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The Battle Of Iwo Jima

The battle for control of the island of Iwo Jima began on Feb. 19th, 1945.

Iwo Jima had tactical importance because of two Japanese airfields located on the island.

On the first day of the battle, roughly 2,500 Marines were killed.

There were over 26,000 Marine casualties resulting from the battle, and more than 5,900 Marines lost their lives.

There were more Congressional Medals of Honor bestowed at the Battle of Iwo Jima than any other battle in American history.
A total of 27 CMOH’s were awarded, 13 posthumously.
22 of these were ome by Marines.

This is a colorized version of a film clip of the actual flag raising on Mt. Suribachi:

The flag was raised, not at the end of the battle, as many believe, but on either the 3rd or 4th day (accounts and reports differ) of a battle that lasted 36 days.

Os the six men who raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, only three left the island alive.

Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the
flag-raising.

One of the things we made sure of when we went to see our daughter graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp was to get a picture of her in front of the Iwo Jima memorial at Parris Island.

Parris Island Pictures   Iwo Jima Memorial

Korean War: “With the Marines: Chosin to Hungnam” Part 2

United States Marines march from the Chosin Reservoir to Hungnam.

US Navy film MN-7314

Public domain film from the National Archives.

Lost Evidence Iwo Jima World War II (5/5)

Everyone has seen images of the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi.
Not as many know the details of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Part 5 of 5

Today In Marine Corps History: 23 February 1945

Four days after the initial landings on Iwo Jima, 1stLt Harold G. Schrier led 40 men from Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, up Mt. Suribachi to secure the crest and raise the small American flag that battalion commander LtCol Chandler Johnson had given Schrier.
Within an hour, the patrol reached the rim of the crater. After a short fire-fight with Japanese defenders emerging from several caves, the small American flag was attached to an iron pipe and raised over the island.

Today In Marine Corps History: 23 February 19

Four days after the initial landings on Iwo Jima, 1stLt Harold G. Schrier led 40 men from Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, up Mt. Suribachi to secure the crest and raise the small American flag that battalion commander LtCol Chandler Johnson had given Schrier.
Within an hour, the patrol reached the rim of the crater.
After a short fire-fight with Japanese defenders emerging from several caves, the small American flag was attached to an iron pipe and raised over the island.

Lost Evidence Iwo Jima World War II (4/5)

Everyone has seen images of the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi.
Not as many know the details of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Part 4 of 5

Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue

There are plenty of slogans, such as “first to fight” and the “best of the best,” that describe Marines. But Marines weren’t just handed these slogans. They earned them with their blood, sweat and tears, at home and overseas.

Feb. 22. is the day set aside to remember the 68th anniversary of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising. That is why the few who have earned the right to be called Marine today are reminded to pay homage to those have fought and made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Battle of Iwo Jima was a major battle of World War II in the Pacific in which the United States armed forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. For the U.S., Iwo Jima was strategically important as an air base for supporting of long-range bombing missions against mainland Japan. By taking the island, the U.S. forces could launch sea and air blockades, conduct air bombardment and destroy the enemy’s air and sea capabilities.

The assault elements of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions, which was the largest force ever committed to a single battle in the Marine Corps’ history, landed on Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945. Then 35 days later, the island was declared secure. To make matters better for the U.S., seven months later World War II ended.
The surrender of Japan was a glorious day for the U.S., but for the Marines, this victory was a bittersweet. The ones who were alive were surely glad to be. Yet, they knew better than anyone the cost of winning. More than 24,000 Marines and 649 sailors were killed during the war.

“The Corps didn’t prepare you to die,” said 87-year-old Frank Matthews, a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, who was an 18-year-old private first class when he landed on Iwo Jima with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. “Most of the Marines that I knew were around 19-years old and had a chance to really live life. But the Marine Corps did train us well for battle and we knew that as we approached the sands.”
That year in cemeteries all over the world, American flags flew above the graves of Marines who would never take part in the victory celebrations. In homes all over America, families, sweethearts, friends and co-workers faced a tragic reality. For them, there would be no homecomings or parades from World War II with their Marines.

At the dedication of the 3rd Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima in 1945, division commander Maj. Gen. Graves Erskine spoke words that, in a sense, represent all the Marines and attached Navy personnel who fell in the war.

“Victory was never in doubt, its cost was,” Erskine said. “What was in doubt, in all our minds, was whether there would be any of us left to dedicate this cemetery at the end, or whether the last Marine would die knocking out the last Japanese gun and gunner.”

Lance Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson
DVIDS

Lost Evidence Iwo Jima World War II (2/5)

Everyone has seen images of the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi.
Not as many know the details of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Part 2 of 5

Iwo Jima Veteran Frank Mathews

“The Corps didn’t prepare you to die,” said 87-year-old Frank Matthews, a docent we met at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, who was an 18-year-old private first class when he landed on Iwo Jima with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.

“Most of the Marines that I knew were around 19-years old and had a chance to really live life.
But the Marine Corps did train us well for battle and we knew that as we approached the sands.”

Lost Evidence Iwo Jima World War II (1/5)

Everyone has seen images of the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi.
Not as many know the details of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Part 1 of 5

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