Robert Parks enlisted in the Marines following graduation from High School. He volunteered for the Paratroopers. He was especially interested in the extra $50 per month that was paid to paratroopers at that time. Bob eventually became a flame thrower operator. After his basic training, he was sent to the South Pacific. He participated in battles at Guadalcanal, Vella Lavella, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima.
Bob describes Iwo Jima in detail. He said that after 120 days of bombing and shelling, the Japanese only lost 125 men. They were so entrenched in caves that the bombing did little or no harm.
Bob mentioned that the historic flag raising took place before the Island was completely secured. He was part of a replacement unit that was sent to the other side of the island. It was there that he was shot in the leg. His buddy, Jim Cleveland carried him 150 yards to an Aid Station.
His unit, as others, was happy about the Japanese surrender after dropping the Atomic Bomb. It seemed everyone was ready to prepare for the invasion of the mainland of Japan.