COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Eugene Peterson, 94, of Cobb County served three years in the United States Marine Corp. He joined as an 18-year-old, fresh out of high school in 1942 and finished his service in 1945. Then, he found himself on the front lines of history during World War II. He served in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima.
The US Marines invaded Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, and Private First Class Peterson was a part of the five-week campaign which turned out to be one of the most hard-fought battles of World War II.
Now, 73 years later, his memories are still as vivid as if they happened yesterday.
Peterson is a piece of living history, and when he decided to document his service in writing, mostly for his kids to have an understanding of what he went through, he thought it might be 10-15 pages of material. And 156 pages later, he had written a very unique account of his service during WWII from the perspective of a “grunt.” It is less about gore and killing, and more about the day-to-day, and relationships with fellow servicemen.
At the time, PFC Peterson had no idea the historical significance of the battle of Iwo Jima, but his look back at it provides a great perspective and memoir that will give a clear understanding of what the brave men went through on that tiny island.
Thank you for your service to our country, Mr. Peterson, and thank you for sharing your story in print and with our viewers on Good Day Atlanta. You are a great American hero!