Interview with Ed DesRosiers
Interview August 9, 2009
DesRosier’s home in Moodus, CT
: 40 born in Worcester, MA 1922. Education history. Wanted to be Navy pilot but flunk physical. To be inducted with Ted Williams of Boston Red Sox.
2: 35 disappointed at not becoming a pilot.
3: 20 went to work in a foundry prior to enlistment. Pre- war Worcester. Working in Worcester.
4: 45 Enlistment in Marines. Basic training at Paris Island. Mess hall, mail call.
7: 45 sent to communications in Camp Lejeune, SC. Sent to San Diego. 1943 goes to Marshall Islands.
8: 50 Didn’t worry about getting killed. Proud to be a Marine.
9: 50 Adapting to the military.
10: 40 Life at Camp Pendleton., San Diego. Outfit was in war movies. Fun in a bowling alley.
13: 15 Travel on an LST to the Hawaii then onto to Pacific. Arrive in the Marshall Islands.
14: 30 Life on the LST. Playing cards on deck.
15: 45 Invasion near Roi and Namur. Kill 3800 enemy. Burial parties. DesRosiers still has illness from the assignment. Goes to enu bear.
18: 15 Cutting hair on enu bear. Leads religious services.
18: 55 Return to Maui. Drinking beer on Maui. Training in cow pastures with 75MM guns.
21: 10 Marines were like brothers. Living 19 months in a tent city. Beer parties in Maui.
22: 50 Invasion of Saipan. Shooting on the beach. 9000 enemy death. Killed one of their own sergeants who was accidentally giving their position away. The Japanese code. The tragedy of the natives.
27: 15 Some Marines couldn’t handle combat. Difficulty with coordinating attacks with the Army.
28: 40 Closeness of the Marines. Communications assignment on Saipan.
27: 30 Reinforcements after Saipan. Shipped to Tinian Island. Japanese bombardment. Ed’s worst night in the Marines. Lucky to be alive. Receives a letter of commendation.
31: 40 Gets dysentery after Tinian. Quarantined in Maui. Killing cows on Maui.
33: 40 Shipped to Iwo Jima. Invasion of Iwo Jima. Avoiding a submarine attack. Non- stop action. Story of the disobedient seabee. Buddy killed in mortar attack. Lucky to be alive.
40: 00 Story of buddy from Bridgeport, CT. who was killed.
40: 45 Island warfare. Conditions on Iwo. Returning to Iwo in 2006.
42: 10 Eating the chow. Bathing in salt water.
43: 35 Enemy caves on Iwo. Inevitable victory on Iwo. Casualty statistics.
44: 40 Impressions of the Japanese soldier. Different philosophy of warfare. GI weapons.
Flamethrowers make a difference. 47: 40 Never had a furlough. Wrote to Mom. News from home. Oldest sister becomes JFK’s secretary after the war. Mindset of the Marine. Sleeping on the deck. Life on the ship. Seasickness.
51: 55 After Iwo. Preparing for the invasion of Japan in 1946. Agreed with Truman to drop the bomb. Return to Maui. Back to Camp Pendleton.
55: 40 Returning home through Boston. No parades. Gets a job at Sears. New job at Howard Johnson and going to school at Boston University.
58: 15 Still active in Iwo Jima Survivors. Parade in Madison, CT. Member of the American Legion and VFW. Return to Iwo in 2006 with his son.
1: 01: 10 Reflections on service in the USMC.
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