Mike Klein Online

My Father, USMC Sgt. Charles F. Klein: “I Didn’t Do Too Well at Iwo Jima”

November 3, 1941 is the date that changed my father’s life.  With Germany sweeping across Europe and Japan prepared to attack, my father enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.  He was 24 years old, somewhat older than many recruits and draftees.  But he was a scared young man nonetheless.

My father’s World War II Marine Corps service was seldom discussed at home.  I learned bits and pieces from my aunts and one uncle but from my father, almost nothing.  As a youngster, I wanted to hear my father talk about war and how he beat Japan.  John Wayne won wars in the movies so it must have been something like movies.  He didn’t want to talk about it.  The less he said the better.

A few years ago I read James Bradley’s brilliant history “Flags of Our Fathers,” the story of the U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima.  I knew for years that my father was part of the Iwo Jima invasion.  Once when he was well into his early 80’s, my father said he didn’t do very well at Iwo Jima.  I remember telling him that he got off the island alive; to me, that was doing pretty well. Continue reading

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment