Freedom Fighters: Terry Massey - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Freedom Fighters: Terry Massey

By Joan Hallmark

It's been 67 years since Terry Massey landed on the beaches of Iwo Jima, a tiny island lying midway between the Marianas and the Japanese mainland., essential to the bombing of Japan.

At the age of 86, Massey has retained every detail of that historic time in his life, even his rifle number.

The Japanese had built one of the most ingenious systems of tunnels and underground fortifications on Iwo ever seen, ensuring that the Americans would pay a bloody price for every foot captured. And pay we did.

Soldiers lucky to make it past the body littered beach, met stiff resistance from Japanese ensconced in tunnels.

Flame throwing tanks came in the next day and burned the Japanese out of the pill box under Massey, as well as surrounding caves.

Although the raising of the American flag on MT. Suribachi is indelably engraved in Massey's mind, he says there was much more fighting ahead.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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