“Rest Easy, Granddaddy…”

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Navy photo / Senior Chief MCS Daniel Sanford

Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate Andrew Thomasson commits his grandfather's ashes into the waters at Iwo Jima's Invasion Beach on Aug. 28. During the Battle for Iwo Jima in February 1945, Motor Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Oscar Thomasson's landing craft was destroyed while making its way to the island during the U.S. forces' initial assault. While Thomasson survived the carnage and went on to raise a family near Wichita, Kan., what he witnessed at Iwo Jima haunted him for the rest of his life. He died nearly six years ago at the age of 80. Andrew, 34, his first grandson, said he brought his grandfather's ashes back to Iwo Jima so that the World War II vet's soul could find peace.