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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

VETERAN'S VOICE: BILL MEDLIN

Credit: 23ABC News | Bakersfield
Duration: 05:12s 0 shares 1 views

VETERAN'S VOICE: BILL MEDLIN
VETERAN'S VOICE: BILL MEDLIN

Navy veteran Bill Medlin enlisted at 17 during WWII, taking part in several major battles before Japan surrendered in 1945.

He's 95-yrs old and still remembers the good times, and bad.

WENT SILENT DURING THE PANDEMIC-- TO PROTECT OURLOCAL TREASURES.WE BEGIN WITH A NAVY MAN WHOENTERED WORLD WAR II..

AS THEU-S SAILED ACROSS THE PACIFICTOWARDS JAPAN.AND AT THE AGE OF 95..

BILLMEDLIN STILL REMEMBERS THEGOOD TIMES..

AND THE BAD.IMG 4650 - ONE OF MY GRANDON'SDID THISFOR ME..BILL MEDLIN FOLLOWED HIS OLDERFAMILY MEMBERS INTOWAR..

SPLIT BETWEEN THE NAVY ANDMARINES.IMG 4633 - 230 - THERE WERE INTHE FIRSTPART OF THE WAR, I WAS IN THELAST PART..HE ENLISTED AT THE AGE OF 17..AND CHOSE THE SEA..

AND HEADEDFOR BOOT CAMP IN SAN DIEGO..IMG 4650 - 530 - LUCKY 3..YOU'RE THE LITTLEGUY..

545..

SERIOUS LOOKINGSAILOR, I WAS SERIOUS.FOLLOWING TWO WEEKS OF BOOTCAMP..

HE SPENT SEVERAL MOREWEEKS TRAINING.IMG 4663 - 1240 - ONE WEEK TOOKSANDIEGO..

YOU DID GOOD FOR YOU.'BILL'S DAD WAS A MACHINIST..

SOHE KNEW HOW TO FIX THINGS..

ANDTHATWAS HIS JOB.IMG 4663 - 935 - WE DO WHATEVERHAD TOKEEP BEACHES OPEN, REPAIREQUIPMENT.HE WAS EVENTUALLY ASSIGNED TOTHE U-S-S MELLETTETRANSPORT SHIP..

RIGHT OUT OFTHE SHIPYARD.THEY HEADED FOR MAUI TAKING PARTIN MANUEVERS INJANUARY OF 1945.ONCE IT WAS OVER..

THE GUYS TOOKA MOMENT TO RELAX IN THECLEAR BLUE WATER.IMG 4664 - 1:20 - TAKE A SWIMCOUPLEHUNDRED NUDE SAILORS, SOMEONEREALIZED, PEOPLE WATCHING US..EMBARRARSED.IT WAS LONG AFTER THAT THE FUNENDED.THE U-S-S MELLETTE HEADED FORSAIPAN..

INADVANCE OF THE BATTLE FOR IWOJIMA.IN FACT..

THE AMPHIBIOUS ATTACKVESSEL SENT BOATS INTHE NIGTH BEFORE THE ATTACK TOMARK UNDERGROUNDROCKS..

FOR THE LANDING CRAFT.IMG 4664 - 400 - IT WAS SCARY,DARK, WASN'TSOUND EXPECTING TO GET SHOTANYTIME..

DID NOT HAPPEN..NO, THE SHOOTING BEGAN THE NEXTMORNING..

ENBILL HEADED FOR SHORE ON BLUEBEACH.IMG 4664 - 500 - MAIN INVASIONALREADYSTARTED..

525 - FIRST GUYSBROUGHT BACK CASUALTIES..

WE HADFUNERAL SIXMARINES..

WRAPPED LIKE MUMMIESAND THEY..

(SNIFF), CRYING..WATCHEDTHE SLIDE DOWN THE CHUTE INTOTHE OCEAN..

(PAUSE).HE NEVER TALKED ABOUT THATMOMENT BEFORE..

A MEMORY THATHE RELIVES EVERYTIME HE HEARS'TAPS' BEING PLAYED.IMG 4664 - 630 - IT TEARS MEUP..

THAT'SWHAT I SEE..

SORRY."IT WASN'T LONG BEFORE HE WASSETTING UP COMMUNICATIONON THE BEACH..

DIRECTINGTRAFFIC..

WORKING ONBOATS..

WHEN HE AND A FRIENDNAMED JACK CAME UPON A MACHINEGUN NEST WITH A HANDFUL OFMARINES IN IT..IMG 4664 - 820 - SAID NOCOULDN'T BE INPOSITION WITH THIS..

BEING GOODNAVY MEN, BUILT FOXHOLE BEHINDTHEM..THAT NIGHT THE JAPANESE'SHELLED' THE BEACH..

ONEMORTAR HITTING TOOL BOXES THATWERE POSITIONED BETWEEN BILLAND JACK..IMG 4664 - 855 - ALL OF SUDDENFELT LIKE IWAS ON FIRE, DEAD I'M IN HELL,EVERYTHING BURNING...MIRACULOUSLY..

BILL WAS DAZEDBUT SURVIVED.HE PULLED JACK TO SAFETY..A SHORT WHILE LATER..

HERETURNED TO THE BEACH..

ANDDISCOVERED ALL THE MARINES INTHE OTHER FOXHOLE HADBEEN KILLED.IMG 4664 - 1130 - ALL CLOTHESBURNEDOFF, LITTLE BLUE FLAME LIKE GASSTOVE ALL OVER BODY..AND THAT WAS JUST THE FIRST DAY.IMG 4664 - 1250 - FROM THEN ONDIDN'T HAVERIFLE..

HELMET..

NEVER SHOTANYBODY.HE WITNESSED THE RAISING OF THEAMERICAN FLAG ON MT SIRABACHI..IMG 4664 - 1320 - SO IMPRESSIVE,WENTTHRU WHOLE BODY LIKE LIGHTNING.FROM THERE..

THE MELLETTE WOULDTAKE PART IN THE BATTLE FOROKINAWA..

ONCE AGAIN..

PROVIDINGSOME DISTRACTION A COUPLE DAYSBEFORE THE INVASION..

IMG 4666 -700 - GIVING THEM SOMETHING TOSHOOT AT..

ATTACKED NORTH SIDE..750 WHEN SHELLS GOT CLOSE CALLIT OFF GOBACK.ONCE THE MARINES WENT ASHORE..THE MELLETTE WASGIVEN A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT..LANDING THE 24TH REGIMENT ON ANEARBY ISLAND..

TO CAPTUREJAPANESE SOLDIERS THATESCAPED FROM OKINAWA..AN ALL-BLACK INFANTRY UNITSTATIONED IN THE PHILLIPINES ATTHE TIME..IMG 4666 - 1040 - REAL BIGFELLOW FRIENDLYSAID, MAN WE DONE COME TO THEEND OF NOWHERE..

SAID YOU REALLYHAVE."FINALLY..

THE MELLETTE WASPREPARING FOR THE INVASION OFJAPAN WHEN THE WAR ENDED.ONE OF THE FINAL MISSIONS..DROPPING MARINES INNAGASAKI TO HELP WITH SECURITY.IMG 4667 - 420 - PEOPLE TRIED TOGOFIND RELATIVES..

ANYONE GOING INGO TO DEATH..

SURROUND CITY KEEPPEOPLEOUT.AN UNEXPECTED PHOTO OP CAME AFEW DAYS LATER..

WHEN THE CREWOF THE MELLETTE SPOTTED THESURRENDER CEREMONY ONTHE U-S-S MISSOURI..

AND DROPPEDANCHOR TO WATCH THE SIGNING.IMG 4667 - 558 YOU CRASHED THECEREMONY WE SURE DID..IMG 4650 - 250 - WE WENT RIGHTBYTHERE..

REALZIED HAPPENING, SOWE STOPPED.

THE REAL PAYOFF CAMEYEARS LATER..

IN FACT..

JUST AFEW YEARSAGO..

WHEN BILL TOOK PART IN THEHONOR FLIGHT..IMG 4660 - :15 - BIGGEST THINGGOTOUT OF IT, WET TO DC WITHVETERANS..

THAT WAS MY REWARD..A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES IN JUSTOVER A YEAR..

HE WON'T SOONFORGET.BILL OPENED MEDLIN AND SONSENGINEERING SHOP IN WHITTIER..WHERE BILL STILL WORKED BEFORETHE PANDEMIC..IT'S NOW RUN BY HIS GRANDSONS.AND LET'S BRING CHIEFMETEOROLOG