The Fifth Marine Division Association was established in 1949 by Gen. K. E. Rockey, Division Commander, in order to honor those who fought and died in the Battle of Iwo Jima. It has, in its annual reunions, given these men and their families an opportunity to reconnect and to commemorate those who did not come back. New friendships are also formed, particularly among the legacy (family) members.
Original members of the Association were primarily the surviving Iwo Jima veterans of the 5th Division and their families, including parents, wives, sons, daughters, and other relatives of those lost in that horrific battle. Also included were men and families of attached units of the Navy and Army, and Marines attached to the Fifth Amphibious Corps. Former Seabees, corpsmen, and Army Air Corps pilots have joined the ranks of the Gyrenes they fought alongside.
Later, the men of 5th Marine Division regiments activated for Vietnam were invited to join the Association. However, many of these men connect more closely with the Divisions to which they were attached. The 26th and 27th Marines and elements of the 13th Marines (artillery) were activated and sent to Vietnam but did not fight as units of the 5th Division. The 26th and part of the 13th were initially attached to the 3rd Division, and the 27th was attached to the 1st Division. Nevertheless, the spirit of Iwo Jima lived on at Khe Sanh and DaNang.
Survivors and their families have been able to meet to renew old friendships, share memories, and support one another through the venue of the annual FMDA Reunions.
Our purpose is to honor the men and women who served in the Fifth Marine Division and attached components in WWII and Vietnam. We keep their legacies alive via reunions, gatherings, documentaries, and other resources available.
The Fifth Marine Division Association Membership has just under a thousand members. Many of our current members are a mixture of veterans who fought in Iwo Jima, served in 5th Division Regiments activated in Vietnam, or who are legacy, associate, and honorary members.
We have also welcomed people in with an interest or connection to the Fifth Marine Division or Iwo Jima, including journalists, historians, and other service members that served in other branches of the military, but were not attached to a Marine Division. We also have some veterans of Iwo Jima from other Divisions whose associations have been disbanded.
Increasingly sons and daughters, and other family members of Iwo Jima Veterans, have joined the association to discover more details about their loved ones or to meet other Marines who knew them. These Legacy Members are taking an increased leadership role in the Association and in keeping the history of Iwo Jima alive.
2021 TEAM MEMBERS
Officers and Leadership
Tom Huffhines, President
Skip Werthmuller, Vice President
Karen Campbell, Secretary
Tom Huffhines, Acting Treasurer
Morey Butler, Sergeant At Arms
Billy Joe Cawthron, Chaplain
Fundraising ... VACANT
Terrie Williams, Database Manager
Hal Campbell , Parliamentarian
James Sargent, Legal Officer
John Butler, Historian
Kathy Tinsley, Membership
Dan King, War Souvenirs
James Dalman, Website
Leonardo Flores, Photographer
Tom Huffhines, Newsletter Editor
Kath Butler, Reunion Journal
Ray Elliot, PR and Advertising
Board of Directors