BENNINGTON — The current commander of the 4th Marines interviewed a World War II veteran in Nebraska to chronicle his experiences for a film that would help teach future Marines about the Corps' history.
Col. Kevin Norton stopped by the Bennington retirement home last week and interviewed Warren Jorgenson, 96, about his life and experiences in the Marines.
"We're going to evangelize this," Norton said. "The young Marines eat it up. They appreciate this part of the history."
Jorgenson enlisted in the Marines in 1939 and was assigned to the garrison in Shanghai with the 4th Marine Regiment. He then left for Manila due to the Japanese threat, but U.S. bases in the city were bombed within hours of the Pearl Harbor attack. Jorgenson and the rest of the 4th Marines then moved to Corregidor, where Japanese forces eventually attacked. The 1942 attack led to the fall of the fortified island.
The veteran spent more than three years as a prisoner of war in the Philippines and Japan, where he said he lost 70 pounds.
Norton and Jorgenson first met five years ago at the 70th anniversary ceremony on Corregidor. Norton wanted to talk with Jorgenson again because of his avid interest in history.
The filmed interview with Jorgenson will be shown next month during services commemorating the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Corregidor. The film will also be used to educate young Marines, which Jorgenson said he is happy and humbled his experiences will be a part of.
"It was beautiful to know that I could pass that information along," he said. "It was exciting to think that it mattered."