After graduating from high school in Southbridge, Massachusetts, Joseph Julian joined the US Marine Corps in January 1942. After some time as a drill instructor, Julian was assigned to the 5th Marine Division, and was bound for the invasion of Iwo Jima in 1945. After 18 days of fighting, Julian had distinguished himself by going on several “rampages” against dug-in Japanese forces. On March 9, Julian’s platoon was again pinned down by enemy machine gun fire coming from caves. He once again went on a rampage against the heavily fortified Japanese strongpoints. This time, however, would be the last. Just as he thought his platoon was clear to move forward, Julian was hit with a burst from a machine gun. Platoon Sergeant Joseph Julian was 26 years old.