RIVER EDGE, N.J. (1010 WINS) – Lou DiPaolo was only 18 years old when he hit the beach at Iwo Jima as a Marine, but images of the battle still remain ingrained in his mind 66 years later to the day.
During the ferocious fighting that began on Feb. 19, 1945, and raged for a month, more than 6,500 Marines were killed, including three of the six who were captured in a famous photograph raising the American flag over Iwo Jima.
“The worst was they came up to the cemetery, truckloads of Marines stacked like cordwood. That’s what I think about just about everyday,” DiPaolo said. “It never goes away.”
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone spoke with Lou DiPaolo about the Battle of Iwo Jima
The marines killed almost all of the 20,000 Japanese soldiers in what was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.
“It was just total slaughter,” DiPaolo said. “The whole island smelled of death.”
Throughout his long life, whenever the United States has gone to war DiPaolo understands the sacrifices our servicemen are making.
“They need our support, that’s the way I think about,” DiPaolo said.