Palardy
There is a wooden old box above the TV. That box holds a black and white picture, two flags, and six medals. Those didn’t come from a contest; they came from the blood sweat and tears from being a marine in World War II. To get those you had to be selfless, strong with conviction, courageous, and dedicated. The only person who is all of this is Papa or my grandpa. Born in the city of Pawtucket he entered the marines at age 19. By entering the marines Papa had to leave his six other siblings behind. The other two had joined him in the war, one fighting and one as a nurse. After the war Papa married a wonderful women named Rita Joyal. They had six wonderful children that now take care of him now in his home in Smithfield Rhode Island. Papa’s wife had passed away when he was 58 years old.
Being selfless doesn’t take a lot of work. Papa definitely was selfless being on Imo Jima. One time a plane had landed there for help. And the marines and Papa helped them get back in the air. He also looked after all the injured soldiers he came upon. Papa risked his life to save the whole country. Now if that isn’t selfless then I don’t know what is.
Having a strong conviction is something Papa is very strong in. He has to deal with two obstacles in his life. They are diabetes and being legally blind. He has always believed that his sight will come back and he won’t have to deal with this obstacle any more. But until that day comes along he has all these “toys”. The “toys” are all these machines that he has. There is a special magnifier, a computer that magnifies things, and some glasses. Even with all of the help he still doesn’t lose faith in getting his site back.
Papa had to be very courageous to enter World War II. If he wasn’t then he wouldn’t have put his life in danger. At one point during the war Papa had felt something drip down his leg. He was about to get rid of his canteen when he found a bullet laying in there. He had come that close to being hit. He certainly was very lucky. Entering the war he was willing to give his life for his family and the country. He was very lucky to come out of the war alive. That just shows how courageous my hero was to put his life in danger for something he loves.
The last reason why Papa is my hero is because he is dedicated. Being a Marine meant that he had to help his fellow marines in all situations. He couldn’t back out of the war and leave everyone else without him to help out. He couldn’t cower after that bullet to the canteen, he had to keep going and not give up. He also is dedicated to his family. Everyday I get home I am always greeted by “Hello”. It is a weird way of saying it but that is dedication to want to say hi everyday.
Going back to that wooden box with the six medals; it is not the medals and fame that make a hero. It is someone who is selfless, someone with strong conviction, courageous, and dedicated. Papa is truly my hero that I love and will always look up to. Papa said that in “World War II the real heroes didn’t come back” but I don’t believe that.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Boston Globe had this:
The Warwick Beacon had this:
And finally, the RI Senate passed the following resolution recognizing Paul's accomplishments and extending condolences to his family:
S2130_Resolution: Paul Sherlock
Paul's wife, Ann will be buried today.
Monday, October 25, 2010
She is survived by four children, Kathleen Sherlock MacLean and her husband Douglas of Foster, Timothy P. Sherlock and his friend Marian Maloney of Warwick, Martin D. Sherlock and his wife Jodi of Foster, and Mary E. Sherlock of Providence; six grandchildren, Cameron Simpson, Patrick and Elizabeth Sherlock, and Malcolm, Duncan, and Graham MacLean; several in-laws, and numerous nieces and nephews including one favorite niece. She was the mother of the late Patrick J. Sherlock, and the sister of the late Eileen Pryor, Clare McElroy, and Joseph Devine.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, October 26, from 4-7 p.m. in the Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, 1328 Warwick Avenue, Spring Green, Warwick. Relatives and friends are invited, and are also welcome at a luncheon to be held on Wednesday, October 27, at 12 noon at Mrs. Sherlock's home. Her burial will be private.
Kindly omit flowers. Contributions in her memory may be made to the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, 3445 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886.
Published in The Providence Journal on October 25, 2010
At Chelo's in Warwick, a frequent location for the periodic Sherlock Brunch, Ann was delighted by the size of her dessert!
Monday, August 16, 2010
At the table we sat with two other 4th MARDIV marines and a Navy Flight nurse. She left early as her husband a member of the 1st MARDIV is in failing health.
I was struck by the amount of history in the room. It was humbling. Had we known in advance more Sherlock family members could have attended. Many family members of the survivors were in attendance.
I sat next to Joe Woods. He asked who Jerry was and what unit. 1st JASCO 3BN, 25Th Marines. He gave me a look and asked me to repeat the unit. I did and he said that was my unit.
" Hey Jerry this guy was in your unit." Jerry slid in after the main course and they compared notes. I spoke to Ginny Woods Joe's wife. She told me that Joe's WW2 experiences are highlighted in a new book called "Pacific War Stories" by Gerald Meehl and Rex Smith.
A funny note. Joe told me he was alittle hard of hearing due to the war. I chuckled and agreed anyone who has been exposed to loud noise in close combat is lacking in the hearing department. " What did you say!" Inside joke for the hearing impaired. I don't expect the rest of you to understand.
The undercurrent was that these folks are all very humble. The majority of attendees who spoke generally agreed they missed their friends who didn't make it back. A good many of them are trapped in their thoughts and prayers at Iwo late at night.
It was very emotional. A roller coaster ride of funny and some brutally honest insight to Iwo.
Great time watch, for the pictures coming soon.
"The Marine Corps has been called the elite of the country by the New York Times.
I think it is the elite of the world."
Adm William Halsey, United States Navy
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Growing up and watching the men play, Pepe seemed to be on the winning team a lot. The duo trying to play against his team had a hard time. He could get a ringer or two on each pair of tosses. So pitching against him, you needed to get a ring or two to match, or else!
The NY Times has an article about the current horseshoe champion who regularly throws a ringer 80% or the time and in last years championship broke 90%.
That is some serious pitching!
Pepe and the uncles wouldn't have stood much of a chance against Alan Francis.
You can read the NY Times article here
and see a slideshow here
Sunday, July 18, 2010
You can view the 2 page story here
Smithfield Magazine Article July2010 Jerry's Story
The article came out very nicely. There are two factual errors.
(1) The reference to the Marine who is still having shrapnel removed from is body as it rises up to the surface is slightly incorrect. The story was about Del Brouillard and he passed away.
(2) The reference to Jerry's brother Jack fighting in Europe is correct. Jack did survive the war. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 90.
The color version of the photo above can be view on the YourSmithfieldMagazine website here
I haven't be able to find any links to current issues. They appear to have stopped posting content to this website.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
As you have shared your story here and with us in person, we have come to know the exact extent of this. You returned home from the Pacific with stories no one would believe. So instead of telling them you moved on. While that is a simple sentence I know it could not have been that easy. I’m sure meeting Grandma helped. As well as these crazy kids of yours that started showing up. The stories from their childhood are also fun to hear. Baseball, food, sewing, wheel-barrels, cranberries at Christmas, and cleaning the floor. They look back on it with a fondness that is shared with us.
When we get to the moment on Jerry's story when we are present, we will have gone through some very significant moments in your life. And we each have our own Papa stories to share. And share them we will. But on today, Father’s Day I wanted you to know just how much we love you.
Our lives would have been so different if you were not in it.
I still might not be able to add to 15. But hours of Cribbage practice have made that a reality. I still haven’t won a game unless you were on my team, but that’s to be expected when playing against the Master Champion of the World (and Central Falls).
My first trip to the WaterFire would not have been as magical. Inspiration for artists is all around them through out their entire life, access to moments like this helps me stay inspired everyday.
Hot dogs, Del's, peanuts, pretzels, ice cream in mini hats and baseball. PawSox Games were looked forward to as summer treasures.
You are close to holding the world record for games/events attended by any Papa. Swim meets, graduations, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, backyard badminton and volleyball tournaments, eagle scout ceremonies, bring your grandfather to school day… the list goes on.
Our stories about you will continue. And at some point they will be recorded. Our oral history as a family has been started. Thanks for sharing with us. We listen eager to learn more about your life, and your place in our countries history. We can only aspire one day to be as influential in the lives of our loved ones as you are.
Happy Father’s Day.
Now sit back, relax, and try everyone of the desserts tonight. You deserve it.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Jerry got a new phone with big numbers from the VA. Some of the frequently called numbers were pre-programmed to help make the dialing easier.
Set up the 'old' phone to ring and allow Jerry to bring it outside within. The big number phone is not mobile. Now he should have the best of both worlds. One to use outside and answer calls. One with big numbers to help dial the calls he wants to make.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Albert and Jerry:
A view of the building
And Jerry in front of the building:
Saturday, June 5, 2010
This is how I remember Vin, he always had an impish smile on his face.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Time: 1 minute 29 seconds
The photos from the ceremony can be viewed here:
A slide show of photos from the event:
I did record the event and should be able to post that recording this week.
Note: Email subscribers will need to click through to Jerry's Story to view the slideshow.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
The Providence Journal posted an article and has pictures from the semi-finals games here
and the outlook for today's championship game is here:
All photos copyright of the Providence Journal. The originals can be found here:
Thursday, May 27, 2010
You can view the video commercial announcing the special presentation here:
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
We started the night off at the Greenville Inn with Jerry his son Steve, Ed Malloy, Carl Weston, Steve Cileli and myself. The usual buffoonery with Ed setting the tone at the dinner table. At one point Gary Tikoian stopped by to exchange pleasantries with everyone and trade barbs with Eddie.
Gary's uncle was Harry Kizirian. Rhode Island's most highly decorated Marine in World War Two. Harry was with E Company, 2 Batt., 22nd Marines, 6th MARDIV.
Jerry 's dad worked for the Post office for 39 years in Providence and was friends with Harry. Jerry met Harry after the war.
Great food and then back to Ed's house and sat down to watch The Pacific. We watched Episode 9 again. Steve Cileli does a great impression of Snafu. We won't delve to far into that. You had to be there.
Ed's wife, Ellie made coffee and provided dessert. She made a special dessert for Jerry. Steve Sherlock and myself gave Jerry a hard time because he usually raids the dessert table at family gatherings. "I like to try one of each to make sure it is safe to eat." Yeah okay!
Ryan Malloy came in to watch the final episode and to meet Jerry. Ryan is a big Marine Corps fan. He'd have to be. His grandfather is legendary Providence Police Lieutenant Ed Malloy, Eddie is a Marine and uncle Carl Weston is also a Marine.
Ryan listen intently to Jerry talk about his experiences in the Pacific with the 4th MARDIV.
Again, Jerry filled in some of the guys about calling a fire mission in on Japanese positions while with JASCO. Ed asked Jerry what weapon he carried and what he liked.
Jerry of course said he liked the M-1 Carbine.
'I carried about ninety rounds with me. Six clips. We would cut a cross or X in the bullet to add stopping power. I would use my pliers and take a file and make the cut. One guy used to sell the ammo. He would cut an X on the top and then sell the ammo for like 20 bucks for a hundred rounds."
It made a difference with the carbine round being equivalent to an A plus P38 special. It turned the bullet into a hollow point. I know some of you people are getting torqued about about the Geneva Convention. Listen, I'm pretty sure if Jerry went to Geneva to fight the Swiss, he'd abide by the Geneva convention.
Jerry spoke about the Japanese getting fired up on Saki and then launching a banzai charge at around 2200 at night.
"They'd get all fired up on the Saki and charge. A couple guys found a cave that was as high as a tenement house. It was loaded with beer and saki. A guard was placed on the cave so the Japs didn't sneak back and get liquored up. A couple days later we came off the line and made a pit stop. We were supposed to get some R and R. Shower, hot chow and rest up. We got into the beer and Saki. Then we got word that the battalion that relieved us got pretty well beaten up. We got word to go back and relieve them. That was pretty rough. I'm not sure how many guys weren't hung over. We smelled pretty bad too. The Japs must have smelled us coming"
When the final episode started it showed guys coming home. Bob Leckie got home and was dropped off by a cab driver. The driver refused to take Leckie's money. The cab driver was a paratrooper who jumped into Normandy. The Paratrooper says the Gyrenes had it tough.
Leckie gets his job back with the paper as a sports writer. He courts Vera Keller.
Lena Basilone goes to New Jersey and meets up with John's parents and brother George. George tells her that he saw the grave site at Iwo and he is with his fellow Marines. I pointed out the shoulder insignia of the Fourth on George Basilone' uniform. Jerry nodded.
Jerry told us about coming home via ship to California. He had to make a deposit for a Marine sergeant.
"This sergeant won $8,000.00 playing craps. He gave several of us $2,000.00 to bring back. We had his bank and name to deposit it in. He told us that if we stiffed him, he'd find us and get the money back or kill us. As soon as I got stateside I deposited the money." Carl Weston asked if Jerry got a fee. "Oh yeah about $500.00 dollars."
The scene cuts out to Sledge and Snafu on the train heading back from the west coast. Jerry told everyone how they boarded trains and headed home. It took six days to go across the country.
"We would stop every morning and get a breakfast and then they'd give us a box lunch for the day. We would pull right into a town and go into a Harvey House and eat. There was a movie that came out called the Harvey Girls. Judy Garland played in the movie. One place, we stopped right in the middle of the town, got out and went to a bar. They had closed the main door and moved everyone to a side entrance. Inside was a long bar filled with beer bottles. You could walk up, pick up your beer and pay for them at the other side. It was one of the most efficient operations I ever saw!
Eventually I got to Washington, DC and attempted to get back to Providence by train. I got picked up by the MP's. They asked for my orders. I was trying to get back to Rhode Island in time for my sister Fran's wedding. I was going to be the best man. She was marrying Vin Campbell. They put me in a truck along with a whole bunch of Marines and we got sent to Bainbridge, MD to muster out. I never made it to the wedding."
Snafu gets to New Orleans and gets up to leave. He looks at Sledge who is asleep. I think we all see Snafu is reluctant to say goodbye. He walks off the train letting Sledge sleep.
Jerry remarked that once he mustered out from Bainbridge, he got back to Rhode Island by train.
"I got to Providence and it was early. So I took a bus to Pawtucket and went home. My mother was there. I wanted to see my father, who was on his mail route in Providence. My mother immediately told me to head back to Providence as my father would be thrilled to see me. He had told everyone that I was in the Marine Corps and was rather proud of me. I went to the Post office and they told me where he would be. So I surprised him on his route and then I walked the route with him. He introduced me to everyone. My sister was still in Hawaii and Jack was still in Europe. Paul was in Paris at SHAPE.( Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Tough duty. Ted was still with the Coast Guard and Henry was at sea with the Navy."
Editors Note: Paul was still in high school when Jerry returned home. He was the youngest of the group and didn't get to go to Europe until well after the WWII.
The show concluded with a post script on what happened to each of the Marines. It was uncanny how much the actors looked like the characters they portrayed.
Jerry was a little subdued near the end. I suspect he saw a little of himself in all of the characters. He has told his daughters that the series has evoked some memories.
He told me that he had a long night after the Iwo episode. He laughed but it was his stalwart character kicking in. It was clear that some strong feelings were brought back. We talked at length about Jonesy.
I was able to find some info on Jonesy. He died of his wounds and was buried at sea. He is still listed as missing/buried at sea in Department of Defense records. Jonesy is listed on the Tablet of the Missing in Honolulu at the War Memorial.
Eugene Sledge's father had worried about what would happen to his son after the war. He had treated returning soldiers from World War 1 and had seen the suffering of these veterans.
Sledge and others eventually figured it out and moved forward.
The highlight of the night came when Carl Weston gave Jerry a special gift. Carl had taken part in a contest on line answering questions about the Marine Corps. Carl won and received a bag of volcanic ash from Iwo Jima. Carl built a box, painted it Marine Corps Red and placed the Eagle Globe and Anchor emblem on the top.
Carl presented the box containing the ash from Iwo to Jerry. Jerry is still pretty thrilled over the gift. Something only MARINES would understand. Something so simple yet complex. That box and what it represents to Jerry and Carl transcends the boundaries of a generation of MARINES.
The Pacific is over and it has received great reviews from Jerry. It did bring back some memories. Not all good but he laughs and moves on keeping us all chuckling. Jerry says Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have hit the mark. He is awaiting the next project from them and has his own ideas.
The blog will continue. As Jerry said the other night; "I have a lot more stories to tell!"
Special thanks to Ellie and Ed Malloy for opening there wonderful home to Jerry and his Gang.
Especially to Ellie for her hospitality.
Thanks to Carl Weston ,Steve Cileli and Ryan Malloy for joining us on the evening of the final episode.
Jerry has been thrilled all week. His time with family and his MARINES mean so much.
"The man who will go where his colors will go, who will fight a phantom foe in a jungle or a mountain range and will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been. He is the stuff of what legions are made. His pride is his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face and his obedience is to orders. As a legionary, he held the gates of civilization for the classical world... he has been called UNITED STATES MARINE."
Lt. Col. T.R. Fehrenbach, US ARMY in "THIS KIND OF WAR"
Monday, May 10, 2010
Some remarks are made and a confrontation quickly escalates with the Japanese prisoners and the Marines. Something along the line of " I thought we didn't take prisoners. Yeah those are ARMY prisoners." Which quickly got a chuckle from Jerry. Jerry has some strong feelings left over from Saipan when the Marines moved forward and the Army stayed at the line of departure.
They Marines continue to move forward and the action begins right away. The rain and mud quickly deteriorate the Marines morale.
"I was fortunate with the weather. I only recall it raining one night on Iwo. It was a little cool but we just covered up. I don't remember it raining on Saipan or Tinian. That rain and mud must have been tough on Okinawa. I'm glad I didn't go to Korea. I don't do well in the cold. Well back then it didn't bother me when I was young. I'm still glad I didn't go."
"Jack Mainor went and he got hit up at the Chosin Resevoir. His mother got a letter that he was missing. That must have been tough on her. He was evacuated to an Army hospital in Japan. It wasn't until a Marine Officer came in and asked if there were any Marines present. That's how they found out Jack was alive."
In a typical Rhode Island story Jack Mainor was good friends with that Legendary Providence Cop Paul Chalko. He was wounded along with Jack at Chosin. He was a pretty grizzled veteran Sergeant went I got to meet him. Jack Mainor mentioned that he knew Sgt. Chalko and I mentioned it to him. Sort of smoothed things over!
At one point the Marines move forward when the Japanese pull back. Upon reaching the Japanese lines several refugees come down the draw. One of them is crying and trying to pass off a baby. She moves her clothes and a bomb is strapped to her body. The bomb detonates and the Japs push refugees ahead of them with pretty grim results.
"I am glad I didn't have to deal with that. At Saipan the Japanese made the civilians jump off Marpi Point. They had to jump off or get shot. Of course at Iwo we didn't come across any civilians at all."
At one point Sledge is summoned up to call fire in on an enemy strong point. Sledge breaks out a compass and calls for fire. I notice Jerry smiling. Pretty accurate portrayal?
"Oh yeah I was pretty good at that. Of course most of the time I had a map with all grids and coordinates marked off. I'd call for one round for effect. If it was on, I'd shoot the whole battery. If it was a ship they 'd open up with all the five inch guns. A battle ship, that would be the 16 inch guns. Pretty noisy with some good results. Yes I did that quite a bit." He was beaming with the trade mark Sherlock grin!
One of the Marines comes apart and starts firing at the Japanese lines at night. Several Marines try to stop him.
"Good way to get yourself killed. You could get shot by your own guys doing something like that. It happened. Guys reached the breaking point and for everyone it was different. I'm glad it never happened to me. Some guys, you never knew when it would happen. My buddy Sherlock from New York, remember when we talked of him? We were virtually civilians when we got on the ship leaving Hawaii. He lost it at the dock when the ship pulled away. He just didn't think he was going home.
"Guys marking the days in a book or writing down what happened. Not me, one day was the same as the rest. Just glad I got through the day in one piece "
Near the end of the episode the Marines with Sledge and Snafu are sunning themselves by the ocean. They get the word to saddle up. The officer says that a bomb was dropped on Japan and killed alot of Japanese. The Japs might finished.
I asked Jerry when he got the word about the atomic bomb.
"I was in my tent and I heard alot of gunfire. Guys were shooting everything. Couple mortar rounds went out too. When they told me, I started firing my carbine also." He motioned having a carbine in his hands and pulling the trigger. Jerry was giggling at this point. "I had already been practicing hitting beaches out on Maui. I wasn't that happy as I was pretty sure I'd get hit. Given all the casualties I knew I was do to get hit. I just dealt with it. When the bomb was dropped I just couldn't believe that one bomb could do all that damage. One bomb? Then a second bomb was dropped and the emperor surrendered. 250,000 people were killed. Well the alternative was that i and alot of other Americans would have been killed. They signed the peace agreements in Tokyo Bay on the deck of the Missouri. (USS Missouri BB-63).
It was the impossible dream. I was really glad. A lot Marines would have died hitting the home Islands. I know it sounds strange but that was it the war was over with two bombs."
The previews came on for next week and a couple guys had dress blues.
"I never had dress blues. I suppose I would have liked to but I'd had enough. Word came down that Col. Chambers was going to be the Provost Marshal in Shanghai, China. My buddy couldn't go so I was asked. I'd be the aide to Col. Chambers. I thought about and said I'd have to ask permission from my mother." He laughs at this point. You had to ask your mother? You're a combat Marine and you have to ask your mother for permission to go to China?
"Well yes. Listen my mother had seven kids involved one way or another in the war. I wasn't sure she'd approve of that. I didn't know what Jack had been through. I figured I 'd better ask my mother." Again he starts chuckling and adds; " Of course I'm not sure what my frame of mind was back then. I'd seen enough of killing. I was pretty sure a military career wasn't for me at that point. I 'd had enough. I wanted to go home and see my mother and the rest of the family."
What had happened to Jack? Had you heard anything?
"No. I had no idea what Jack had been through. No word at all. I never knew what happened to Jack until I got home. No mail. I was very glad that we were all home in one piece. It was a different time. What I had been through... it was enough. Later on during the Vietnam War I thought I didn't want my sons going through what I'd experienced. I'd go back before they went. It's hard to understand for some people. I knew what to do. Some things you don't ever forget. I would have been able to do the job. Not some kid who didn't know any better."
Jerry makes no apologies for his actions during the war. Nor about his feelings on the Atomic bombs being used. Jerry experienced war in its most simplest, brutal form. No time out, no do over button and no saying " No fair . You hurt my feelings."
So Cowboy up next time you've had a bad day. Your iPod, Cell phone or Laptop freezing up is not the end of the world.
Like Jerry, live for today. Because sometimes, for some people that's all there is at the end of the day. Like the Marines of World War Two fighting, surviving and some dying. Moving forward. All Servicemen and Women for all time. Stop and give them a quick thought.
"There is nothing particularly glorious about sweaty fellows, laden with killing tools, going along to fight.
And yet such a column represents a great deal more then individuals mustered in a division. All that is behind those men is in that column too; the old battles, long forgotten that have secured our nation...traditions of things endured and things accomplished, such as regiments hand down forever... and that abstract thing called patriotism, which I never heard combat soldiers mention- All this passes into the forward zone, to the point of contact, where war is girt with horrors.
And common men endure these horrors and overcome them, along with the insistent yearnings of the belly and the reasonable promptings of fear; and this, I think, is Glory."
Capt. John Thomason USMC ; "FIX BAYONETS" 1926
Sunday, May 9, 2010
United States Marine Corps
ENGRAVED UPON THE DEDICATORY STONE;
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The show started with the 1st MARDIV recuperating from Peleliu. It then moved to John Basilone and followed him on the War Bond Tour, to home to his family and then out to Camp Pendleton with the 5th MARDIV.
John Basilone starts working out and pushes his men hard. Jerry began chuckling about Gunny Basilone barging into the barracks in the middle of the night, waking the Marines up.
He gave me a wry look and said; "What was it they said when they came into wake us up. One DI would always be screaming at us. Oh yeah it went something like this. .......Drop..." Sorry we are G Rated here. You Marines know exactly what the verse is!
Basilone gets married and he winds up with the 5th on Iwo. Jerry immediately said that the 5th was at the opposite end of the beach where he landed.
I asked if the depiction of combat was accurate. "Oh it was a pretty accurate portrayal of how it was. We woke up and they gave us a big breakfast of ham and eggs coffee.... everything. Then we got into the boats at about 0430 and circled. We didn't hit the beach until after 0900. The commanders had to make a decision as to whether we'd hit the beach or not. The thing that sticks out was the Volcanic ash. I ran on alot of beaches. Iwo was different. You couldn't get traction to run. It was extremely difficult and slowed everyone down in getting off the beach. You would dig a fox hole and it would collapse.
I can remember jumping into a hole and starting a conversation with a guy. It was a one sided conversation. I checked and he was dead. Wounded and dead were everywhere. You have to understand that almost 1800 guys were piling onto the beach from every wave. Too many guys were put on the beach at the same time.
I really feel that alot of the casualties resulted from the poor traction. You couldn't go anywhere fast. So if you were getting shot at it was tough running on the beach. I think that's why so many guys got hit. No where to go and everyone bunched up.
I finally saw a bunch of guys underneath a pill box. They weren't getting shot at as the Japanese couldn't get the angle. So I ran to where they were. Then I threw a couple of grenades up at the pillbox. Eventually some demolition guys came over and they put bangalore torpedos underneath. They called "fire in the hole". Then dropped the Pillbox down the hill. We cleaned it out and used it as a commo bunker with all of our radios.
The medics got pretty busy. They did a tremendous job."
When did you know about Basilone getting hit?
"It wasn't for several days later that we found out. We were busy with are own stuff and when it came out that he was killed it overshadowed alot of other people who got killed. Basilone was famous because of his actions at Guadalcanal. Some high ranking officers were killed on Iwo. More was said about Basilone because of his exploits."
When did Jonesy get hit?
"Jonesy got hit about eight or nine days after we landed. That was awful hard. I was close to him because we had formed a bond in combat. We had cleaned out caves together on Saipan. We lost so many guys in a short amount of time at Iwo.
I was sitting there on the beach after Jones got hit a second time in the landing craft. Another Marine came along and asked if I was OK. I said I am alive." The Marine replied. " Ok grab your gear and move out . We got to get back up to the front." So off I moved. It wasn't the same though." Jerry continued
I wasn't really close in a sense to anyone else. Jones and I had a special bond. We had been through alot at Saipan. I went out for a beer with the replacements but it was different."(Back in Hawaii)
We also didn't experience any Banzai charges like on Saipan. The Japanese commander told each Imperial soldier to kill at least 10 of us. At the end sometime in March the Japs did launch a surprise attack on the airfield. Quite a few guys got killed. All the Japs were killed though."
Jones suffered a leg injury where most of his leg was gone. A tourniquet was placed on his leg. Jerry and several Marines rushed him to the beach. Jones was put on an LCVP with other wounded Marines. As the boat was heading out to the hospital ship it took a direct hit. Jerry immediately swam out with other Marines and they brought the wounded to shore.
Jones had now lost his left arm in addition to his leg. Jerry never says who, but I suspect he placed the tourniquet on Jones. Jerry put Jones along with the wounded on another boat and it went to the the hospital ship.
Jerry got word several days later that Jones had died on the ship.
Some of you have heard a version of this story. This episode opened up some more chapters in Jerry's life. It is the story of a Marine in combat. Hard and brutal. Somethings that won't ever be forgotten. Jonesy and Jerry were tight. That was made very clear.
"Just cruel and unusual punishment is all I can think of what happened. Guys getting hit multiple times. We'd fix a guy up and he'd get hit again. It was so unfair in a sense. I just still don't understand why. To this day... I was just so very lucky. I never realized how lucky I really was. I found out not to long ago that of 900 guys that hit the beach at Iwo Jima in my unit, only 150 walked off." Jerry got that far away look and shrugged his shoulders.
We spoke of things that took place in the days afterwards and then when he left Iwo. Higher Headquarters put out the word looking for volunteers to man the Navy Chow Lines. FOOD??? What Sherlock would say no to food? ( Damn near had a riot on Sunday when he was put on portions for dessert after Kegan's confirmation.)
Jerry left Iwo Jima and moved onto a US Navy ship. The Sailors treated him well upon arrival. Jerry prepped the chow on the Navy vessel.
"I was pretty ragged. The sailors ran a hot shower and then put me in Navy dungarees. They made me steak and I got to eat plenty of ice cream. They really treated me very well. Eventually a Gunny caught up to me just before we got to Hawaii and told me to put on USMC dungarees. That was the end of that." That trademark grin and laugh.
Jerry would commence training for an as of yet undetermined target. He felt that it may have been Honsho.
Jack Sherlock was in a Tank Destroyer Battalion pushing through German lines.
"My brother Jack was involved at the battle of the Remagen Bridge and helped capture it."
That battle took place 7-8 March 1945. German troops did attempt to blew it but it was a low order detonation. The bridge was captured intact and vehicles got over it. The bridge finally did collapse on 17 March-1945.
Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone lay at Iwo Jima unti his remains were moved to Arlington National Cemetary in 1948.
27 Medals of Honor were awarded for actions at Iwo Jima. 23 to US MARINES. 4 to Sailors.
That would amount to 28% of the 82 Medals of Honor awarded to the Marine Corps in World War Two.
More Medals of Honor then any other Battle to date.
25,851 casualties. 1 in 3 would die.
6,285 Americans were killed there. US Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen.
One of those was PFC Jones 1st JASCO 3rd BN 25th Marines 4th MARDIV from Colorado.
"Among the men who fought at Iwo Jima, Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue."
Admiral ChesterW. Nimitz
Wold War II saw the defense industry playing a big catch up game with weapons for the War effort.
We have already profiled some weapons here. Several manufacturers such as Harrington and Richardson in Worcester and United Defense in New Haven began jumping in with all makes of submachine guns. The Reising Model 55 with a folding stock was adopted by the Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Raiders and ParaMarines. Marines carried them into Guadalcanal with some dismal results. It was a .45 Auto Caliber closed bolt SMG. (The Thompson SMG fired from an open bolt.) It contained more moving parts. Like the Reising, it was also hand fitted. Meaning that the parts were not interchangeable. The Reising was designed for Law Enforcment where hand fitted parts might not make a difference. However, in a combat environment where field maintenance was everyday, it became a problem. Eventually the Resing was pulled from the FMF.
"I wanted the Thompson SMG. I thought I was qualifying with it at Hawaii and I'd be able to get issued. Apparently, the course didn't conform to Marine Corps standards. I ended up with the Carbine. I didn't like the BAR. Heavy and it recoiled pretty hard. We had to fam fire all the weapons in case something happened, we knew how to operate everything."
Other weapons we've seen are the M1917 Revolver. Manufactured by Colt and Smith & Wesson. It required half moon clips that you'd put the .45 ACP rounds into and then load into the cylinder. It was a manstopper. Eugene Sledge's character is seen sporting one with a lanyard and the 1917 Cavalry holster. Standard fair back in the day when carrying the 1917 Revolver.
Jerry's fellow Marine, Jones carried a Colt Single Action Army in a western rig. I asked Jerry about Marines carrying various pistols.
"It was personal thing if guys had them they carried them. No one said anything because we were in combat. You wouldn't get away with it Stateside. In combat it was different. It was nice to have a pistol when Jones and I had to clear caves."
The Thompson enjoyed much fame. Carried by gangsters in the Roaring Twenties. Anyone could buy them back them. John Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly made them famous. Designed by Col. John Thompson for Trench warfare, it was a heavy but dependable weapon. Several models were fielded. It came with a 20 round box or stick magazine. The Tommy gun fired from an open bolt. You can use the magazine to repel boarders if required. Fully loaded it is pretty heavy. A fifty round drum magazine was issued early in the war but it proved cumbersome.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Walt, Johnny, thank you for sharing this story.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
"I took a train from Providence with about maybe twenty other guys. We got down to Washington DC and got off there. We were herded to another area where a Coastliner was waiting for us. Everyone on that train was headed to Parris Island.
Upon arrival we were met by Master Gunnery Sgt. Lou Diamond." With a gleeful laugh and hand gesture Jerry said" Oh yeah that was something else. 'We were useless, the worst excuse for Marine recruits he had ever seen in his career. 'They were just trying to break us down. Which they did. But there was a purpose for it. It probably helped save a lot of Marines in combat. If they said go you just went. It was automatic. We were well trained."
People have to move as one in combat but you still can't shake the feeling of fear. In reading some books on combat in World War two it was felt by a lot of doctors that men could only endure sustained combat for about a month. It would begin to take a toll. What these Marines went through was pretty tough combat.
We see Sledge lose his LT. very shortly. During the night the Japanese began to infiltrate into the Marine lines. One guy got out of his fox hole and was killed. Master Sgt. Holt dresses down his Marines and tells them this is what happens when you leave your fox hole at night.
Jerry commented "Yeah, you didn't leave your fox hole. The night was tough because your eyes played tricks on you. The least little noise and the whole line would open up and it was tough to hear the cease fire being called. One night I got delayed out in front of the lines with my Lt. while scouting. We didn't dare cross back into our lines."
Well I said how about all those World War Two movies where they said hey who plays for the Yankees?
"Oh my God that was BS. You didn't say a word. You just stayed where you were and hoped you didn't run into the Japanese. Any noise would have brought a response from our lines. No such thing as friendly fire. My Lt. and I stayed out there all night. I was dying for a cigarette. Then the Japanese were crawling by us. At one point I could have reached out and touched them. I was dying for a cigarette." Then he starts laughing and says; We got through the night and then came back into the lines at daybreak. No big deal."
No big deal? Ah Okay. I think that would be described as an underwear changing event.
At one point while the Marines are moving up through the the hills into the Japanese lines and a guy has to relieve himself. He walks over to a cave entrance. As soon as he gets his pants down he is charged by a Japanese soldier. The Marine shoots the Japanese soldier and begins to make a tactical retrograde. (Unassessing the area some might call it.) Jerry begins laughing hysterically along with the Maines on the show as another Jap chases the Marine who is still trying to get his pants up. Finally the Japanese soldier is shot and the Marine is pulling up his pants hollering at his fellow marines for taking so long to shoot the Jap.
Jerry is still laughing clearly he has been reminded of something.
"On Iwo this guy was squatting down relieving himself. All of a sudden the enemy opened up on him. He started running with his pants at half mast and I just started laughing. Then I was howling. It was a good thing the guy was altittle further down and the Japs were shooting. Otherwise he'd have probably come over and beat the sh*& out of me. I was laughing so hard I wouldn't have been able to defend myself. Oh God that was funny." Jerry gives that classic grin and shakes his head.
As the Marines are moving up further into the hills they call for the CO. He passes up to the front. A short moment later and gunfire breaks out in the same direction the CO was heading. The word passes down that the Captain was killed. The Marines are clearly hit hard by the loss of the Captain.
I commented that it must have been hard losing a good officer.
"Yes it was hard. It was hard losing a friend. It ah... it was just hard, you know. You get to know these guys and we were like brothers. The loss was hard. You never knew when it would happen. But you did your job. We had to keep going."
The episode ends with the Sledge and his fellow Marines being returned to the rear area and being greeted by Red Cross workers giving them Orange Juice.
The episode also covered Basilone on the Bond tour and getting antsy to be back in the Corps.
Jerry again just shakes his head.
"I don't know why he went back. I had seen enough after Saipan and Tinian. After Iwo I just know my luck would have run out. We were suppose to hit the island of Honsho. It was a home Island. I was pretty sure I was going to get hit." Jerry gives a shrug of the shoulders and stares at the television with a very resigned look. "We had lost a lot of guys. The odds were against me."
Jerry gave the episode an overall great rating saying it had that mix of combat and life as a Marine.
We were getting together this Sunday for a big gathering of Jerry's Marine Corps buddies from Providence Police Marines. However it has been postponed to to the last episode when we can gather everyone and head for Chow and them back to view the last episode with Jerry.
Stay tuned to WPRI Channel 12 with Walt Buteau, Jerry and his son Steve Sherlock for "Street Stories."
" My answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far much more guts, courage and better officers... These boys out here have pride in the Marine Corps and fight to the end no matter what the cost.
2nd Lt. Richard Kennard USMC, Peleliu, World War Two
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
My mother in law's uncle was Donald Hallman, JR. he was killed when he was 17 years old on Iwo. He was a member of the 1st JASCO, I don't have the exact unit he was in but I do have a copy of his casualty card that I have attached. Buddy, as he was known to the family, enlisted at around 15, some of the letters (and I do have access to them just not at this time) said that everyone under the rank of CPT knew about his age...he also mentioned some kind of training accident that occurred while training for Iwo...from what I can tell by adding bits and pieces together I think he was also on Saipan as he mentions being on the cover of a magazine. Would you please ask Jerry if he ever heard of Donald? it would mean a great deal to my mother in law. Buddy was from Texas and his father was also in the Corps as a combat correspondent...he lost a leg at Peleiu and he and his son (Donald Jr.) were featured in Stars and Stripes or one of those type papers as being one of the few father/son marines.
ANYTHING Jerry may know about Donald "Buddy" Hallman,Jr. would be great!!Unfortunately, Jerry does not recall Donald.
The 1st Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO) while a single unit was deployed in smaller groups to support different battalions within the 4th Division. Jerry was associated with the 3rd Regiment, 25th Battalion and they went ashore on Iwo Jima in the Blue section of the beach.
Maybe other visitors of this site will know of someone who did know Donald.
If you do, please contact me. I'll connect you with the family of Donald who will be most grateful.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
If all goes according to schedule, the segment should be broadcast on Apr 30th at 6:15 PM. It will also be re-broadcast on Saturday morning at 7:40 AM for you early birds.
If you can't catch the live broadcast, don't worry. It will also be posted to the Facebook page for "Street Stories" and we'll make sure to get a copy or at least a link to post it here.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I asked Jerry if he remembered much about the incident.
"Well it was in the papers about the raid. I was a junior in high school. It was a big deal. Hey the military struck right at the heart of Japan."On Pacific Jerry agreed water was a problem. He recalled on Saipan that his canteen got hit with shrapnel. When he brought a wounded Marine back to the beach he found a quick remedy for no canteen.
"I grabbed the wounded guys canteen. He didn't need it and I'd put it to good use." Simple shrug of the shoulders.Guys getting hit.
"Well if a guy got hit several guys would jump up and carry the stretcher. Depending on the size of the guy we'd have two or four guys. There was never a shortage. I and others always felt that if we were hit, someone would take care of us in the same fashion. Plus it got you out of immediate gunfire for a few minutes. I'd try and get a hot cup of coffee and grab as much ammo as I could get, to bring back. We'd drop our packs and ammo belts and grab more at the beach head.'
"The LST's that beached or damaged would be set a up as an aid station. The serious cases would be taken out to the hospital ships."Chamorro Prisoners at Saipan.
"We took a lot of Chamorro Prisoners. They were natives the island. The Japs had forced them into working for them. Myself and another guy were bringing Chamorro prisoners to a camp and a woman went into labor. The other guy said 'Have you ever birthed an animal?" "Ah gee no, I grew up in the city."
The other Marine said no sweat. He delivered the baby and I helped. I carried the baby back to the POW camp. The mother was in better shape then I was for God's sake. It was an experience watching the baby get born and helping."The assault on the airfield on Pacific.
"The thing that strikes me the most is the guys bunching up. We were told that you shouldn't ever bunch up. Lot of guys together. One shell could take everyone out, or a machine gun could do alot of damage . But then you had the senior guys saying follow me or stay close."
"I remember one guy in combat running around hollering; ' I can't find my plate I lost my plate.' He had lost the base plate for the mortar. I was always glad I wasn't in the weapons section carrying the parts to the mortar or the machine gun. It was bad enough having to run like hell but to carry all that equipment..." Then that trade mark chuckle.Jerry said it was a great depiction of combat in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Speilberg and Hanks have captured the moments well. When the Gunny said ' Check your ammo. What do you got and what do you need. Standby to standby." Jerry chuckled.
"Yeah, hey you were glad to have survived. Make a check of your equipment and grab a smoke if you could. You know they filled water in the jerry can. Then they put fuel in them. I think the Navy carted those cans all over the Pacific. God the water tasted like sh#@ from those cans."Intelligence sources say Jerry was getting a little tired of the soap opera part with the girlfriends and other drama. Lets just say G2 had it on good authority.
Jerry was happy with Episode 6. The depiction of guys getting wounded and getting a corpsman up to treat them. The confusion during combat. Scouting up front and getting shot at. All things that Jerry has experienced first hand. He has that great sense of humor and laughs a lot about the crazy things that happened in combat.
He said that there were alot of guys from the southern states.
"They used to laugh like hell at my accent. They always got me to say; 'I parked my car in Harvard yard.' Those guys would fall over laughing. Saying a spoke funny. " Hey you guys should listen to yourselves. You sound pretty funny to me."
Jerry give tonight's episode high marks.
Stay tuned, G-3 (operations) is planning to have something special cooking for the episode covering the Invasion of Iwo Jima. Get together with some of Jerry's Marine buddies from the Birthday Ball for chow and them watching the show. Should be good!
"There are two kind of people who understand the MARINES. Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second hand opinion."