Michels, James Randy, born 18-01-1918, in Riverside Illinois, joined the United States Marine Corps as a volonteer for World War II. He took part in the Battle of Iwo Jima. On 23-02-1945, Michels was with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, nickname “Spearhead” . Created during World War II, the 5th Division saw its first combat action during the Battle of Iwo Jima, where it earned the Presidential Unit Citation as part of the invasion force awarded and sustained the highest number of casualties amongst the invasion force. The division under command of 3* Lieutenant General, Keller Emrick Rocky
was to be part of the planned invasion of the Japan homeland before Japan surrendered. Rockey was succeeded by 3* Lieutenant General, Thomas Eugene Bourke
From their landing at Iwo Jima on February 19 until 26-03-1945, the 5th Marine Division suffered more than 8.719 casualties including over 2.482 officers and enlisted men who were killed in action. The 5th Division was disbanded in 1946. Michels was immortalized in the picture of the first flag raising over Iwo Jima.
Death and burial; ground of Michels, James Randy.
He survived World War II, and returned to Riverside at its conclusion. He died in Riverside on 17-01-1982, age 63 and is buried on the Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, Illinois.