|5th Marine Division marines on Iwo Jima where Sgt. Klemme and his brother were both killed.|
Floyd Albert Klemme never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 28, 1917 in Oklahoma. His mother was also born in Oklahoma while his father was born in Missouri. His father worked as a farmer and later a bakery truck driver. Floyd had two younger brothers Lloyd and Howard who both also served in World War 2. By 1940 Floyd's mother was single and living with her parents.
Floyd left home before that, joining the Marines in February 1937. He qualified as a Marine parachutist in September 1941. Prior to the war he saw duty in Asia and during the war he served in the South Pacific. He was wounded on September 13, 1942.
Floyd rose to the rank of sergeant in Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division. Howard Klemme, who was five years younger than Floyd, followed his brother's footsteps. He also became a qualified parachutist and he also was in the 26th Marine Regiment (3rd Battalion, Company I).
The 5th Marine Division was part the first wave that landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1944. Within eight hours 904 men were either killed or wounded.
Sgt. Klemme was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, in part for this action on D+2:
On D+3 the 26th Marine Infantry engaged in the worst combat so far during hard rain and poor visibility. Sgt. Klemme's brother was killed and he wrote home to tell his mother about it. The next day, 5th Division marines raised the famous flag on Mt. Suribachi.
His Silver Star award also recognized his fatal actions on March 3:
The surviving brother Lloyd was immediately discharged from the Navy after Sgt. Klemme's death and sent home.
His remains and those of his brother were returned to be buried at Clinton Cemetery, Clinton, Oklahoma.
To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY
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