Missoula, Montana, maintains a special connection to the WWII Battle of Iwo Jima. On February 23, 1945, U.S. Marines battled Japanese forces in a struggle for the islands highest point, Mount Suribachi.
PFC Louis Charlo, a Native American from Evaro, MT, on the Flathead Reservation, and the USS Missoula, named for Missoula County, played a significant part in the capture of the island, one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The USS Missoula transported E Co. 28th Marines, including PFC Charlo, to Iwo Jima.
PFC Charlo, serving as radioman, helped raise the first flag, which was supplied from the USS Missoula. Hours later a senior officer directed that it be replaced by a larger flag more visible to ships off shore. Iwo Jima was finally secured on March 17, 1945. Sadly, PFC Charlo was killed in action on March 2, 1945, by a Japanese sniper's bullet. Charlos' remains were returned to Montana in 1948. He is buried in St. Ignatius.
The Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History and the USS Missoula Commemoration Committee chaired by Museum Past President M.Y. "Bo" Foster, intends to raise $11,900 for the installation of a professionally built model of the USS Missoula. The 4'9" model will be of the quality found in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. It will become the centerpiece for a permanent exhibit at the RMMMH honoring the USS Missoula, PFC Charlo, and the Battle of Iwo Jima. A driving force behind the committee has been local Iwo Jima veteran Bill Worf who served in the Marine 5th Tank Battalion during the battle. The USS Missoula received two battle stars for World War II service.
The RMMMH and the Commemoration Committee invite you to become a significant part of this important historical project, by sending a check or pledge which will be applied to the model's construction.
Your support in funding this project is greatly appreciated. Any amount is welcome.
The RMMMH is a private 501(c ) 3 non-profit Institution.
Contributions are tax deductible to the amount allowed by law.