Charlie Ojeda (1945/02/19)
Wounded marines screamed "Corpsman" and Charlie responded.
Charlie Ojeda was born about 1922 in Watsonville to Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Ojeda. In addition to one brother, he shared the family home on Broadis Street with four sisters. He attended local elementary schools and entered Watsonville High School.
After completing his high school education, Ojeda was employed by the local Purity Food Store and later became its assistant manager.
In October 1942 Charlie Ojeda joined the US Navy and was sent to the US Naval Training Center in Farragut, Idaho, for boot camp. After completing the basic course, he was selected for training as a pharmacist's mate and attended schools in San Diego and Long Beach.
Following his military medical training, Ojeda was detailed to the US Marine Corps where he received additional training at Camps Elliott and Pendleton in California. At the completion of those sessions, he was assigned to the 27th Marine Regiment and ordered to the South Pacific.
Ojeda's Regiment was a significant component of the 5th Marine Division's plan for the capture of Iwo Jima. On the 19th of February the
“5th Marine Division landed on schedule, overran lightly held beach defenses and progressed inland over numerous mine fields and in the face of moderate fire due to excellent naval gunfire and air preparation of all types. Early progress to the west was relatively easy. Advances to the north and south were heavily contested and we suffered considerable casualties.”
The 27th Marines combat assault troops met light resistance from enemy infantry troops on the beach, but found the area being hit repeatedly by enemy mortar and artillery fire. Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Charlie Ojeda was serving as a hospitalman or corpsman with the assault forces on February 19, 1945, when he was killed in action assisting wounded marines.
His body was never recovered and he is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial. His awards include the Purple Heart.
(ABMC, Raymond C Backstroke, 5th Marine Div Daily Summaries, http://www.geocities.com/rbackstr2000/aa500219.txt, [16 September 2008]); WRP March 6, 1945 1.2; Photo-WHS)