Heroism Remembered on Iwo Jima
They were Cooks for the 23rd, 4th Division Marines.
Every Step Of The Way
  Heroism on Iwo Jima by Nick Dalphonse saved Robert J. O'Neil's life.  The story was told to the Cleveland Plain Dealer about these two Cooks for the 23rd, 4th Division Marines that made a stand on Saipan and were machine gunners for over a month.  While recuperating in the hospital, O'Neil sent the picture to his girlfriend Betty in Ohio. The picture has distortion due to the angle of the shot, thereby altering distances such as facial features slightly. The wound, however, is clearly to the cheek, and there is a cleft in the chin.  The rim of the ear is the same along with its position relative to the eyes and the nose is the same. There is little blood on O'Neil's jacket even though he lost several teeth and part of his jaw. This is from Nick acting quickly as he stated in his story. (continued below)

 O'Neil was receiving a Marine Corps periodical called "The Fighting Fourth" and used it to track down Dalphonse. In 1990, he called and thanked his buddy for pulling him off the island. "I said Nick, it's Bob O'Neil and that was you pulling me off that island. Well, I just figured the least I owed you was a thank you. He then asked, how the hell have you been Plug?" They wrote letters and spoke on the phone until O'Neil passed away in 2002.  Nick stated "I'll tell you why I wasn't going to leave your father there.  He was the nicest man to me and I will take take him with me to my grave." 
 Nick also helped three others to safety after helping O'Neil (none with cheek, face or head wounds).  When Nick returned after helping O'Neil, a marine suffering from shell shock was running around. Another marine was trying to get him down from enemy fire.  Nick helped in the effort, but decided to take him for help and came to learn it was a cousin of his.  Nick returned and helped two others to the ship before learning the Marines had lost their platoon leader. Now as Staff Sgt. , Nick Dalphonse went back with what men he had and continued the battle. 
  This site is to tell the story of these two men, and of Nick's heroics.  Several others have claimed to be in the picture.  Some not even with the appropriate injury (cheek), nor wounded anywhere near the picture date, nor same division (4), and some whose name appears on another site have come out and admitted it wasn't them.
  These are the two men in that picture. Nick is clearly the hero and he tells that it is his buddy Robert J. O'Neil that he is helping.  He tells of the cheek wound and one can see the gauze pad on the cheek.  The injury card states the cheek and the dates line up well with the picture date. The face is swollen on the injured marine, but the frame and the hand match well to the picture of O'Neil. The high ears, cleft in the chin, and nose can be seen in the side by side picture at the top.  I also clicked a picture of me holding the same magazine as Nick and sized the two.  The ratios work as I can slide right next to the wounded marine in the picture and Nick fits the young hero including facial ratios for the eyes to mouth etc. The left foot can be seen just behind the supply box in the path.  The hill they just walked over can be seen on relief maps of the island. 
  Robert's brother Paul O'Neil was a Radio Gunner and stated that all 21 members of the Jokers club they were in, signed up the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed.  At a recent family reunion, he reminded me of the just shoot him story. The mothers carried the club on while their son's were away.
 Robert's father Paul served in WWI and his great grandfather, Britian O'Neal fought and died in the Civil War.
 On mom's side, her uncle Walter Thoemmes (her great grandfather John Thoemmes immigrated from Germany),  served in the U. S. Army in WWI, and Robert Hamilton (her great grandfather that immigrated from Ireland), served in the Civil War.
 An uncle (Jay Huston), provided useful information regarding a WWII history site after seeing this web site. Jay Huston was a Navy Corpsman and served on the USS Nevarro in WWII.
  A final mention is for my father-in-law Edward Suren who was in the U.S. Army, 24th Division, as an MP in Japan at the end of World War II.
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