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"I'm thinking, This must the end; the island must be secure." (Video Interview, 15:44)

   Gilmon Brooks
Collection image
Gilmon Brooks [detail from video]
War: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Marine Corps; Army; Navy
Unit: 8th Marine Ammunition Company; 24th Infantry Regiment
Service Location: Pacific Theater; Iwo Jima; also: Korea
Rank: Corporal; Chief Warrant Officer
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Growing up in a military family on an Army base in Arizona, African American Gilmon Brooks saw the value of serving his country in uniform from an early age. He volunteered for the Marines during World War II, knowing he would be serving in a segregated unit. On Iwo Jima, distinctions of race melted away in the fight for survival. Once Brooks saw the U.S. flag raised on Mt. Surabachi, he mistakenly thought the island had been secured. A few days later, an injury put him out of commission for the rest of the war, but he decided to make a career in the Marines.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (1 clip)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (26 min.)
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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