MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Patriots Point Museum is honoring the 70th anniversary of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima Thursday night with a free event featuring three survivors of the attack.
One of the survivors scheduled to attend, Hershel Williams, USMC, is the battle's last living Medal of Honor recipient. The other survivors scheduled to attend are William Quinn, Sr., USMC; and Marvin Veronee, USNR.
"We are very blessed and excited to have three combat survivors here at the same time to talk about one of the most historic battles in American history," Patriots Point Exec. Dir. Mac Burdette said. "The personal experiences and stories these men can tell are truly unique and something you can't find in movies or history books."
Williams received the Medal of Honor for his actions while operating a flamethrower during battle, museum spokesman Chris Hauff said. Williams was credited with neutralizing one of the most heavily defended Japanese strong points on the island, an action believed to have saved thousands of American lives.
The five-week battle for the Japanese Island, fought between February and March of 1945, was said to be one of the fiercest and bloodiest battles during the War in the Pacific. More than 6,800 American troops were lost and more than 19,000 were wounded.
The event will be held onboard the U.S.S. Yorktown. Admission to the commemoration is free but parking costs $5.