Lot #357
Iwo Jima: Rene Gagnon

Rare WWII-dated letter by Rene Gagnon, boasting a remarkable nine total signatures
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Estimate: $600+


Rare WWII-dated letter by Rene Gagnon, boasting a remarkable nine total signatures

United States Marine Corps corporal (1925-1979) who participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He is generally (but incorrectly) remembered as one of the six flag-raisers who helped raise the second U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945. World War II-dated ALS signed seven times, "R. A. Gagnon," and once, “Rene,” seven pages, 6.25 x 9.75, December 6, 1944. Handwritten letter to his future wife, Pauline Harnois, sent two months before the Battle of Iwo Jima from an undisclosed location in the "Central Pacific." In part: "I hope you'll excuse the wisecracks but, I'm in a joking mood tonight: And its not because I've been dancing or romancing with any South Sea Hula girls; and I'm not drunk either. I'm probably changing; You'd like that wouldn't you; Remember how I used to get mad when someone made a wise remark and I didn't like it. Maybe this outfit will do me some good after all. Hold it a minute while I light a cigarette…I started smoking Old Gold to get in good with [your father] then when I came home again he was smoking Lucky's so I switched again, to agree with him; now I see he's smoking Chesterfields; tell him if he doesn't stop changing his brand, I'm going to stop trying to keep up with him, and start smoking my pipe again…I'm sure we won't be back for at least a year and a half…Hopeless Chest…I hope you were just kidding; please don't give up hope, now after waiting two years, you must be able to wait at least a couple more." In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Gagnon's hand and bearing another signature ("Pfc. R. A. Gagnon U.S.M.C.") in the return address area

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Sports
  • Dates: #614 - Ended August 11, 2021

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