The headquarters group were so busy after landing from the jump that they could not break away; but after a few hours when there was a slight lull, Sgt. Carl N. Shaw called two volunteers who had asked for the job, and guided them down to the western end of the parade ground. Here he had noticed a stout, tall old telegraph pole standing out, gaunt and grim, in the open. By this time, Jap resistance had begun to wake up and a few snipers were firing toward the parade ground. "You fellows may be under a little fire, so hustle with the job!" Shaw said as he passed the flag over to Cpl. Frank G. Arrigo and watched Pvt. Clyde I. Bates his assistant, uncoil the rope. The pole was already spiked for climbing, and the two boys went up it like a pair of monkeys. At first their action was not noticed, but before long the perimeter rang with the sharp, high-pitched report of a Jap sniper's rifle. Another report came, and then another, meanwhile our ground fire was directed toward the sniper's hiding place, though no definite target could be seen. The two boys hurried their work, but made sure the flag was secure. At last and with a final fling, the flag tossed its folds into the plunging breeze. Here, on the very edge of the perimeter, the flag remained for the next two weeks. Combat patrols filed past it in the morning on their way out to look for Japs; and before dusk, in the evening, they returned, bearing their wounded and their dead. Machine guns and rifles volleyed around it. Mortars and artillery shells arched overhead. A few stray shots, (either ours or the Japanese) cut through its folds. Once, the high tide of a Jap banzai charge swept to the very base of the staff, then recoiled in a welter of its own blood. Not until the real battle had ended did the orders come to move the flag higher on the parade ground for an official "flag-raising," which was broadcast all over the world;--but the real flag raising was here, without benefit of publicity. It was here, in the midst of the fighting, that the flag seemed to grow from a mere symbol into a great, living personality. Here I shall always love to remember it, "beautifully ensovreigned" , as Whitman phrased it and with the thrill of an incredible battle around it.

2010 William T. Calhoun & 503d PRCT Heritage Bn