The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Charles E. Kelly

"I would use my newly cultivated navy vocabulary to delay their departure until as many walking wounded and stretcher cases were loaded as possible." (Memoir, page 12)

   Charles E. Kelly
Collection image
Charles E. Kelly
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: United States Naval Hospital; USS Rutland (APA 192); Beach Battalion B
Service Location: Pacific Theater; Asia; Oceanside, California
Rank: Pharmacist's Mate Third Class
View Full Description

The fortunes of Naval Pharmacist’s Mate Charles Kelly took a dramatic turn when he was assigned to a Navy Beach Party that was to be among the first to land on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. On that bloody first day, U.S. forces suffered over 2400 casualties; the next morning, Kelly relates in his memoir, “The bodies were packed so tightly you could hardly see a place where they were not touching in death.” Kelly illustrated his memoir with vivid drawings of bravery and unflinching portraits of the agony of death. He also pays tribute to the tenacity of the enemy; in all his time on Iwo Jima, he saw only one Japanese soldier taken prisoner.

Interview (Video)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (51 min.)
»Photo Album  (6 photos)
 Creative Works
»View Creative Works (12 items)
»View List (2 items)
 Official Documents
»View List (2 items)
More like this
»Military Medicine: Medical Support
 Memoirs (2 items)
Iwo Jima Eternal Memories: Journal and Illustration by Charles E. Kelly [Illustrated memoir] The Memory Book: Shipboard Humor- By C. Ed Kelly 
 Official Documents (2 items)
Services Rendered During Amphibious Landing [July 11, 1945] Notice of Separation From U.S. Naval Service [April 28, 1946] 

Home » Charles E. Kelly
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us