VISTA, Calif. --
John Farritor enlisted in the Marine Corps July 2, 1941. After completing basic training on Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division on Camp Elliot, now known as Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Almost a year after arriving, Farritor and his fellow Marines marched the historic 55-miles trek to what would become Camp Pendleton. Farritor would spend four months on Pendleton before traveling to New Zealand.
After five months of training in New Zealand, Farritor, along with 3rd Marine Division, traveled to Guadalcanal. He stayed on Guadalcanal for a few short months until getting orders to occupy the island of Bougainville. Farritor and his Marines would see their first taste of the war when they landed on the beach of Bougainville.
In the coming months, 3rd Marine Division would be apart of the deadly invasion of Iwo Jima. With tears soaking his eyes, Farritor recalled what he felt during the bloody battle of Iwo Jima.
“I feel lucky,” said Farritor “I never believed I would leave that island but I did.”
Farritor would continue his career in the Marine Corps, fighting in more historic battles at Pusan, Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir. Farritor would serve faithfully for a total of 20 years. He retired as a first sergeant in 1961.
To this very day, his heart is still devoted to the Marine Corps.
“I believe in the Corps wholeheartedly,” Farritor explained. “ Best dang outfit in the world!”
On July 9, 2019, Marines stationed on Camp Pendleton helped celebrate Farritor’s 100th birthday.
Sgt. Anthony Fragnito, an intelligence surveillance reconnaissance systems engineer with Headquarters and Support Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, stated, “It was very humbling and motivating meeting a Marine like 1st Sgt. Farritor, who is still hooking and jabbing at 100 years old!”
Farritor fought and lived through some of the most historic and deadliest battles American forces have been through. His knowledge and memories will live through the Marine Corps for generations to come. Even though he is 100 years old now, he still holds himself up like a U.S. Marine.
“I enjoyed the first 100 years,” said Farritor. “I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next coming years.”