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Commemorating The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima

Thursday, February 19, 2015

February 19, 2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of the beginning of the battle of Iwo Jima.  The History Center holds many collections given by World War II veterans and their families that help document Angelina County's sacrifices during that war.  One collection was given by veteran Ben Weber, a Bronx, New York native that setteld in Lufkin after the war.  He enlisted in the Army in November 1942, did basic training in Camp Upton, Long Island, New York, and was assigned to 353rd Military Police Escort Guard Company. During the early years of his military service, Weber was responsible for transporting German and Italian prisoners of war to POW camps throughout the United States. Weber worked as a POW camp guard in Huntsville and Lufkin, Texas. After training in combat medicine he was transferred to Iwo Jima and attached to the 4th Marine Division but remained unassigned. On Iwo Jima Weber protected the 232 General Hospital.  This collection is a diary created by an unknown Japanese soldier and chronicles his activities during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The entries date from January 1, 1945 – March 25, 1945, although some entries between February 19 and March 26 (dates of the battle) were removed for military intelligence reasons. Ben Weber obtained this copy of the diary when he was a member of the 353rd Military Police Escort Guard.  The diary can be read by clicking here and downloading the pdf.