Marine says he was mistaken for dead on Iwo Jima

REINHOLDS, Pa. (WHTM) – The 21-gun salute is standard fare on Memorial Day. So is “Taps.” A parade was also on the Memorial Day menu in Reinholds, but the highlight may have been the featured speaker.

Richard Brown of Hummelstown was a Marine in World War II and he was wounded on Iwo Jima. While his brothers were famously raising the stars and stripes on Mount Suribachi, Brown and his group were trying to take an airstrip.

It wasn’t easy.

“We run over two landmines. There was 13 of us on this tank LVT. We hit these two landmines and killed every one of us but me and another fella,” Brown said.

Brown’s wounds were so bad the medic thought he was dead and called for a body bag.

“I started moving and now he says, ‘he’s alive, bring the stretcher.’ So they brought the stretcher and put me on that,” he said.

But he wasn’t out of harm’s way. While on the stretcher, he was shot in the arm; proof of which was recently found.

“Just two weeks ago, they took shrapnel out of my arm out of my hand,” Brown said. “They just found it here at the medical center.”

Brown is now 90. For years, he didn’t speak of his experiences, but his late wife encouraged him to share. He’s now making up for lost time.

“There’s so much history in us older fellas and we’re not telling nobody,” he said.

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