Maj. Bill White, 104, served as a Marine in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and came home from WWII with a Purple Heart. He spent 30 years in the US Marine Corps before retiring.
“The fact that I even survived is something. There weren’t too many of us,” White told KTXL.
The Japanese suffered three times the casualties as the Americans during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Nearly 21,000 Japanese soldiers were stationed on the island when the siege started. Only 216 were taken prisoner by its conclusion.
White earned his medal on March 3, 1945. An injury removed him from the battle, which would last until March 26.
“When I was wounded, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. A grenade blow up about 6 inches from me,” he said. “I’m still here. I’m 104. Can’t complain.”
White now lives in Stockton, CA, where he enjoys looking at old scrapbooks.
“It’s kept me busy just trying to locate or keep track of what’s happened to me, where, when,” he said.
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This February, White is hoping to collect even more memories for his collection. He’s asking for Valentine’s Day cars from anyone who want to send him one.
“I’ll save every one of them like I’ve been saving little things that have come up until right now and they’ll be a personal part of my history,” he told KTXL.
Valentine’s Day cards can be sent to White at the following address:
ATTN: Hold for Maj Bill White, USMC (Ret)
The Oaks at Inglewood
6725 Inglewood Ave.
Stockton, CA 95207
Learn more about this incredible veteran in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.