Friday, February 19, 2016

WWII Iwo Jima Marine First Lt. John Wells Passed Away

Marine who led WWII charge up Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima dies 
Marine Corps Times 
By Matthew L. Schehl 
February 17, 2016
Wells, meanwhile, persuaded a corpsman to donate morphine to him, escaped from the hospital ship and joined his men shortly after the flag raising.
John Keith Wells of Abilene, Texas, left, chats with then-Gov. Rick Perry during a brunch that Perry hosted in Wells' honor in 2006. A first lieutenant in World War II, Wells commanded 3rd Platoon, Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The unit became the most decorated platoon to fight in a single engagement in the history of the Marine Corps.
(Photo: Harry Cabluck/AP)
The Marine who led the charge to place the first American flag above Iwo Jima has died.

First Lt. John Wells, 94, died Feb. 11 at the Arvada Care Rehabilitation Center in Arvada, Colorado.

Wells received the Navy Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart after leading his Marines in a frontal assault up the slopes of Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

He didn’t make it to the top after taking multiple enemy rounds, but continued to command, leading his men to victory. His platoon raised the first flag atop the mountain, hours before the iconic photo of the second flag raising was captured.

“He was a very warm, sensitive, spiritual man, all the way to age 94,” Connie Schultz, Well’s daughter, told ABC affiliate Denver 7. “He honored and loved the Marine Corps with all his heart and soul. He loved his family, and his last words were, ‘My family.’ ”
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