Carolina alumni Maj. James Scales and Capt. Edward Stephenson, a pharmacy school graduate, met during the Battle of Iwo Jima and promised to meet up for a drink in North Carolina if they both survived. Iwo Jima's Battlefield Promise tells their story.
Carolina alumni Maj. James Scales and Capt. Edward Stephenson, a pharmacy school graduate, met during the Battle of Iwo Jima and promised to meet up for a drink in North Carolina if they both survived. Iwo Jima’s Battlefield Promise tells their story.

A UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy alumnus is memorialized in a new book about World War II.

Iwo Jima’s Battlefield Promise” tells the story of the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of two officers and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumni who happened to meet by chance during the chaotic fighting.

The book focuses on the encounter between Capt. Edward Stephenson, a 1937 graduate of the School, and Maj. James Scales, both U.S. Marine Corps officers from small towns in North Carolina. Amid the violence of the battle, the two officers made a promise to “throw one for the Rock” — that is, meet back in North Carolina for a drink if they both survived.

Stephenson earned a Silver Star and a Purple Heart at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The meticulously researched book was written by North Carolina native Charles A. Jones, a retired Marine colonel who has also authored books about Pearl Harbor and Hawaii’s World War II military sites. Jones first heard of this “battlefield promise” in 1995 while visiting Iwo Jima for the 50th anniversary of the battle. His book is the result of two decades of research into the Battle of Iwo Jima and the men who fought it.

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