20 September 2011

Mort Dennell And His Stories Of Iwo Jima

Edward Mortimer Dennell, who lived in Oscoda, Michigan, was an American marine lived through the Battle at Iwo Jima
The Oscoda Press published a feature story about Mort and his experiences in 2003.

Denell and his comrade snuck across enemy lines, through a ravine, and up the side of a hill to the location known as Kitano Point. There, Denell took a small American flag out of his hat and the two fashioned a flagpole out of twigs and shoelaces.  The following day, American troops moved onto Kitano Point and prepared to ceremonially place a flag at the point, only to find that there was already one there.  "That colonel was raving mad at me," Denell said. "When I was leaving my flag was still up there."

Denell kept a journal of his war experiences while on Iwo Jima. Although that journal remained packed away in his closet for about 50 years afterward, in 1995 Denell began illustrating scenes from the battle at Iwo Jima, capturing his memories, both good and bad, in an illustrated diary now entitled Iwo Jima Diary.

Mort, who was my aunt's neighbor, was part of group protecting those raising the flag at Iwo Jima (according to my aunt).  She and my uncle, who were very impressed with Mort's illustrations, introduced me to Mort who showed me several of his drawings.  It was a privilege to talk to Mort and see his work in person.

Mort Dennell on YouTube

The National Film Network, has the Iwo Jima Diary as a component of a curriculum listed.

Mort and Iwo Jima at Awesome Stories here.
Mort Dennell died in 2007:

DENELL, Edward "Mort"; 89; Minneapolis MN>Tawas MI; Royal Oak DT; 2007-6-19; rtc

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