Fifth Marine Division

Special film-strip-with-play-triangle_318-50666 Footage

5th Marine Division Insignia

Iwo Jima

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Recon Company Marines
USS Cecil (APA-96)
[Multiple]

There are several indicators that the ten soldiers in this footage are with the 5th Marine Division and are on the USS Cecil (APA-96) on February 11, 1945, just five days before she leaves for Iwo Jima.

1) The marker held by the first Marine clearly indicates “11 FEB ’45” (see screenshot below).

2) Another marker clearly indicates “D-3” (February 16, 1945) and “Leaving USS Cec” (see screenshot below). The only U.S. vessel with a name starting with “Cec” and that was involved in the Iwo Jima campaign was the USS Cecil (APA-96). She was station in the Hawaiian Islands in November 1944 for training exercises and departed for Iwo Jima on D-3.

3) A portion of the footage shortly after that of the ten Marines shows a “PA-96” landing craft which would have been from the USS Cecil (APA-96).

4) The identity of each Marine is undeniable given the markers with their names AND they, according to The Spearhead – The World War II History of the 5th Marine Division, were all in Headquarters Battalion of the 5th Marine Division (see additional details under group photo below).

Note: According to the National Archives January 1945 Muster Roll 0917, all of these soldiers were part of the Reconnaissance (Recon) Company. This is also corroborated by “RECON” in the “D-3” screenshot below.

Video source: Jun 3, 2016 –  Francis Marion Cockrell‘s daughter, Amanda, had received several reels of film that her father, a cameraman for the 5th Marine Division, brought back from Iwo Jima. She was kind enough to share them with me. Please note that there is duplicate footage of two of the marines which may make it appear as though there were twelve Marines with name markers when, in fact, there were ten.

Research sources:
1) The Spearhead – The World War II History of the 5th Marine Division.
2) National Archives January 1945 Muster Roll 0917
3) FindAGrave.com
4) Ancestry.com

Ten Marines on USS Cecil (APA-96)This is a screenshot from a portion of the previous footage. Back Row (left to right): Cletis E Peacock, Robert H Dabney, Robert G Reynolds, Richard M Cole and Charles A Linder. Front Row (left to right): Chester L Barrett, James O Burns, Tony Forte, James W Duncan and John D Thomas.

Photo courtesy of Robert G Reynold’s son, Robert (8/10/2017). Back Row (left to right): Cletis E Peacock, Robert H Dabney, Robert G Reynolds, Richard M Cole and Charles A Linder. Front Row (left to right): Chester L Barrett, James O Burns, Tony Forte, James W Duncan and John D Thomas.

February 11, 1945 MarkerThis is a screenshot from a portion of the previous footage. Marker clearly indicates “11 FEB ’45” (February 11, 1945).

10Marines0170_D-3MarkerThis is a screenshot from a portion of the previous footage. Marker clearly indicates “SUBJECT RECON”, “D-3” (February 16, 1945) and “LEAVING U.S.S. Cec”.

 

The Ten Recon Marines

Names listed in order of appearance. Page numbers reference those in The Spearhead – The World War II History of the 5th Marine Division.

Captain Robert G Reynolds
Feb 25, 1918 – Oct 18, 1958
[Confirmed]

Captain (Capt) Robert G ReynoldsSilver Star (page 222) / Headquarters Battalion (page 227) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 7314: CHEMICAL WARFARE OFFICER

6/23/2016: Robert’s son, Bob, confirmed that this is his father. Will add additional photos as available.

Place of Birth: Kansas, Topeka
Home of record: Chicago Illinois

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Captain Robert G. Reynolds (MCSN: 0-8887), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer of Reconnaissance Company, Headquarters Battalion, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces off Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 17 February 1945. In the face of extremely heavy and accurate enemy shore battery fire, Captain Reynolds courageously boarded a Naval craft with his reconnaissance party but was thrown from the bridge ladder to the deck below and painfully bruised and stunned when the vessel sustained a direct hit shortly after his arrival. Undaunted by his wounds, he insisted on continuing his mission and, despite the sustained hostile shore battery fire, carefully observed, recorded and evaluated the beach defenses. Later that same day, he took a detail of men aboard a small landing craft and proceeded to within three hundred yards of the western beaches under continuous accurate shore battery and machine-gun fire. His indefatigable courage and determined devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Robert G Reynolds Grave MarkerArlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, Plot: Sec: 2, Site: E-265-R

FindAGrave Memorial 49357937

Master Gunnery Sergeant Tony Forte
Nov 5, 1909 – May 7, 1997
[Confirmed]

Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGSgt) Tony ForteHeadquarters Battalion (page 229) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 744: Scout/Sniper

Tony also participated in the second Nicaraguan Campaign and the Spanish Civil War.

6/12/2016: Tony’s daughter, Alice, confirmed that this is her father. Will add additional photos as available.

Platoon Sergeant John Donald Thomas
Jun 26, 1922 – Jan 1 2006
[Confirmed]

Platoon Sergeant (PlSgt) John D ThomasBronze Star (page 225) / Headquarters Battalion (page 231) / “3114”, as seen on shirt in footage, indicates (3) Sergeant, (1) Headquarters Division, (1) Headquarters Battalion, (4) Company C / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 635: SEARCH LIGHT TECHNICIAN {Ordnance}

6/24/2016: Thomas’ son, Brent, confirmed that this is his father. Will add additional photos as available.

Platoon Sergeant John Donald Thomas Grave MarkerFindAGrave Memorial 68211646

Platoon Sergeant Robert Henry Dabney
Dec 2, 1920 – Jun 11, 1981
[Confirmed]

Platoon Sergeant (PlSgt) Robert H DabneyBronze Star (page 223) / Headquarters Battalion / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 744: Scout/Sniper / FindAGrave Memorial 80959477

6/8/2016: Robert’s wife, Sue, and daughter, Nancy, confirmed identity. Will add additional photos as available.

Robert Dabney MeritBronze Star with Combat “V” award

Nancy Earney, Sue Dabney and Brent SpencerNancy Earney, Sue Dabney and Brent Spencer – 6/25/2016

I had the honor of meeting with Nancy, Sue and several veterans. I will cherish the memory.

Platoon Sergeant Chester L Barrett
Sep 9, 1921 – Nov 12, 1993
[Confirmed]

Platoon Sergeant (PlSgt) Chester L BarrettHeadquarters Battalion (page 228) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 744: Scout/Sniper
Chester enlisted in the Marines on May 27, 1942 and was discharged at The Separation Center, USNTC, Great Lakes, Illinois on Jan 26, 1946.

6/17/2016: Chester’s son, Chris Barrett, confirmed that this is his father. Will add additional photos as available.

Chester Laurence Barrett Grave MarkerFindAGrave Memorial 91747241

Sergeant James O’Donnell Burns
Feb 5, 1923 – Jun 30, 2007
[Research]

Sergeant (Sgt) James O BurnsWounded in Action (page 196) / Bronze Star (page 223) / Headquarters Battalion (page 228) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 152: PHOTOGRAPHER, STILL {Photographic} / Legacy Obituary

Corporal Charles Arthur Linder
Apr 15, 1924 – Jan 24, 2011
[Confirmed]

Corporal (Cpl) Charles A LinderWounded in Action (page 207) / Bronze Star (page 224) / Headquarters Battalion (page 230) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 744: Scout/Sniper

6/14/2016: Charles’ wife, Ellen, and daughter, Karen, confirmed identity. Will add additional photos as available.

Charles Arthur Linder Grave MarkerFindAGrave Memorial 129943788

Corporal Jimmie Walter Duncan
Mar 8, 1925 – Jul 24, 1992
[Confirmed]

Corporal (Cpl) James (Jimmie) W DuncanHeadquarters Battalion (page 228) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 744: Scout/Sniper

6/18/2016: Jimmie’s nephew, Richard Duncan, confirmed that this is his uncle. Will add additional photos as available.

Jimmie Walter Duncan Grave MarkerFort Mitchell National Cemetery, Fort Mitchell, Russell County, Alabama, Plot: 2, 1643

FindAGrave Memorial 3959410

Sergeant Richard M Cole
Oct 14, 1925 – Mar 24, 2007
[Confirmed]

Sergeant (Sgt) Richard M ColeHeadquarters Battalion (page 228) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 152: PHOTOGRAPHER, STILL {Photographic} / Enlisted on June 8, 1943 and was discharged on April 29, 1946.

6/15/2016: Richard’s son, Jonathan, confirmed that this is his father. Will add additional photos as available.

Sergeant Cletis E Peacock
Nov 29, 1924 – Apr 23, 2010
[Confirmed]

Sergeant (Sgt) Cletis E PeacockBronze Star (page 225) / Headquarters Battalion (page 230) / Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 152: PHOTOGRAPHER, STILL {Photographic}

6/9/2016: Cletis’ daughter, Sarah, confirmed that this is her father. Will add additional photos as available.

Cletis E Peacock Grave MarkerFindAGrave Memorial 85325404

 

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