Sgt John Haffey USMC Purple Heart front
Wounded in Action, 8 March 1945
John William Haffey joined the Marine Corps in July 1940. His overseas career began shortly afterward when he landed on Midway Island in September 1941. Haffey was stationed on the island with the 6th Defense Battalion when the Japanese launched their attack on Pearl Harbor. Haffey stated in a newspaper interview in March of 1943 (home on leave), “I didn't think much about war. We did our work, trolled for tuna fish…and listened to the radio news. Then came Pearl Harbor and we knew we were in for it.”
Haffey recalled that activity increased in June 1942 when the Japanese moved in, “with every expectation of taking over.” The Marines held the Japanese off and PFC Haffey returned stateside in March 1943.
Haffey was not home for long before he was promoted to sergeant and assigned to Weapons Company, 24th Marines. He once again left for the Pacific in January 1944. Haffey participated in action on Saipan and Tinian from June through August 1944. Shortly after that, now Platoon Sergeant Haffey fought on Iwo Jima where he was wounded on 8 March 1945. Haffey remained in the Pacific for several months after his injury and returned stateside in late 1945. Haffey finished out his Marine Corps time stationed at Quantico, Virginia until July 1946.