In honor of a veteran and my father-in-law, Robert Threlfall

Published 10:37 am Friday, August 16, 2013

The Tryon Daily Bulletin and the Patriots Salute to Veterans Association are beginning an “Honor Your Veteran”

Robert Threlfall

Robert Threlfall

opportunity for local families to write in and honor their veterans. It’s simple and free to participate, here’s how:

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Subject Line: In Honor of a Veteran

Include: Your name, contact phone number, your relationship to the honored veteran and your city. Photos are welcomed and encouraged.

Here is the first of what we hope will be many submissions for “Honor Your Veteran,” which we will publish each Tuesday as space is available. Thank you for your service.

In honor of my father-in-law, Robert Threlfall, submitted by Julie Threlfall of Tryon.

Dad left college to join the Marine Corps in October 1943. He was in a 155 mm. rifle artillery battalion assigned to “The Old Breed” – The First Marine Division.  Dad took their motto, “No better friend, no worse enemy” into battle at Peleliu.

Dad was with the force that landed on Peleliu on Sept. 15, 1944 on “White Beach.”  They were immediately hit with heavy fire from “The Point” (Umurbrogol Mountain, where the Japanese had turned some limestone caves, inter-connected by tunnels, into a defensive underground system, allowing them to evacuate or reinforce positions). There were more than 3,000 casualties during the first week, and they fought for a month before being relieved.  In early December, what dad called “the remnants,” approximately 35 percent of those who had landed, shipped back to Guadalcanal to a camp opposite “Ironbottom Sound,” so called because of the number of ships and planes that sank there.

April 1, 1945 found dad landing on Okinawa, where he remained until Japan surrendered in August 1945. Following the surrender, dad’s division spent five months on Tientsin, China, to thwart any immediate communist Russian ambitions.