Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima

Bill Hudson


World Affairs Discussion Event with Los Alamos resident and Marine Corps Veteran Bill Hudson

SANTA FE – Feb.19, is the 70th anniversary of the American forces’ landing on Iwo Jima.

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations will present a special program to commemorate that historic battle and all those who fought and all those who were lost.

The program, entitled “Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima” will feature a film followed by discussion with Los Alamos resident Bill Hudson, an Iwo Jima Marine Corps veteran of the battle. 

Bill Hudson

The program will be at 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Santa Fe Woman’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail. Admission is $20 for non-members and $15 for CIR members. Military veterans, active-duty military personnel and qualified students may attend for free.

Bill will show a video, “Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima,” produced by the Canadian History Channel and will comment about his personal experiences between scenes.

This video includes interviews with Bill, and has not been aired publicly on television in the United States.

After the viewing, he will give a brief talk about the military significance of that bloody battle, and answer questions from the audience. Many who have viewed the program have found it to be very powerful, educational, and moving.

Hudson earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his actions during the infamous battle where 6,841 Marines were killed and another 20,000 were wounded.

The battle of Iwo Island has been won. The United States Marines, by their individual and collective courage, have conquered a base which is as necessary to us in our continuing forward movement toward final victory as it was vital to the enemy in staving off ultimate defeat. By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue. – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

Bill was born in New York City. He survived the streets of the city for 18 years.  In 1943, after graduating from high school, he joined the US Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for action on Iwo Jima. After WWII he received BS and MA degrees in health and physical education from New York University. He is a longtime Los Alamos resident, retired educator, and former Los Alamos High School swimming and cross country coach. He has competed at the local, state, and national level in Senior Olympics in swimming, track and field, triathlon, and weightlifting and has completed five regular marathons and several ultra-marathons. He was chosen as a Los Alamos Living Treasure in 2005, and was recently inducted to the Los Alamos High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  Bill says “I will be 90 years old on my next birthday. I am in reasonably good health and can still read, write, speak, and THINK and I am grateful for all that life has given me.”


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