LISTEN to Peter Rondero on Hometown Heroes
Peter Rondero during the live broadcast of Hometown Heroes on August 14, 2010
Peter Rondero as a young marine.
84-year-old Peter Rondero of Fresno, CA appeared live from the Spirit of ’45 celebration at Fresno’s Warnors Theater on August 14, 2010, episode #127 of Hometown Heroes. The decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran served with F Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, 5th Marine Division. He landed on Iwo Jima with the first wave of Marines at Red Beach 1 on February 19, 1945. A little more than two weeks later, on March 7, 1945, he was wounded by sniper fire. The bullet hit Rondero’s helmet, but did not penetrate the liner, instead exiting the helmet near his ear, which was badly wounded.
Cora and Pete Rondero
He was back in combat after being patched up, was recuperating at Camp Tarawa in Hawaii when World War II ended, and later served in the occupation forces in Japan. While working for Western Union in Fresno in 1948, he met a telephone clerk named Cora Pasillas. They were married a month later, and are still married today. Four children, 8 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild would have never been born if that bullet had hit his helmet an inch to the left or right. For years, Rondero maintained a newsletter for his fellow veterans of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment. He epitomizes the oft-repeated phrase “once a Marine, always a Marine.”