thompson_richard 1 hour ago
"There were concerns in the late ’90s of gay men walking across the gangplank in feather boas and high heels,” retired Lt. Cmdr. Craig Jones of the British Navy related (The New York Times, May 23, 2010). “That just did not happen.”
Second Lieutenant Edward George Seidensticker of the Fifth Division of the United States Marine Corps, who had previously lived in Hawaii, arrived on the first day, having glimpsed Mount Suribachi, and surviving under its contours many of his longest days and nights during the battle of February 19 through March 26, 1945.
He wrote of his Iwo Jima experience: "I was told not to stand there like the fool I unquestionably was but to get to work on a foxhole. Only a few feet away was a conspicuous and macabre object: a bare Japanese arm, raised from a heap of litter
as if in some last gesture of exhortation and defiance. The rest of the corpse was under the heap."
Seidensticker later won the National Book Award and also the Order of the Rising Sun for his translations of Japanese novels into English. His royalties from his literary career alone made him a millionaire. His work at the battle of Iwo Jima was of a rudimentary sort, e.g. Bazooka wa doko desuka? Where is your weapon now?
At the end of Seidensticker`s visit to Iwo Jima, any Japanese citizens remaining on the island of Iwo Jima were corpses. At the time of his death in Japan, he owned more land in the State of Colorado than any other private individual.
Seidensticker lived for 20 years in the Hawaiian Islands (counting his Marine Corps training on The Big Island).
Contrary to common belief, John Wayne and Errol Flynn didn't climb Mount Suribachi.
But my good friend Ed, a gay man, did.