On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, 23-year old J.W. "Bill" Simpson wasn't worried about much of anything. His mind was far from the growing world conflict that day as he sat in a car parked off Second Street in Monticello, KY, shooting the bull and drinking moonshine with one of his buddies.
It was at 6 am on February 19, 1945 that the Thurston began landing operations at Iwo Jima. The invasion of the small Pacific island turned out to be one of the bloodiest and most remembered battles of World War II.
Although the U.S. flag was flying above the island, the Japanese were far from relinquishing their territory. The battle continued for another 29 days.