Battle of Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima, a small island a few hundred miles from the Japanese homeland, was secured by U.S. Marines in a bitter, 36-day battle in February-March 1945, during the final months of World War II. The battle for Iwo Jima, against stubborn Japanese resistance, was one of the bloodiest of the war. The seizure of Iwo Jima was prominent in American plans as a staging area for the potential invasion of Japan’s home islands, while its airfields would serve as emergency landing strips for damaged American heavy bombers returning from raids against Japanese cities. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz said that at Iwo Jima, “…uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Battle of Iwo Jima

The Battle of Iwo Jima: Red Sun, Black Sand

By John Walker

No foreign army in the 5,000-year history of Japan had ever successfully conquered Japanese territory. In late 1944, American war planners were about to challenge that statistic on the tiny Pacific island of Iwo Jima. Read more

U.S. Marines from the 3rd Marine Amphibious Corps consolidate their positions along the shoreline during the Second Battle of Guam, July 21 to August 10, 1944. Whenever there was an enemy-held island in the Pacific that needed to be taken it was usually the U.S. Marine Corps that was called upon to take it.

Battle of Iwo Jima

U.S. Marine’s Legacy of Valor

By Dick Camp (Colonel, USMC, Retired)

The war in the Pacific was a bloody, protracted struggle between the Empire of Japan and the United States and her allies. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

A Marine Scout’s War Journey

By Matt Broggie

Sergeant Larry Kirby will always remember the fighting on the morning of March 12, 1945, as his unit, Easy Company, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, attempted to move against Hill 362C under the cover of darkness in northeastern Iwo Jima. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

B-29 Production

By Joe Kirby

When Maj. Gen. Curtis Lemay, the hard-driving commander of the Twentieth U.S. Air Force based in Guam, decided to change tactics in early 1945 to boost the effectiveness of the B-29 Superfortress, it was the Bell Aircraft plant in Marietta, Georgia, that ultimately provided him with the stripped-down bombers that played such a key role in ending the war in the Pacific. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

The U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 4th Marine Divisions: Uncommon Valor at Iwo Jima

By Nathan N. Prefer

“You know,” said Marine Maj. Gen. Clifton B. Cates to a war correspondent on the eve of Operation Detachment, the invasion of Iwo Jima, “if I knew the name of the man on the extreme right of the right-hand squad of the right-hand company of the right-hand battalion, I’d recommend him for a medal before we go in.” Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

The Amazing Voyages of the USS O’Brien

By Eric Niderost

At exactly three o’clock in the afternoon on February 25, 1944, a crowd gathered at the Boston Navy Yard for the commissioning ceremony of the USS O’Brien (DD725), a destroyer of the Sumner class. Read more