PACIFIC: Corp. Latham Wounded

(March 16, 1945) – Cpl. Robert H. Latham of the 4th Division, U.S. Marine Corps. has written his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arch A. Latham of 511 Centre street under the date of Feb. 27, that he was wounded at Iwo Jima and is now in an Army hospital out of the combat area. He told his parents that he could not tell them of the extent of his wounds but he did say that he and his fellow Marines were getting the best of care.

Cpl. Latham had previously taken part in the invasions of Roi and Namur in the Marshall Islands, also Saipan and Tinian in the Marianas and had come through without a scratch, although in the thick of battle throughout.

He was graduated from Nutley High school in February 1941 and enlisted in the Marines in September 1942.
(April 11, 1945) – A Japanese mortar shell which landed in his foxhole on Iwo Jima terminated 15 months of fighting in the Pacific for Marine Corp. Robert Latham, 23, now on his way with 180 other casualties from a U.S. Naval hospital in California to a hospital in Philadelphia for convalescence.

Latham was in charge of an ammunition detail with a machine gun platoon and had been on Iwo two days when he was so seriously wounded that it necessitated his foot being amputated while in a shell hole by a medical corpsman.

During his ordeal, his parents learned, Cpl. Latham lighted and passed out cigarettes to other Marines who had also been wounded. Later at a hospital on Saipan where his left leg was amputated, he met the same medical corpsman, wounded at a later date, who said that it was Cpl. Latham’s composure which had enabled him to perform the operation without cracking up himself.

Source: The Nutley Sun

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