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1LT Benjamin Rush Toland

1LT Benjamin Rush Toland

Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 21 Feb 1945 (aged 24)
Iwo Jima, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan
Burial Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot N 390
Memorial ID 105735555 · View Source
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Thank you to contributor Albuquerque Firefly (#46907585)
for the following:

Killed in action on Iwo Jima

In college, not content with easy success, he rigorously prepared himself by study, to be useful. Great was the promise of his life, for his mind was not only keen and just but gifted also with a sensitive perception of the rights and needs of others, ennobled by a deep goodness of heart of which his modesty and charm were outward signs.

Although to such a nature as Toland's, nothing could have been more repellent than war, still in war he was a leader of men, as he would have been in peace, had he been spared, not because he wanted to lead but because, being what he was, he had to. His was a nature which not only pitied but had to share the hardship and the agony of men in combat.

And that is why, though mentally so finely equipped to fill the post of general's aide for which he was selected on completion of his Marine Corps training, he was bound to go as platoon leader, first to Saipan, and then to his last battle, Iwo Jima.

Ben Toland died as he had lived, fearless, and serving others beyond the call of duty.

A long letter, confirmed from several other sources, reveals the following facts:-Sergeant Roland Aycock (who wrote it) had been through training, Kwajalein and Saipan, with him. They had both been wounded at Saipan, and were devoted friends.

At Iwo Jima, they were in the same company, but in different platoons. Aycock's Lieutenant got badly wounded; and he had to take over the platoon in assault.

Toland then left the comparative safety of his own position, in order to help his friend, saying, "I felt like a slacker back at the C.P." They took the ridge assigned to them under terrible fire, ". . . every ten yards cost a life"; and Toland again on his own initiative jumped out of his hole and started to put out airplane panels to show their position. While directing this work, he and two other men were instantly killed by a mortarburst.

Benjamin Rush Toland is survived by his father, Edward Dale Toland, and his mother, Esther Howell Toland, by his sister, Annabel, wife of F. P. Herter, Lt., A.U.S., Medical Corps, and by his brother, E. D. Toland, Jr., Major A.A.F.

Gravesite Details Entered the service from New Hampshire.




  • Created by: Jeff Hall
  • Added: 24 Feb 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 105735555
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT Benjamin Rush Toland (28 Jul 1920–21 Feb 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 105735555, citing National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Jeff Hall (contributor 47296194) .