John Moon, 103, was the oldest known surviving Iwo Jima Marine Veteran. He passed away on Tuesday- Oct 29- in Macomb, Illinois. His Marine Corps career was short, from 1943-1945, as he was wounded on Iwo Jima, but this life-long resident of Macomb was well known and beloved in his hometown. (Marine Corps Times)
When Pearl Harbor slammed the United States into WWII, John Moon had already graduated in 1939 from Western Illinois University. With the inspiration of his football coach, and the thought of the Pearl Harbor attack, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1943.
By February 1945, he arrived on Iwo Jima. He was wounded in that infamous battle, though none of the media revealed anything about his injuries. The battle wasn’t over until March 26, 1945 after a bloody and devastating fight with the Japanese, who were dug in all over the island. John was honorably discharged in September of that year.
His obituary reads in part:
Upon completion of his training and boot camp at Camp Pendleton, CA, a part of the 5th Marine Division, he deployed to Iwo Jima. He landed on the beach on D-day (February 19, 1945) where he fought until he was wounded. He received the Purple Heart Award for his bravery and was discharged on September 25, 1945.
John Moon was an alderman on the Macomb City Council at various times. He owned a cafe and a candy store in town, and was known to have a “fantastic attitude.” He was also well known as a singer in the choir at the Wesley United Methodist Church, and the driver of the “church car” that picked up elderly residents.
Moon was a carpenter and a school bus driver, and sold life insurance on top of all his other careers. H passed at a nursing home in Macomb. Semper Fi, John Moon, rest in peace.
At 102 years old, John sang the Star Spangled Banner at a Western Illinois University football game. Although the announcer is mostly echo in this recording, you can clearly hear John sing the anthem.
Featured photo via Legacy.com