Block, Harlan Henry.

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Block, Harlan Henry
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Block, Harlan Henry, born on 06-12-1924 in Yorktown, Texas, the third of six children to Edward Frederick Block (1896–1968) and Ada Belle, born Brantley (1896–1980), a Seventh day-Adventist family. The Block children were: Edward Jr., Maurine, Harlon, Larry, Corky, and Melford. Edward Frederick Block was a World War I veteran and supported his family by working as a dairy farmer. In hopes of improving the family, the Block family relocated to Weslaco, Texas, a city located in the Rio Grande Valley. His father became a dairy farmer, and the children attended a Seventh-day Adventist private school. Harlon Block was expelled in his freshman year when he refused to tell the principal which student had vandalized the school. Block then transferred to Weslaco High School and was remembered as an outgoing student with many friends. A natural athlete, Block led the Weslaco Panther Football Team to the Conference Championship. He was honored as “All South Texas End”. Block and seven of his high school friends decided on joining the Marine Corps before they graduated and the school held a special early graduation ceremony for them in January 1943
Harlan was a United States Marine during World War II. Block joined the Marine Corps in November 1943 and subsequently saw action during the Battle of Bougaiville and the Battle of Iwo Jima where he was killed in action. He is best known as one of the six men photographed raising the flag on Iwo jima. Block landed as a private first class, on Iwo Jima, 19-02-1945 and was involved in the second flag raising on mount Suribachi on 23-02-1945. As a corporal, he was in second command of his squad to Sergeant Michael Strank
     at Iwo jima .

Death and burial ground of Block, Harlan Henry.

He idolized Strank, followed Strank without question. Block assumed leadership of his squad when Strank was killed, at the age of 29, however Block was also killed, at the age of 20, by a mortar blast just hours later on the same day, 01-03-1945, as the squad attacked toward Nishi Ridge. His last words were “They killed me” Block was awarded with the Purple Heart, posthumously, Presidential Unit Citation with one star, for Iwo Jima, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two stars and World War II Victory Medal. Block was originally buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery
on Iwo Jima and then re-interred in Weslaco in January 1949. From their landing at Iwo Jima on February 19 until March 26, 1945, the 5th Marine Division suffered more than 8.719 casualties including over 2.482 officers and enlisted men who were killed in action.  480px-Harlon_Block  Block’s body was moved in 1995 to a burial place near the Iwo Jima Monument in Harlingen, Texas, near the Military Academy.

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