The Battle of Iwo Jima, which began Feb. 19, 1945, was one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history, as former Cpl. Don Graves knows firsthand and will never forget.
He'll also never forget the time a Japanese soldier smelled hot chocolate being brewed near him and called out for him to bring him some. The moment, as he recounted in a video posted to the Marine Corps Facebook page Tuesday, was almost like the Christmas truce that wasn't.
Sitting in a fox hole with two other Marines on the fifth week of the battle, he said, Graves decided to make himself some hot chocolate. "So my other two buddies, they said, 'make enough for three of us.'"
So there he was, slicing up his chocolate ration with a Ka-Bar and chopping it into a powder. Then he cut off a piece of his Composition C2 demolition charge and used it to light a flame.
"Just a nice little fire going, and we sat there and we watched it," he said. "And then all of sudden I could smell hot chocolate."
Of course, so could everyone else, including enemy soldiers.
A few minutes later, he heard a Japanese voice calling out to him, "hey Marine, very good chocoletto. You bring chocoletto here."
"If you want chocoletto, you come here and get it," he said back. "He says, 'oh no, you bring here,'" Graves said, laughing.
"There's humor in combat. Every man that's been in combat knows that sometimes funny things happen."
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.