Iwo Jima About the Author
Like most Los Alamos natives, Karen Tallentire now lives elsewhere. She has known Bill Hudson, her swim teacher and a fellow runner, for as long as she can remember. Like him, she has experienced Cornell engineering classes, military officer training, and Puerto Rico. Like almost everyone now alive, she has never experienced anything resembling Iwo Jima, so it seems appropriate instead to introduce the man who lived the story:
Hudson, a native of Manhattan, spent most of his life in Los Alamos, the historic headquarters of the Manhattan Project. His original reason for leaving New York was World War II; he enlisted in the Marines and was assigned to the Fourth Division.
Originally assigned to make maps, he asked for something more exciting, and was trained in underwater demolitions in an early version of SEAL training. He just missed the fighting in the Marianas and got reassigned to the infantry before the Battle of Iwo Jima, where he landed with the first wave of troops on February 19th, 1945. Hudson was wounded on March 15, 1945, the day before his unit reached the sea and battle was over. Afterward he applied for officer training and was assigned to Cornell University in upstate New York to study to become a Marine officer.
When the war ended, he got out of the Marines and finished his bachelor's degree at New York University. A teacher recruiter convinced Hudson to move to the newly open town of Los Alamos, New Mexico to teach physical education, and he taught there for over 30 years, developing both boys' and girls' swim teams into the best in the state. He also started the Los Alamos Triathlon, an annual event for 40 years now.
After retiring, Hudson spent some time working with a financial services company, and spent a year teaching physical education in Puerto Rico. In 2001 he visited Iwo Jima again, and in 2002 raised funds for the Iwo Jima Museum with a run up Mount Suribachi. In 2005 Los Alamos honored Bill and Maureen Hudson as "Living Treasures of Los Alamos."
Hudson died on Patriot Day, September 11th, 2015 at the age of 90.