70 years later: Local WWII vet returning to Iwo Jima

A South Jersey World War II veteran who survived the Battle of Iwo Jima is returning to that Japanese island to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the fateful attack.

91-year-old John Lauriello is flying back to the island Sunday along with his son and grandson.

Donations from the Iwo Jima Association of America and many other military veterans helped make the trip possible.

It will be the first time Lauriello will be on the island since he landed on it with thousands of other marines in 1945.

"I was the first wave on and the last group to come off. We didn't come off in waves. We got cleaned up and left the island," Lauriello said.

Lauriello will join about 30 other American veterans who fought in the 36 day battle.

They will take part in a memorial tribute by US and Japanese officials on March 21st. null
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