CLIF J. CORMIER
CAPTAIN US MARINE CORPS
CAPTAIN CLIFTON J. CORMIER
Marine, Journalist, Author, Gentleman
This image is on the book cover of
A POSTCARD FROM JOSEPH
It duplicates the image on a 1938 Marine Corps
recuiting poster and the postcard recuiters gave
Cormier to mail his parents when he
Clifton J. Cormier joined the Marine corps in 1938 at the age 19. Cormier, as many young men of his generation, viewed the military
as an excape from the dim future of a small town with no job because of the Great Depression.
Clif a resident of Gainesville, Florida
is a native of Lake Arthur, Louisana. After boot camp. he was assigned to an artillery regiment in San Diego and remained an artilleryman
through most of his career. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Cormier was off-loading supplies in Reykjavik, Iceland. His
brigade was dispatched to relieve the British Garrison as part of Roosevelts's undeclared war in the the North Atlantic.
In 1942 Clif
took his first home leave to visit his parents and friends. It was not long before he was assigned to a newly formed THIRD MARINE
DIVISION that was activated Sept. 16, 1942. The Fighting Third would be involved in some of the bloodiest battle in the South Pacific.
The Third Marine Division and Cormier participated in three South Pacific campaigns. Bougainville,
Guam, and Iwo Jima.
In early 1943
the Third Marine Division moved to Auckland, New Zealand. By August 1943
Division was sationed on Guadalcanal where Cormier and his
men rehearsed for the Bougainville
Invasion. Before the landing on Bougainville, Gunnary Sergeant Cormier was promoted to Warrant Officer.
On November 1, 1943 Warrant Officer Cormier landed on Bougainville. The battle took approximately two months to secure the island.
the Bougainville operation the Division returned to Guadalcanal to begin training for the bext campaign. The Division trained for
a nimber of operations that were subseqently cancelled.
In June, 1944 the Division sailed for the Marianas and remained afloat off
Saipan as part of the reserve force for the Saipan operation. With the situation on Saipan in controll, the Division retirned to its
restaging area awaiting the target date for the Guam operations.
Guam is the largest of the Mariana Island. The conquest of Guam was
necessary for the construction od airfields for the legions of B-29's that were to come. Three airstrips would be built. To learn
more about the battle of Bouginville, Guam, and Iwo Jima, click on the following.
Five years after World War 11 Clif Cormier found himself fighting communist aggression in Korea. Cormier remained ih the Marine Corps
for 22 years and retired in 1959 as a Captain. He
attended the University of Florida majoring in journalism and for the next 20 years
worked as an investigative reporter for the Gainesville Sun. After a year on the job he would become city editor.
After retiring from
the Gainesville Sun, Clif went on to write a book "Postcard From Joseph." The book is an autobiography of Cormier's duel lives as
a Marine and then he his reinvention as a
newspaperman. Clif said he founf himself uncomfortable writing about himself, so he wrote
the book on the third person using Joseph, which is his middle name.
Today Captain Cormier is involved in the many veterans' organization
in the North Cental Florida area. To meet this man, visit the IWO TRIO page for dates and time the Trio meet.
BATTLE OF BOUGAINVILLE
BATTLE OF GUAM
Clif Cormier (left) and Ronnie Stillman,
artillery forward observers with the
12th Marine Regiment, March 1945 in
the last days of the Battle of Iwo Jima.