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What started as a quick, violent attack on February 19, 1945, turned into 36 days of some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting the Marines would ever encounter. The amphibious assault on Iwo Jima was considered to be the “ultimate storm landing,” with a striking force of 74,000 Marines. The US sent more Marines to Iwo than to any other battle, 110,000 Marines in 880 Ships. The U.S. Marine 4th and 5th Divisions led the invasion, with the 3rd Division in reserve. The first day saw more then 2,400 American casualties but, during the battle U.S. Marines, killed an estimated 20,000 Japanese and captured over 1,000 prisoners.
The Marines successfully invaded and conquered the 8 square mile island on March 25, 1945. After 5 weeks of continuous fighting, the U. S. had suffered over 26,000 Casualties, including 6,800 Dead. The Battle for Iwo Jima earned 27 Congressional Medals of Honor for Marines and Sailors, of which more Posthumous Awards were bestowed than for any other single operation during WWII.
Of the flag raisers pictured in the famous Joe Rosenthal photograph only three survived. The others were killed in action on Iwo. The picture is the most reproduced picture in the world. Please take some time out of your busy lives to remember the day and lives that were lost to secure the freedoms we are enjoying as we speak. Thank You. Semper Fidelis
“Among the Americans who served on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue. –Admiral Nimitz”