Young Pays Tribute To Hoosier World War II Veteran Marion “Wayne” Saucerman
Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) spoke on the Senate floor about the life and legacy of Corporal Marion “Wayne” Saucerman, a World War II Marine veteran from Indiana.
While serving at Iwo Jima, Corporal Saucerman earned the Purple Heart after being shot three times by the enemy. When the war ended, he returned home to Indiana, where he lived and worked until he passed away on May 2.
In his remarks, Young expressed gratitude for Saucerman and all World War II veterans for their service.
Senator Young’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery:
Corporal Marion “Wayne” Saucerman graduated from Dugger High School in Sullivan County in 1943.
Two days later he was a Marine, a decision he made after he listened to reports of the attack on Pearl Harbor over the family radio in 1941.
He was ready to fight.
And he did, with great valor.
In a year he went from rural western Indiana to the volcanic beaches of Iwo Jima, as part of an elite sniper platoon in the 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.
As they approached the shore, the battle was so fierce the Marines could barely make out the smoke-shrouded island.
Days after landing, Corporal Saucerman and his 30-man platoon reached the front lines. Only 10 returned.
While Corporal Saucerman did not raise the Stars and Stripes on Mount Suribachi, he could see it waving high in the distance from his position down the shoreline.
That American flag would not have flown over the island had Corporal Saucerman and his brother marines not been there fighting for it.
Weeks later, leading an operation to flush out Japanese riflemen hidden deep in caves, Wayne was hit three times by enemy fire: a bullet to the right hand and two more in the left leg, one of which he carried the rest of his life.
The Purple Heart was Corporal Saucerman’s award for his bravery at Iwo Jima; the bullet in his leg was a reminder of his service there.
The sacrifices of those Marines and Sailors on Iwo Jima, men like Wayne Saucerman, saved the lives of 24,000 American air crewmen from a perilous fate in the waters of the Pacific and changed the tide of World War II.
And then they came home, they built communities, they raised families, and they continued to make history.
For 35 years, Corporal Saucerman worked at Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, helping build the machines that took Americans across highways, into the air, and to the moon.
Mr. President, Corporal Saucerman passed away on May 2. He was 97.
I rise to give tribute to a life well-lived, in both heroic service to his country and dedicated service back home, with great love for family and friends. And to a Hoosier who was, in return, greatly loved.
His passing is a reminder that the ranks our World War II veterans daily grows thin.
They saved civilization by simply doing their duty.
In what time we have, with what poor power we have, let us never forget or cease to thank them for doing so.