|Pvt. John Purvis served with the 24th Marine Regiment on Iwo Jima.|
On this Flag Day we honor John Gordon Purvis, Sr. John never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on June 14, 1918 in Georgia. His parents Lucious and Florence were also both born in Georgia. His father worked as a carpenter. John had two older sisters and two younger brothers. By 1940 John had completed eight years of school. He was living at home and worked as an auto mechanic. He married Emma Jo Chance in September 1940. They had a son named after his father and a daughter.
He volunteered for the Marines on March 28, 1944. He became a private in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. The 24 MR was already in action in Namur in February 1944. Pvt. joined later as a replacement, the 2nd Battalion having suffered many casualties because of an ammunition dump explosion. Next the 24 MR fought in Saipan and Tinian during the summer of 1944.
Pvt. Purvis landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. He only survived to the second day when he was killed in action when advancing to Motoyama Airfield #1. A total of 652 men from the 24 MR lost their lives in the Battle of Iwo Jima with another 1,053 wounded.
His grave is at Flagler Memorial Park. His widow remarried, and died in 2006. I don't know what happened to his namesake son or his daughter.
Last year on this date I profiled Elmer Wald who was killed in the notorious Malmedy Massacre. You can read about Elmer here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100