The year was 1942, and American was at war. It was the big war, and F.D. Elliott had just turned 18 years old. Rather than being drafted, Elliott and a cousin, Kenneth Elliott, decided to volunteer for the military.
“First, we went to the Navy recruiting office, and were told they didn’t need anyone at the time. We then went to the Army recruiting office, and were told the same thing. The only branch left was the Marines, and they grabbed us,” said Elliott, who spent the next three years serving with the 4th Marine Division, two of those years in the South Pacific.
The cousin was sent to another division, and the two never saw each other again until after the war.
Elliott said that he was at Iwo Jima when the Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi Feb. 23, 1945. The event was documented in an historic photograph, “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” taken by Joe Rosenthal. The iconic photo depicts five U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the flag of the United States atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.