Roland Barrios Cross.

Roland Barrios, of New Orleans, was 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Two years later, he landed on Iwo Jima with the 5th Marine Division.

". . . I landed on the second day.  And all they had on the beaches was dead marines.  You couldn't see a dead Jap.  Mortar shells, machine gun fire, rifle fire.  It was terrible.  They had us all zeroed in. . . . It was like shooting ducks in a barrel."

A Roman Catholic, Barrios wore this cross on his dog tag chain.  He attended mass near the front lines during the fighting.

"Believing in God and my religion helped me tremendously. . . . We would pray for [buddies] to get over their wounds or pray for their souls.  At night in the foxholes we each had to stand a watch and I would sit and recite my rosary or say different prayers for God to help us.  Actually, I think [the war] deepened my faith.  You got a lot of fear in you but also if you believe in God, that's what keeps you going.  Without that belief in God I don't think you could make it." 1

Manipulated photo by Eric Shindelbower



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1 - Roland Barrios information courtesy of The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The National WWII Museum
945 Magazine Street - New Orleans, LA 70130.


Background pattern courtesy of