About fifteen years ago I was trying to get an old shotgun apart. A friend of mine at the range loaned me a set of screwdriver tips and the small ratchet that comes with them. I always call them a Chapman set. We used to have them when we work on aircraft. Strong, easy to get into a small space, a well made tool.
I started hunting for Chapman tips and found a website called Sciline Products. Even then, it was a simple website. It laid out what he had for sale but you had to call to order. Here's the front page as it looked in November 2006, courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine. In the middle of the page if you scroll down, it says "Iwo Jima -- Sciline remembers because Sciline was there". The link took you to this tribute page.
I called the number because he had the specific tips as well as full sets. When he answered it was clearly an elderly man. So I placed my order. I bought a full set for myself and my friend, as well as the tip I needed to replace the broken one. Then I asked if he was Mr. Sciline. He answered in the affirmative.
I told him I had looked at his Marine tribute, that I had been a Marine, and that the island battles of the Pacific had been something I had read a lot about.
We were on the phone over an hour. He went in on D+2. Enemy was everywhere. We know now that the island was honeycombed with tunnels. All they knew was that you might advance a few yards and then get shot from behind. He was never wounded. Fought all the way until the Army relieved them and the island was secure. 130 Marines went in together. 11 of them were still there when they boarded ship.
Told me all sorts of stories and at the end he told me it meant a lot to know that someone remembered what they had done. Said he felt like it was all forgotten and that when he passed no one would remember. I told him I remembered. That a lot of people remembered. That in the Marine Corps today Iwo Jima is right there with Belleau Wood and Tripoli.
He's the only Iwo Jima veteran I've ever spoken too that I know of. Certainly the only one I spoke about the battle with. He's gone now. The business is closed. The website down. But I remember and I invite you all to remember, too. Remember what price was paid. Remember Sciline.
The 4th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima.