RWU Magazine - Fall 2013 / Issue #9 - page 2

RWU {Spring 2012}
Long Ago, and Very Far Away
In February 1945, Bill Conley was among the first waves of U.S.
Marines to flood the beach at Iwo Jima as the United States fought
to turn the tide of WW-II in the allies’ favor. Now, at 91 years
old, he is among an even more exclusive group – the surviving
veterans of the Greatest Generation left to share their wartime
experiences. Pictured here with the only photo he has from his
service on Guadalcanal (“I was busy doing other things!” he
says), Conley has spent the past year documenting his stories of
service with alumnus Thanasi Metropoulos ’13, a finance major
and history minor who completed a series of 15 oral histories of
WW-II veterans in Rhode Island’s East Bay communities.
For firsthand accounts of Conley’s service and other veterans’
personal histories, read “What They Left Behind: Reclaiming the
Untold History of World War II” on page 40.
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