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Honoring Service: Veteran John F. Samler, WWII

Rye Vets is a collaboration with RyeVets.org to highlight those from Rye who have served our country across times of war and peace. There are over 2,100 veterans from the City of Rye. Learn more about how you can help research and write biographies of those that have served.

John F. Samler, WWII Veteran

Rye Vets John F. Samler -1 -KIA-52-2TJohn F. Samler was born on April 30, 1921 in New Jersey. His father Lafayette was born in Pennsylvania and his mother Mary was born in New Jersey. John was the middle child of three, he had an older brother Robert and a little sister Mary. His father was employed as a chauffeur and their family lived at 52 Grapal Street. John attended Rye High School and graduated in 1939. He enlisted and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.

Date of Birth: 4/30/1921
Died On: 3/8/1945
Street Address: 52 Grapal St.
Service Number: 804319
Branch of Service: U.S. Marine Corps – 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division

Veteran Code: KIA-52

Rye Vets John F. Samler -2 -KIA-52-2T

Private First Class John F. Samler, U. S. Marine Corps – 1st Battalion, 26Th Marine Regiment Battalion, 26Th Marine Regiment, 5Th Marine DivIsion

The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire.

The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

On Iwo Jima 8 Mar 45, D+17, the weather was cloudy and cool, visibility fair. The 26th Marines attacked at 0815 against a heavy fortified Japanese line. The plan of action for the last several days called for the 5th Marine Division to complete the drive northeast and split the Japanese defenses in two.

This included taking the high ground of Hill 362 and Nishi Ridge.

Japanese resistance was fierce, both in front and from a number of bypassed positions, the Marines burned and blasted their way onwards. Action of LT 126 was supported by fire of tanks. At this stage of the operation after 17 days of continuous combat, qualified small unit leaders as well as the more aggressive riflemen had become so depleted that offensive efficiency and spirit were seriously affected, out of proportion to strength figures.

“The Japs weren’t on Iwo Jima”, said a Captain of the 26th Marines, “They were in Iwo Jima.”

Casualties for the 26th Marines on 8 Mar 45 were 1 Officer and 74 enlisted men, including Private First Class John F. Samler, Rye High School Graduate, Class of 1939



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