One of the last known Marine veterans who fought at Iwo Jima dies at 103

Julia LeDoux
November 01, 2019 - 10:35 am
John Moon

Western Illinois University

One of the oldest known surviving Marine who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima has died.

John Moon died Oct. 29 at the age of 103 in his hometown of Macomb, Illinois. He became an internet sensation three years ago when he was videoed enthusiastically singing the Star-Spangled Banner at a Western Illinois University women’s basketball game.

When he signed up with the Marines in 1943, Moon was a WIU graduate, married, had a young son and was working for the Caterpillar Tractor Company in East Peoria, according to his obituary.

Moon served with the 5th Marine Division during the Battle of Iwo Jima, landing on Feb. 19, 1945. He fought until he was wounded and received the Purple Heart for those injuries.

Following his discharge in September of 1945, Moon returned to Macomb, where he ran a café and then a candy store for more than two decades. He finished his career by working as a driver’s education teacher at Macomb High School for 10 years.

His funeral service will be held Nov. 7 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Macomb.

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