The Battle for Iwo Jima is legendary in Marine Corps history. It was one of the hardest fought battles of WWII in the Pacific Theater. One of those Marines who fought there was John Moon. Mr. Moon passed away on October 29, 2019. Until then, he was the oldest Marine alive who fought in that epic battle and survived.
Moon, like most of those courageous men who fought in WWII, was a just a guy from small town America. He was born and raised in Macomb, IL. He graduated from high school there and went on to Western Illinois University. He was married and was working at the Caterpillar Tractor Co. when, during WWII, he decided to join the United States Marine Corps in 1943.
Moon would be assigned to the 5th Marine Division and would be part of the Marine Corps landings at Iwo Jima. He went ashore on February 19, 1945 and fought with his Marine brothers against a dug in and determined Japanese enemy.
He fought until he was wounded and was medivaced out of the battle.
After the war, he went back to his hometown and opened a cafe, then a candy shop that he ran for over 20 years. He ended his working career as a Drivers Ed teacher at the local Macomb High School.
The video you will see here was from three years ago. It is of Moon singing the National Anthem before a Western Illinois University women’s basketball game. He was a hardy 100 years old at that time and still in possession of a strong voice. He was 103 years old at the time of his death this past weekend.
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This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2019, please take time to remember the sacrifices and the service that millions of men like John Moon gave for this nation and the world during WWII. It is an overwhelming thought that with Mr. Moon’s passing there are so few living Marines who fought on Iwo Jima.
We are brought up against the hard fact that the number of WWII veterans still with us is diminishing quickly. We will never be able to thank them enough. They truly were our greatest generation.
The Veterans Site sends its sincerest condolences to the Moon family. And we offer John Moon our deepest respect and thanks for his service in the United States Marine Corps during WWII and for his service to his community over the rest of his life. We honor you and will not forget you.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.