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Battle of Iwo Jima

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Battle of Iwo Jima JAPAN--On February 19th, 1945 approximately 650 miles south of Tokyo, Japan the Americans invaded the island of Iwo Jima. This island is about 2 miles wide and 4 miles long. Iwo Jima, which means sulfur island, was strategically important as an air base for fighter escorts supporting long-range bombing missions against mainland Japan. Because of the distance between mainland Japan and U.S. bases in the Mariana Islands, the capture of Iwo Jima would provide an emergency landing strip for clipped B-29s returning from bombing runs. The seizure of Iwo Jima would allow for sea and air blockades, the ability to conduct intensive air bombardment and to destroy the enemy's air and naval capabilities. The seizure of Iwo Jima was deemed necessary, but the prize would not come easy. The fighting that took place during the 36-day assault would be immortalized in the words of Commander, Pacific Fleet/Commander in chief, Pacific Ocean Areas Admiral Chester W. ...read more.


1. By February 23, the 28th Marines reached the top of Mount Suribachi and raised the U.S. flag. The 3rd Marine Division joined the fighting on the fifth day of the battle. These Marines immediately began the mission of securing the center sector of the island. Each division fought hard to gain ground against a determined Japanese defender. The Japanese leaders knew with the fall of Suribachi and the capture of the airfields that the Marine advance on the island could not be stopped; however, they would make the Marines fight for every inch of land they won. Lieutenant General Tadamishi Kuribayashi, commander of the ground forces on Iwo Jima, concentrated his energies and his forces in the central and northern sections of the island. Miles of interlocking caves, concrete blockhouses and pillboxes proved to be one of the most impenetrable defenses encountered by the Marines in the Pacific. The Marines worked together to drive the enemy from the high ground. ...read more.


Repairs were made, refueling was completed and the aircraft was off to complete its mission. Operations entered the final phases March 11, enemy resistance was no longer centralized. Individual pockets of resistance were taken one by one. Finally on March 26, following a banzai attack against troops and air corps personnel near the beaches, the island was declared secure. The U.S. Army's 147th Infantry Regiment assumed ground control of the island on April 4, relieving the largest body of Marines committed in combat in one operation during World War II. "The battle of Iwo Island has been won. The United States Marines by their individual and collective courage have conquered a base which his as necessary to us in continuing forward movement toward final victory as it was vital to the enemy in staving off ultimate defeat." "By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the fifth Amphibious corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the American who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue." --Admiral Chester W. Nimitz ...read more.

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