TEMECULA – Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Flag Day in 1923, “Iron Mike” Mervosh enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1942. By the time of his retirement in 1977, he points out that he had “served [in combat] in every enlisted rank from Private to Sergeant Major.” That combat spanned three wars – World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
For World War II, Iron Mike fought in the battles of Roi-Namur, the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. In each one he was part of the 4th Marine Division. For heroic actions on Iwo Jima, Mike received his first Navy Commendation Medal. Two out of every three Americans who fought in Iwo Jima either died or were wounded. Mike was one of only 31 in his company to, as he puts it, “walk off the island at the end of the battle.” While in Iwo Jima (and really in every enemy engagement in every war Mike fought in), he admits that he didn’t “think too much about survival. You have a job to do