I am fine and "dug in" here on IWO JIMA...

William 'Bill' Van Blarcom of New Jersey joined the Marines in 1943 to do his part in World War II. This letter is one of many from his nearly 3 years away from home, but may be one of the most historically important. Bill scratched off this letter 7 days after landing on Yellow Beach #1 at Iwo Jima during Operation Detachment.

Feb. 26, 1945

Hello Dad -

I suppose you all have been wondering where the "H" my mail has been, huh? Well - things have been happening pretty fast of late and the days have got ahead of me. I guess I could have dropped a line to you while I was aboard ship - but all I could have said then was - I was "OK" aboard ship and headed into combat. That didn't strike me as being the sort of letter to send to people who wait and worry for you... Now the situation, though not improved a great deal, would call for some sort of word. I know how you hate being in the dark.-

I am fine and "dug in" firm here on IWO JIMA. You know of this place by this time I am sure. We have been here damn near a week now. I can't say much more - need I say much more??? As before, Dad, I must hand it to your Navy. Those boys sure pack a whollop!! Even as I write this I can see their fire out over the water.

Let's see - Weather, chow and moral are all "taboo" so I'll just go ahead and answer your last letter. Believe it or not I still have it here, the last word from home before we shoved off for here (still readable). About all I can comment on is that I hope that your course doesn't reach me for quite a while yet - it will surely be ruined. Though I very much appreciate the idea, and very much appreciate the interest. Glad to hear George made it home again. I want to get a letter off to Lois now while spare time holds out.

Once again - I am OK and feeling fine! Make sure you pass that much on to Mom. You see, I have tasted this sort of thing before and thus know better how to use my time, equipment and I might add - head. Much to my discomfort I have discovered just how thick a bread I can grow - Ha. Water is strictly for more important uses. May as well mention since it's permissible that I am sure you would thrill to see these boys work. The scream of the rockets is a new and terrible sound added to the beaches here - and though I know they're going the "other" way they never fail to set my 1/2 inch of hair up on end. Looks like and as of now, the luxury of letter-writing will come to an end. But not before I mention that, as you have heard me say before, my bible is one of the closest things to me these past few days. I feel ashamed that I should only now be really understanding it when before, when my need for it was light, I made light of it. I'm sure you can understand that. But if I go on and write like this my personality will be in fitting with my beard - Ha!!!I'll try to scratch off another one of these soon.

So long for now.

Your Son


PFC Wm J. VanBlarcom