TC Coley

Exit_Fullscreen-75

July 28, 1922 – December 3, 2015

TC Coley Dress Fatigues

WWII – U.S. Marine Corps July 6, 1942 through April, 1946: Corporal.

TC joined the Marine Corps after learning that his older brother was missing in action (MIA) after the fall of Corregidor in the Philippines, May 1942. He trained as a rifleman and served as an Antitank Gun Crewman (MOS 610) and truck driver with the Weapons Company, 28th Regiment of the 5th Marine Division. He and his unit went ashore on Green Beach in Iwo Jima on Feburary 19, 1945 at approximately 10AM. TC survived the 36 day battle without injury. Sometime between January and April, 1946, TC was promoted from Private First Class (Pfc) to Corporal. TC was very proud of his service to the country.

Camp Tarawa, 1944

TC Coley & Marion H. Jones: Camp Tarawa, Hawaii 944

Corporal Marion H. Jones (left) and Pfc. TC Coley (right) at Camp Tarawa, Hawaii. Like all of the soldiers in the 5th Marine Division, TC was stationed at Camp Tarawa for final training in preparation for the landings on Iwo Jima.

tc-coley-glen-bixby

TC Coley (right) and Private Ben Bixby on Sunday, October 15th, 1944. Ben Bixby was killed in action (KIA) on Iwo Jima.

Photo courtesy TC’s daughter, Candise.

Iwo Jima February 19, 1945 10AM

This is the actual footage of TC Coley being transported to the shores of Green Beach on Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945 at approximately 10AM. TC is in the middle of the frame at the wheel of an M3 Half-Track which has been fitted with a fording kit (air intake tube in right half of the hood and another to the far right of the vehicle) to allow it to drive through deep water without stalling.

It is truly incredible and rare to have positively identifiable footage of a WWII veteran. This footage appears in almost every Iwo Jima documentary made.

Complete Footage

It appears that the entire, full-length video (above), from which the previous footage was taken, was shot from inside the Higgins boat that transported TC Coley to the shores of Iwo Jima. See reasoning below.

Higgins Boat Footage: Gate Characteristics

Higgins Boat Footage: Gate Characteristics

Note location of corrosion and dents on grate.

This is a screenshot from early in the previous footage.

Higgins Boat Footage: Gate Characteristics

Note location of corrosion and dents on grate.

This is a screenshot from early in the previous footage.

Higgins Boat Footage: Gate Characteristics

Note that same corrosion and dents are present in the same locations as in the screenshots from ealier in the footage.

This is a screenshot near the end of the previous footage.

Higgins Boat Footage: Gate Characteristics

Note that same corrosion and dents are present in the same locations as in the screenshots from ealier in the footage.

This is a screenshot near the end of the previous footage.

Higgins Boat Footage: TC Coley’s Helmet Strap

TCColey Helmet Strap

Note that TC is the only visible soldier in the Higgins boat that has a strap on his helmet.

This is a screenshot near the end of the previous footage.

TC Coley Helmet Strap

Note helmet strap on soldier in same relation to camerman as TC Coley is later in the footage.

This is a screenshot from early in the previous footage.

TC Coley Eyes

Same soldier with helmet strap. Note that the shape of the eye and thickness of the eyebrow seem to match those of TC Coley’s military photo.

This is a screenshot from early in the previous footage.

Iwo Jima Remembered

TC Coley: Iwo Jima Remembered, Shadow Box

TC’s daughter, Candise, was kind enough to show me these two shadow boxes which TC’s wife, Mary, created. They contain several Iwo Jima and 28th Marine, 5th Marine Division momentos.

TC Coley: Iwo Jima Remembered, Shadow Box

TC Coley: November 1, 2014

TC Coley & Candise

TC Coley and his daughter, Candise.

TC Coley, Sr passed away peacefully at the age of 93 (July 28, 1922 to December 3, 2015) in Vista, California.

TC Coley & James Shriver

TC Coley and his friend and fellow Iwo Jima veteran, James Shriver.

TC Coley, James Shriver & Brent Spencer

I had the pleasure and honor of spending time with TC, Candise and her husband, and James Shriver. I will forever be grateful to Candise for extending the generous offer to meet her father. It was a pleasure to see the many momentos and photos which were thoughtfully organized and displayed by Candise for her father.

Before leaving the room where we all met, I was, for whatever reason, compelled to turn to TC and salute him. I will always remember the big grin and return salute he gave me. Rest in peace, TC.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s