Nick Dalphonse and Robert O'Neil were cooks for the 23rd, 4th Division Marines that fought on Roi, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima together. Nick told the story of saving O'Neil's life on Iwo Jima to the Berlin Daily Sun News and that the picture taken by Corporal Eugene Jones (also of the 4th Division) was of them. Shown below is the front page of his story and the picture Nick and O'Neil claimed was them.(continued below)
They had barely landed on Saipan and the unit was constantly pinned down by enemy artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire. A fellow soldier lost his composure and started popping off little bursts in all directions until O'Neil took his rifle. "It wasn't bad enough that we could hardly move and then one of our leaders starts firing shots all over the place. We had to take his rifle from him."
Not much after that, they found themselves under attack. They were concerned with the numbers of Japanese soldiers coming at them and noticed their 0.50 caliber machine gun had been taken out by enemy fire. The fire fights toward the front were intense and the machine gun seemed like the better option than the M1.
"They were in and on us. We were fighting and men were falling. At some point we noticed they had taken out our machine gun. The M1 was a good rifle and I know what they will teach you about shooting, but there will be nights when you go to sleep pretty sore. I swear we could pop guys off from behind the trees that were on those islands. We figured the only way we were coming off of that island was behind the machine gun, and just decided that it may as well be us. We moved the men and started firing that gun. The shells we were firing were half inch diameter. We were in a pretty good fight and lost a lot of good men there. Afterwards, we took it the rest of the way taking turns at it.
One evening we were firing the machine gun and that baby kept getting pretty hot.They just kept coming at us. All I can tell you is we were lucky our division was bringing along spare barrels."
They also helped in repulsing several Banzai attacks that occurred toward the end of operations on Saipan. O'Neil and Dalphonse were machine gunners for the better part of the operation on Saipan.
Nick also cornered a Japanese officer as they made their way through the brush. He ended up with his rifle on him. O'Neil was scanning flicking his eye toward his buddy. Nick said it seemed like forever, but he could see that the soldier was of some rank and thought he should be taken back for questioning. So they took him back to their field leader.
On Iwo Jima, heavy fire started as they made their way up the beach. O'Neil was hit by mortar fire and Nick bandaged and helped O'Neil back to the boat that would take him to the hospital ship. Staff Sgt. Dalphonse ended up taking charge of the remaining men after losing their platoon leader.
The picture taken by Corporal Eugene Jones (also of the 4th) that Nick is holding was used for the war bond drive. The picture was titled, " Buddy To The Rescue". The sequence of pictures was taken from the 19th through the 21st and the Marine Corps logbook indicates the picture was taken on February 20, 1945 (D-day+1). This is also the date on O'Neil's injury card. Nick told the story to the Berlin Daily Sun in 1998 and Berlin, New Hampshire had a parade for their hero some 60 years ago with the picture enlarged on a billboard.
These five pages will provide documentation requisite to their claim that it was them in that picture taken by Corporal Eugene Jones.