Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima

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”

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Gary Nash

    In reply to Nick Bailey, former Sgt. 79 now, but always a Marine.
    Hi, Nick Bailey! Thanks for your interesting comment, but there is a difference between the 5th Marine Division and the 5th Marines, a regiment in the 1st MarDiv. Semper fidelis!

  • Vince Piquet

    Very humbling. Hard to find the words. Much respect for those that secured that living hell. SSgt. ’79-’90

  • Lefker, John T. Former Sgt. 1953 to 1957

    In reply to Michael Moore.
    Mike, I was with How Company 3rd Batt, 9th Marines in Okinawa and we made the landing in 1955.

  • Benjamin E. Branson Msgt Ret

    Iwo Jima is a very harrowing place, I was privileged t,o take small groups of Marines out to the Island for Battle Field Study when I was Stationed in Japan. Over the course of two (2) years I took about 12 Groups for a weeks stay. While we were their on several occasions, we discovered The site of an underground Japanese Hospital and several other sites that uncovered live ordnance stored there by the Japanese. I also had the privilege of reenlisting my last time on Mt Saribachi where the second American Flag was raised. I am trying yo find the pictures of it and will send then once I find them. I was presented the American Flag Raised that day by the last U S Coast Guard Detachment to be stationed there which was a great Honor. Semperfi.

  • John Johnston

    As the son of an Iwo Jima survivor (4th Marine Division), all be it a severely wounded one. And a marine myself (72-74) I can only tell you that my father paid a long and painful price for freedom, but would not have changed a thing. The only thing I can say to that is of course “SEMPER FI”.

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