This is the headstone for James Ryan, a 19-year-old KIA on Iwo Jima. I've been looking for his grave for years, with the hope of finding his family. So much time has elapsed, and the name Ryan is so common, I don't hold much hope of the latter, but then, I didn't expect to find this, either.
Maybe his family will stumble upon this or the memorial page TD Miller kindly created for him.
James Ryan was my uncle's best friend in the Marines. As one of their comrades wrote to me when I began this search, "They were the first to go on liberty and the last to return." Neither of the young men lived to be 20.
This is the picture that started my search and is quite possibly the last photo taken of either:
My uncle is on the left. Ryan is on the right. The Marine who wrote to me about them said that he was on the hospital ship when he heard that they were killed. He was told that they were together. It gives me some sad comfort to know that. I don't quite know why.
I will continue to look for Ryan's family in the hope that I can give them a copy of this picture. He was from California and he's buried in San Francisco, so that, at least narrows my search.