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

Faces of the U.S. Marine Corps

By Eric Hammel

Noted chronicler of the Pacific Theater Eric Hammel recently spent three years sorting, scanning, cleaning, selecting, and captioning United States Marine Corps World War II photos for six pictorial books. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

Joseph Bale: Naval Ensign at Iwo Jima

By Matt Broggie

“There’s no greater feeling in the world than seeing Old Glory in a winning position.” Twenty-one-year-old U.S. Navy Ensign Joseph Bale watched the American flag raising on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi from aboard the attack transport USS Dickens County Texas. Read more

Wary Marines in a jeep watch the air war erupt above them in another diorama in the World War II Gallery.

Battle of Iwo Jima

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

By Al Hemingway

Twenty miles outside Washington, D.C., at Quantico, Virginia, motorists traveling on Interstate 95 will come upon an unusual building that is clearly visible, day or night. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

Japan’s Underwater Aircraft Carriers

By Phil Zimmer

Lieutenant Commander Stephen L. Johnson had a problem on his hands; a very large problem. His Balao-class submarine, the Segundo, had just picked up a large radar contact on the surface about 100 miles off Honshu, one of Japan’s home islands, heading south toward Tokyo.  Read more

Crowding the beach at Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, troops of the 4th Marine Division hug the island’s black volcanic sand. Moments after this photo was taken, Japanese artillery and machine-gun fire erupted from hidden positions across the island.

Battle of Iwo Jima

Fighting Coast Guard at Iwo Jima

By Rod Carlson

Standing on an ugly carbuncle of volcanic rock 500 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Associated Press photographer swung a cumbersome news camera toward six men holding a pipe with a flag tied to it and pressed the shutter release. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

“This is the Army”: Irving Berlin’s War

By Sheldon Winkler

The most successful and popular patriotic show of World War II and one of the most unique productions in the history of entertainment was Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army, which originally began as a Broadway musical. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

First Casualties at Iwo Jima

By Christopher Marks

Lieutenant Harold Gilson Payne, Jr., was one of the first Americans to die at Iwo Jima. He did not fall in the carnage of the Marine invasion that began on February 19, 1945. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

Joe Rosenthal: Flag-Raising Photographer

By Gene Beley

The “Raising of the Flag” photo taken by 33-year-old Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal on the fifth day of the Iwo Jima battle provided the world with a much-needed uplifting symbol in February 1945. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

Means of Grace, Hope of Glory

By Robert Barr Smith

They carried no weapons, only holy books and rudimentary vestments, a crucifix or a Star of David and sometimes a little Communion kit. Read more

Battle of Iwo Jima

WWII Vehicles: The Island-Hopping LVT

By R.J. Seese

While making business calls in Tampa, Florida, during the summer of 1980, I spotted a strange looking tracked contraption atop an overgrown pedestal in front of the U.S. Read more