Corpsman George E. Wahlen landed on the beaches of Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. Fearing he was not up to the task, he went above and beyond the call to save his comrades. Despite being hit three times, he refused evacuation. How Wahlen survived remains among the most incredible accounts of heroism in U.S. history.

In October 1945, Wahlen was summoned to the White House to receive the Medal of Honor from President Harry S Truman. He was the first corpman of WWII to be so honored. After months of painful rehabilitation,
he came home and stuffed the medal in a dresser and told no one about it. Even his wife didn’t know he was a national war hero until years after their marriage.

He spent almost six decades trying to forget Iwo Jima. He was content to take his story to his grave, but family and friends recently persuaded him to tell of his experiences, convincing him that the events are not just a painful personal memory, but a story belonging to the nation’s heritage. Now Wahlen has come forward, hoping only to honor his brothers-in-arms who served or died on this forsaken island.


“The Quiet Hero” offers an extraordinary peek into the making of one of our nation's most distinguished war heroes.”

       —James Bradley, Author of national bestsellers Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys

"The character of a nation can well be determined by how it pays homage to its heroes."— Bob Dole in "The Quiet Hero"

By Gary W. Toyn,

Foreword by Bob Dole
Introduction by Orrin Hatch

ISBN: 978-0976-1547-14 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0976-1547-85 (Softcover)

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