Battle of Iwo Jima
Part of the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign of the Pacific Theater (World War II)

A U.S. 37 mm (1.5 in) M3 anti-tank gun fires against Japanese cave positions in the north face of Mount Suribachi.
Date19 February – 26 March 1945
(5 weeks)
Location24°47′N 141°19′E / 24.78°N 141.32°E / 24.78; 141.32
Result American victory
 United States  Japan
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
  • 110,000 (all branches)
  • 500+ ships
  • 20,933[2]
  • (13,586 Army, 7,347 Navy)
Casualties and losses

V Corps phase:[3]
5,931 dead and missing
17,272 wounded
881 dead and missing
1,917 wounded
1 escort carrier sunk
9 dead and missing
28 wounded

Mop-up phase:[4]
147th Regiment:
15 killed
144 wounded

V Corps phase:[5]
17,845–18,375 KIA/MIA
216 prisoners

Mop-up phase:[6]
867 prisoners
remainder killed, died, or dispersed[a]

The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945) was a major battle in which the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and United States Navy (USN) landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during World War II. The American invasion, designated Operation Detachment, had the purpose of capturing the island with its two airfields: South Field and Central Field.

The Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of tunnels.[b] The American ground forces were supported by extensive naval artillery and had complete air supremacy provided by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators throughout the battle.[8] The five-week battle saw some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the Pacific War.

The Japanese combat deaths numbered three times the number of American deaths, but unique among Pacific War Marine battles, the American total casualties (dead and wounded) exceeded those of the Japanese.[9] Of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured only because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled.[c] Most of the remainder were killed in action, but it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards until they eventually succumbed to their injuries or surrendered weeks later.[5][6] Despite the fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the American victory was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in numbers and arms, air supremacy, the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement, and sparse food and supplies for the Japanese, permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Japanese could have won the battle.[10]

The action was controversial, with retired Chief of Naval Operations William V. Pratt stating that the island was useless to the Army as a staging base and useless to the Navy as a fleet base.[11] The Japanese continued to have early-warning radar from Rota island, which was never invaded.[12] Experiences with previous Pacific island battles suggested that the island would be well-defended and thus casualties would be significant.

Joe Rosenthal's Associated Press photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag at the top of the 169 m (554 ft) Mount Suribachi by six U.S. Marines became a famous image of the battle and the American war effort in the Pacific.[13]


Location of Iwo Jima

After the American capture of the Marshall Islands and the air attacks against the Japanese fortress island of Truk Atoll in the Carolines in January 1944, the Japanese military leaders reevaluated their situation. All indications pointed to an American drive toward the Mariana Islands and the Carolines. To counter such an offensive, the IJA and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) established an inner line of defenses extending generally northward from the Carolines to the Marianas and then to Japan via the Volcano Islands and westward from the Marianas via the Carolines and the Palau Islands to the Philippines.

In March 1944, the Japanese 31st Army, commanded by General Hideyoshi Obata, was activated to garrison this inner line. (Note that a Japanese army was about the size of an American, British Army, or Canadian Army corps. The Japanese Army had many armies, but the U.S. Army had only ten at its peak, with the 4th Army, the 6th Army, the 8th Army, and the 10th Army being in the Pacific Theater. Also, the 10th Army fought on Okinawa only in the spring of 1945.)

The commander of the Japanese garrison on Chichi Jima was placed nominally in command of IJA and IJN units in the Volcano Islands.[14] After the American conquest of the Marianas, daily bomber raids from the Marianas hit the mainland as part of Operation Scavenger. Iwo Jima served as an early warning station that radioed reports of incoming bombers back to mainland Japan. That allowed Japanese air defenses to prepare for the arrival of the American bombers.[15][page needed]

After the U.S. seized bases in the Marshall Islands in the Battles of Kwajalein and Eniwetok in February 1944, Japanese reinforcements were sent to Iwo Jima: 500 men from the naval base at Yokosuka and 500 from Chichi Jima reached Iwo Jima during March and April 1944. At the same time, with reinforcements arriving from Chichi Jima and the Japanese home islands, the army garrison on Iwo Jima reached a strength of more than 5,000 men.[14] The loss of the Marianas during the summer of 1944 greatly increased the importance of the Volcano Islands for the Japanese, who were afraid that the loss of those islands would facilitate American air raids against the home islands, disrupt war manufacturing, and severely damage civilian morale.[15][page needed]

The final Japanese plans for the defense of the Volcano Islands were overshadowed by several factors:

  1. The navy had already lost almost all of its power, and it could not prevent American landings.
  2. Aircraft losses in 1944 had been so heavy that even if war production was not affected by American air attacks, the combined Japanese air strength was not expected to increase to 3,000 warplanes until March or April 1945.
  3. Those aircraft could not be used from bases in the home islands against Iwo Jima because their range was not more than 900 km (560 mi).
  4. The available warplanes had to be hoarded to defend Taiwan and the home islands from any attack.[15][page needed]
  5. There was a serious shortage of properly trained and experienced Japanese pilots because such large numbers of pilots and crewmen had perished fighting over the Solomon Islands and during the Battle of the Philippine Sea in mid-1944.

In a postwar study, Japanese staff officers described the strategy used in the defense of Iwo Jima in the following terms:

In the light of the above situation, seeing that it was impossible to conduct our air, sea, and ground operations on Iwo Island [Jima] toward ultimate victory, it was decided that to gain time necessary for the preparation of the Homeland defense, our forces should rely solely upon the established defensive equipment in that area, checking the enemy by delaying tactics. Even the suicidal attacks by small groups of our Army and Navy airplanes, the surprise attacks by our submarines, and the actions of parachute units, although effective, could be regarded only as a strategical ruse on our part. It was a most depressing thought that we had no available means left for the exploitation of the strategical opportunities which might from time to time occur in the course of these operations.[16]

— Japanese Monograph No. 48

At the end of the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines, the Allies were left with a two-month lull in their offensive operations before the planned invasion of Okinawa. Iwo Jima was considered strategically important since it provided an air base for Japanese fighter planes to intercept long-range B-29 Superfortress bombers. In addition, it was used by the Japanese to stage nuisance air attacks on the Mariana Islands from November 1944 to January 1945. The capture of Iwo Jima would eliminate those problems. The base would be available for P-51 Mustang fighters to escort and protect the bombers.[15][page needed]

American intelligence sources were confident that Iwo Jima would fall in one week. In light of the optimistic intelligence reports, the decision was made to invade Iwo Jima, and the operation was codenamed Operation Detachment.[15][page needed] American forces failed to anticipate that the Japanese would prepare a complex and deep defense, much like on Peleliu in the fall of 1944.[citation needed] So successful was the Japanese preparation that it was discovered after the battle that the hundreds of tons of Allied bombs and thousands of rounds of heavy naval gunfire had left the Japanese defenders almost undamaged and ready to inflict losses on the U.S. Marines.[citation needed]

Planning and preparation

Main article: Planning for the Battle of Iwo Jima

Japanese preparations

Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi

By June 1944, Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was assigned to command the defense of Iwo Jima. Kuribayashi knew that Japan could not win the battle, but he hoped to inflict massive casualties on the American forces so that the United States, and its Australian and British allies, would reconsider carrying out their invasion of the Japanese home islands.

While drawing inspiration from the defense in the Battle of Peleliu, Kuribayashi designed a defense that broke with Japanese military doctrine. Rather than establishing his defenses on the beach to face the landings directly, he created strong mutually-supporting defenses in depth by using static and heavy weapons such as heavy machine guns and artillery. Takeichi Nishi's armored tanks were to be used as camouflaged artillery positions. Because the tunnel linking the mountain to the main forces was never completed, Kuribayashi organized the southern area of the island in and around Mount Suribachi as a semi-independent sector, with his main defensive zone built up in the north. The expected American naval and air bombardment further prompted the creation of an extensive system of tunnels that connected the prepared positions so that a pillbox that had been cleared could be reoccupied. This network of bunkers and pillboxes favored the defense. For instance, the Nanpo Bunker (Southern Area Islands Naval Air HQ), which was east of Airfield Number 2, had enough food, water, and ammunition for the Japanese to hold out for three months. The bunker was 90 feet deep and had tunnels running in various directions. Approximately five hundred 55-gallon drums filled with water, kerosene, and fuel oil for generators were inside the complex. Gasoline-powered generators allowed for radios and lighting to be operated underground.[17]

By 19 February 1945 when the Americans invaded, 18 km (11 mi) of a planned 27 km (17 mi) of tunnel network had been dug. Besides the Nanpo Bunker, there were numerous command centers and barracks that were 75 feet deep. Tunnels allowed for troop movement to go undetected to various defense positions.[18] Hundreds of hidden artillery and mortar positions along with land mines were placed all over the island. Among the Japanese weapons were 320 mm spigot mortars and a variety of explosive rockets.[19] Nonetheless, the Japanese supply was inadequate. Troops were supplied 60% of the standard issue of ammunition sufficient for one engagement by one division and food and forage for four months.[20]

Numerous Japanese snipers and camouflaged machine gun positions were set up. Kuribayashi specially engineered the defenses so that every part of Iwo Jima was subject to Japanese defensive fire. He also received a handful of kamikaze pilots to use against the enemy fleet;[citation needed] their attacks during the battle killed 318 American sailors. However, against his wishes, Kuribayashi's superiors on Honshu ordered him to erect some beach defenses.[citation needed]

Starting on 15 June 1944, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Air Forces began naval bombardments and air raids against Iwo Jima, which would become the longest and most intense in the Pacific Theater.[21] They would contain a combination of naval artillery shellings and aerial bombings that went on for nine months. Unaware of Kuribayashi's tunnel defense system, many of the Americans assumed that most of the Japanese garrison had been killed by the constant bombing raids.

On 17 February 1945 the destroyer escort USS Blessman sent Underwater Demolition Team 15 (UDT-15) toward Blue Beach for reconnaissance. The Japanese infantry fired on them, which killed one American diver. On the evening of 18 February, Blessman was hit by a bomb from a Japanese aircraft, killing 40 sailors, including 15 members of the UDT.

Pre-landing bombardment

The battleship USS New York firing her 14 in (360 mm) main guns on the island, 16 February 1945 (D minus 3)

Major General Harry Schmidt, commander of the Marine landing force, requested a 10-day heavy shelling of the island immediately preceding the mid-February amphibious assault. However, Rear Admiral William H. P. Blandy, commander of the Amphibious Support Force (Task Force 52), did not believe such a bombardment would allow him time to replenish his ships' ammunition before the landings; he thus refused Schmidt's request. Schmidt then asked for nine days of shelling; Blandy again refused and agreed to a three-day bombardment. This decision left much hard feeling among the Marines. After the war, Lieutenant General Holland M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith, commander Expeditionary Troops (Task Force 56, which consisted of Schmidt's Fifth Amphibious Corps), bitterly complained that the lack of naval gunfire had cost Marine lives during the entire Allied island campaign.[22]

Each heavy warship was given an area on which to fire that, combined with all the ships, covered the entire island. Each warship fired for approximately six hours before stopping for a certain amount of time. Poor weather on D minus 3 led to uncertain results for that day's bombardment. On D minus 2, the time and care that the Japanese had taken in preparing their artillery positions became clear. When heavy cruiser USS Pensacola got within range of shore batteries, the ship was quickly hit 6 times and suffered 17 crew deaths. Later, 12 small craft attempting to land a UDT were all struck by Japanese rounds and quickly retired. While aiding these vessels, the destroyer USS Leutze was also hit and suffered 7 crew deaths. On D minus 1, Blandy's gunners were once again hampered by rain and clouds. Schmidt summed up his feelings by saying, "We only got about 13 hours worth of fire support during the 34 hours of available daylight."[23]

The limited bombardment had a questionable impact on the enemy since the Japanese were heavily dug-in and fortified. The craters left behind by the barrage also provided additional cover for the defenders, while hampering the attackers' advance.[original research?] However, many bunkers and caves were destroyed during the bombing, giving it some limited success. The Japanese had been preparing for this battle since March 1944, which gave them a significant advantage.[24] By the time of the landing, about 450 American ships were located off Iwo Jima, and the battle was to involve about 60,000 U.S. Marines and several thousand U.S. Navy Seabees.[25]

Opposing forces

Further information: Battle of Iwo Jima order of battle

Naval commanders for Operation Detachment
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance
Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner
Ground force commanders
Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith
Major General Harry Schmidt
Marine division commanders on Iwo Jima
Major General Keller Rockey
Major General Clifton Cates
Major General Graves Erskine


United States Fifth Fleet
Admiral Raymond A. Spruance in heavy cruiser Indianapolis

Joint Expeditionary Force (Task Force 51)
Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner in amphibious command ship Eldorado
Expeditionary Troops (Task Force 56)
Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, USMC

V Amphibious Corps
Major General Harry Schmidt, USMC

Southern sector (Green and Red beaches):

5th Marine Division (25,884 officers and enlisted)
Major General Keller E. Rockey
26th Marine Regiment (Colonel Chester B. Graham)
27th Marine Regiment (Colonel Thomas A. Wornham)
28th Marine Regiment (Colonel Harry B. Liversedge)
13th Marine Regiment (Artillery) (Colonel James D. Waller)

Northern sector (Yellow and Blue beaches):

4th Marine Division (24,452 officers and enlisted)
Major General Clifton B. Cates[d]
23rd Marine Regiment (Colonel Walter W. Wensinger)
24th Marine Regiment (Colonel Walter I. Jordan)
25th Marine Regiment (Colonel John R. Lanigan)
14th Marine Regiment (Artillery) (Colonel Louis G. DeHaven)

Floating reserve:

3rd Marine Division (19,597 officers and enlisted)
Major General Graves B. Erskine
3rd Marine Regiment[e] (Colonel James A. Stuart)
9th Marine Regiment (Colonel Howard N. Kenyon)
21st Marine Regiment (Colonel Hartnoll J. Withers)
12th Marine Regiment (Artillery) (Lieutenant Colonel Raymond F. Crist Jr.)
147th Infantry Regiment (Ohio Army National Guard) (2,952 officers and enlisted)


21,060 total men under arms
Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, commanding
Colonel Tadashi Takaishi, chief of staff

109th Division
4 anti-aircraft defense units

First day – 19 February 1945

Amphibious landing

During the night, Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher's large carrier force, Task Force 58, arrived off Iwo Jima. Also in this flotilla was Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, the overall commander for the invasion, in his flagship USS Indianapolis. "Howlin' Mad" Smith was once again deeply frustrated that Mitscher's powerful carrier group had been bombing the Japanese home islands instead of softening the defenses of Iwo Jima. Mitscher's fliers however, did assist the additional surface-ship bombardment that accompanied the formation of the amphibious craft.[26]

19 February 1945 air view of Marines landing on the beach
19 February 1945 air view of Marines landing on the beach

Unlike the days of the pre-landing bombardment, D-Day dawned clear and bright.[26] At 08:59, one minute ahead of schedule, the first wave of Marines landed on the beaches of the southeastern coast of Iwo Jima. Under Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, six Navajo code talkers worked around the clock during the first two days of the battle. These six sent and received over 800 messages, all without error. Connor later stated, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima."[27]

LVTs approach Iwo Jima.
Marines landing on the beach

Situation on the beaches

Unfortunately for the landing force, the planners at Pearl Harbor severely misjudged the situation that would face Schmidt's Marines. The beaches had been described as "excellent," and the thrust inland was expected to be "easy." The lack of a vigorous response had led the Navy to conclude that their bombardment had suppressed the Japanese defenses, and the Marines had initially begun deployment to the Iwo Jima beach in good order.[28] After allowing the Americans to concentrate men and machinery on the beach for just over an hour, Kuribayashi engaged his countermeasures. Shortly after 10:00, machine guns, mortars, and heavy artillery began to rain down on the crowded beach.[29]

At first it came as a ragged rattle of machine-gun bullets, growing gradually lower and fiercer until at last all the pent-up fury of a hundred hurricanes seemed to be breaking upon the heads of the Americans. Shells screeched and crashed, every hummock spat automatic fire and the very soft soil underfoot erupted underfoot with hundreds of exploding land mines ... Marines walking erect crumpled and fell. Concussion lifted them and slammed them down, or tore them apart ...[30]

Furthermore, after crossing the beach, the Marines were faced with 15 ft-high (4.6 m) slopes of soft black volcanic ash.[28] This ash allowed for neither secure footing nor the construction of foxholes to protect the Marines from hostile fire. However, the ash did help to absorb some of the fragments from Japanese artillery.[31]

Marines were trained to move rapidly forward; here they could only plod. The weight and amount of equipment was a terrific hindrance and various items were rapidly discarded. First to go was the gas mask ...[28]

Members of the 1st Battalion 23rd Marines burrow in the volcanic sand on Yellow Beach 1. A beached LCI is visible upper left with Mount Suribachi upper right.

The Japanese heavy artillery in Mount Suribachi opened their reinforced steel doors to fire and then closed them immediately to prevent counterfire from the Marines and naval gunners. This made it difficult for American units to destroy a Japanese artillery piece.[31] To make matters worse for the Americans, the bunkers were connected to the elaborate tunnel system so that bunkers that were cleared with flamethrowers and grenades were reoccupied shortly afterwards by Japanese troops moving through the tunnels. This tactic caused many casualties among the Marines, as they walked past the reoccupied bunkers without expecting to suddenly take fresh fire from them.[31]

Time-Life correspondent Robert Sherrod described the landing simply as "a nightmare in hell."[32]

U.S. Marines of the Second Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Regiment, wait to move inland on Iwo Jima, soon after going ashore on 19 February 1945. An LVT(A)-5 amphibious tractor is in the background. Red Beach One.

Moving off the beaches

Amtracs, unable to gain traction in the black ash, made no progress up the slopes; their Marine passengers had to dismount and slog forward on foot.[33] Men of the Naval Construction Battalions 31 and 133, braving enemy fire, eventually were able to bulldoze roads off the beach. This allowed the Marines and equipment to finally make some progress inland and get off the jam-packed beaches. "Even so, in virtually every shell hole there lay at least one dead Marine ..."[34]

By 11:30, some Marines had managed to reach the southern tip of Airfield No. 1, whose possession had been one of the original American objectives for the first day. The Marines endured a fanatical 100-man charge by the Japanese but were able to keep their toehold on Airfield No. 1 as night fell.[34]

Crossing the island

In the left-most sector, the Americans did manage to achieve one of their objectives for the battle that day. Led by Colonel Harry B. "Harry the Horse" Liversedge, the 28th Marines drove across the island at its narrowest width, around 800 m (870 yd), thereby isolating the Japanese dug in on Mount Suribachi.

Action on the right flank

The rightmost landing area was dominated by Japanese positions at the Quarry. The 25th Marine Regiment undertook a two-pronged attack to silence these guns. 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Roselle, part of a ground team directing naval gunfire, described the following experience:

Within a minute a mortar shell exploded among the group ... his left foot and ankle hung from his leg, held on by a ribbon of flesh ... Within minutes a second round landed near him and fragments tore into his other leg. For nearly an hour he wondered where the next shell would land. He was soon to find out as a shell burst almost on top of him, wounding him for the third time in the shoulder. Almost at once another explosion bounced him several feet into the air and hot shards ripped into both thighs ... as he lifted his arm to look at his watch a mortar shell exploded only feet away and blasted the watch from his wrist and tore a large jagged hole in his forearm: "I was beginning to know what it must be like to be crucified," he was later to say.[35]

The 25th Marines' 3rd Battalion had landed approximately 900 men in the morning. Japanese resistance at the Quarry was so fierce that by nightfall only 150 Marines were left in fighting condition, an 83.3% casualty rate.[36]

By the evening, 30,000 Marines had landed. About 40,000 more would follow.[31] Aboard the command ship Eldorado, "Howlin' Mad" Smith saw the lengthy casualty reports and heard of the slow progress of the ground forces. To the war correspondents covering the operation he confessed, "I don't know who he is, but the Japanese general running this show is one smart bastard."[37]

Subsequent combat

In the days after the landings, the Marines expected the usual Japanese banzai charge during the night. This had been the standard Japanese final defense strategy in previous battles against enemy ground forces in the Pacific, such as during the Battle of Saipan. In those attacks, for which the Marines were prepared, the majority of the Japanese attackers had been killed and the Japanese strength greatly reduced. However, General Kuribayashi had strictly forbidden these "human wave" attacks by the Japanese infantrymen because he considered them to be futile.[31]

The fighting on the beachhead was very fierce. The advance of the Marines was stalled by numerous defensive positions augmented by artillery pieces. There, the Marines were ambushed by Japanese troops who occasionally sprang out of tunnels. At night, the Japanese left their defenses under cover of darkness to attack American foxholes, but U.S. Navy ships fired star shells to deny them the cover of darkness. On Iwo Jima (and other Japanese held islands), Japanese soldiers who knew English were used to harass and or deceive Marines in order to kill them if they could; they would yell "corpsman" pretending to be a wounded Marine, in order to lure in U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen attached to Marine infantry companies.[31]

U.S. Army Soldiers engaging heavily fortified Japanese positions
U.S. Marines pose with a captured Japanese flag on top of enemy pillbox.
Culvert serves as command post for 23rd Marine Regiment on Iwo Jima

The Marines learned that firearms were relatively ineffective against the Japanese defenders and effectively used flamethrowers and grenades to flush out Japanese troops in the tunnels. One of the technological innovations of the battle, the eight Sherman M4A3R3 medium tanks equipped with a flamethrower ("Ronson" or "Zippo" tanks), proved very effective at clearing Japanese positions. The Shermans were difficult to disable, such that defenders were often compelled to assault them in the open, where they would fall victim to the superior numbers of Marines.[31]

Close air support was initially provided by fighters from escort carriers off the coast. This shifted over to the 15th Fighter Group, flying P-51 Mustangs, after they arrived on the island on 6 March. Similarly, illumination rounds (flares) which were used to light up the battlefield at night were initially provided by ships, shifting over later to landing force artillery. Navajo code talkers were part of the American ground communications, along with walkie-talkies and SCR-610 backpack radio sets.[31]

After running out of water, food and most supplies, the Japanese troops became desperate toward the end of the battle. Kuribayashi, who had argued against banzai attacks at the start of the battle, realized that defeat was imminent.

Marines began to face increasing numbers of nighttime attacks; these were only repelled by a combination of machine-gun defensive positions and artillery support. At times, the Marines engaged in hand-to-hand fighting to repel the Japanese attacks.[31] With the landing area secure, more troops and heavy equipment came ashore, and the invasion proceeded north to capture the airfields and the remainder of the island. Most Japanese soldiers fought to the death.[31]

Raising the flag on Mount Suribachi

U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi
U.S. postage stamp, 1945 issue, commemorating the Battle of Iwo Jima

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is a black and white photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal depicting six Marines from E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi on 23 February 1945,[13] which was the second of two flag-raisings on the site that day. The photograph was extremely popular, being reprinted in thousands of publications. Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and ultimately came to be regarded as one of the most significant and recognizable images of the war, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time.[13] The flag raising picture was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial which is located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery since 1954.[13]

Three of the six Marines depicted in the photograph, Sergeant Michael Strank, Corporal Harlon Block, and Private First Class Franklin Sousley, were killed in action days after the flag-raising. Surviving flag-raiser Private First Class Ira Hayes, together with Private First Class Rene Gagnon and Navy hospital corpsman Pharmacist's Mate Second Class John Bradley, became celebrities upon their participation in a war bond selling tour after the battle. Three subsequent Marine Corps investigations into the identities of the six men in the photograph determined: in 1946 and 1947, that Harlon Block was incorrectly identified as Henry Hansen (both were killed six days after the photo was taken); in May and June 2016, that John Bradley was not in the photograph and Private First Class Harold Schultz was;[38] and in 2019, that Rene Gagnon was not in the photograph and Private First Class Harold Keller was.[39]

By the morning of 23 February, Mount Suribachi was effectively cut off above ground from the rest of the island. The Marines knew there was an extensive network of below-ground defenses, and that in spite of its isolation above ground, the volcano was still connected via the tunnel network. They expected a fierce fight for the summit. Two small patrols from two rifle companies from the 2/28 Marines were sent up the volcano to reconnoiter routes on the mountain's north face. The recon patrols made it to the summit and scrambled down again, reporting any contact to the 2/28 Marines commander, Lieutenant Colonel Chandler W. Johnson.[31]

Popular accounts embroidered by the press in the aftermath of the release of the photo of the flag raising, had the Marines fighting all the way up to the summit. Although the Marine riflemen expected an ambush, the larger patrol going up afterwards encountered a few defenders once on top and after the flag was raised. The majority of the Japanese troops stayed in the tunnel network during shelling, only occasionally attacking in small groups, and were generally all killed.

Johnson called for a reinforced platoon size patrol from E Company to climb Suribachi and seize and occupy the crest. The patrol commander, First Lieutenant Harold Schrier, was handed the battalion's American flag to be raised on top to signal Suribachi's capture, if they reached the summit. Johnson and the Marines anticipated heavy fighting, but the patrol encountered only a small amount of sniper fire on the way up the mountain. Once the top was secured by Schrier and his men, a length of Japanese water pipe was found there among the wreckage, and the American flag was attached to the pipe and then raised and planted on top of Mount Suribachi which became the first foreign flag to fly on Japanese soil.[40] Photographs of the flag and some of the patrol members around it were taken by Marine photographer Louis R. Lowery, the only photographer who had accompanied Schrier's patrol up the mountain.

As the flag went up, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal had just landed on the beach at the foot of Mount Suribachi and decided that he wanted the flag as a souvenir. Johnson believed that the flag belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, who had captured that section of the island. In the early afternoon, Johnson sent Gagnon, a runner (messenger) from his battalion for E Company, to take a larger flag up the volcano to replace the smaller and less visible flag. The replacement flag was attached to a heavier section of water pipe, and six Marines proceeded to raise it into place as the smaller flag was taken down and delivered to the battalion's headquarters down below. It was during this second flag-raising that Rosenthal took the renowned photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima". The second flag flew on Mount Suribachi until it was taken down on 14 March, when at the same time an American flag was officially raised during a ceremony at the V Amphibious Corps command post near Mount Suribachi. The official flag raising was ordered by Holland Smith and attended by Erskine and some members of the 3rd Marine Division.

Northern Iwo Jima

Sketch of Hill 362A, made by the 31st U.S. Naval Construction Battalion. Dotted lines show the Japanese tunnel system.

Despite Japan's loss of Mount Suribachi on the south end of the island, the Japanese still held strong positions on the north end. The rocky terrain vastly favored defense, even more so than Mount Suribachi, which was much easier to hit with naval artillery fire. Coupled with this, the fortifications constructed by Kuribayashi were more impressive than at the southern end of the island.[41] Remaining under the command of Kuribayashi was the equivalent of eight infantry battalions, a tank regiment, and two artillery and three heavy mortar battalions. There were also about 5,000 gunners and naval infantry. The most arduous task left to the Marines was the taking of the Motoyama Plateau with its distinctive Hill 382 and Turkey knob and the area in between referred to as the Amphitheater. This formed the basis of what came to be known as the "meatgrinder". While this was being achieved on the right flank, the left was clearing out Hill 362 with just as much difficulty.

The overall objective at this point was to take control of Airfield No. 2 in the center of the island. However, every "penetration seemed to become a disaster" as "units were raked from the flanks, chewed up, and sometimes wiped out. Tanks were destroyed by interlocking fire or were hoisted into the air on the spouting fireballs of buried mines".[42] As a result, the fighting bogged down, with American casualties piling up. Even capturing these points was not a solution to the problem since a previously secured position could be attacked from the rear by the use of the tunnels and hidden pillboxes. As such, it was said that "they could take these heights at will, and then regret it".[43]

A U.S. Marine firing his Browning M1917 machine gun at the Japanese
Two Marines using a "Hotch Kiss" from the Japanese, 1945

It was observed that during bombardments, the Japanese would hide their guns and themselves in the caves only to reappear when the troops would advance and lay devastating fire on them. The Japanese had over time learned basic American tactics, which was to lay heavy bombardment before an infantry attack. Consequently, Erskine ordered the 9th Marine Regiment to attack under the cover of darkness with no preliminary barrage. This came to be a resounding success with many Japanese soldiers killed while still asleep. This was a key moment in the capture of Hill 362.[44] It held such importance that the Japanese organized a counterattack the following night. Although Kuribayashi had forbidden the suicide charges familiar with other battles in the Pacific, the commander of the area decided on a banzai charge with the optimistic goal of recapturing Mount Suribachi.

On the evening of 8 March, Captain Samaji Inouye and his 1,000 men charged the American lines, inflicting 347 casualties (90 deaths). The Marines counted 784 dead Japanese soldiers the next day.[41] The same day, elements of the 3rd Marine Division reached the northern coast of the island, splitting Kuribayashi's defenses in two.[45] There was also a kamikaze air attack (the only one of the battle) on the ships anchored at sea on 21 February, which resulted in the sinking of the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea, severe damage to USS Saratoga, and slight damage to the escort carrier USS Lunga Point, an LST, and a transport.[44]

Although the island was declared secure at 18:00 on 16 March (25 days after the landings), the 5th Marine Division still faced Kuribayashi's stronghold in a gorge 640 m (700 yd) long at the northwestern end of the island. On 21 March, the Marines destroyed the command post in the gorge with four tons of explosives, and on 24 March Marines sealed the remaining caves at the northern tip of the island.[46] However, on the night of 25 March, a 300-man Japanese force launched a final counterattack in the vicinity of Airfield No. 2. Army pilots, Seabees, and Marines of the 5th Pioneer Battalion and 28th Marines fought the Japanese force for up to 90 minutes, suffering heavy casualties (53 killed, 120 wounded).[citation needed] Although still a matter of speculation because of conflicting accounts from surviving Japanese veterans, it has been said that Kuribayashi led this final assault,[f] which unlike the loud banzai charge of previous battles, was characterized as a silent attack. If ever proven true, Kuribayashi would have been the highest ranking Japanese officer to have personally led an attack during World War II.[citation needed] Additionally, this would also be Kuribayashi's final act, a departure from the normal practice of the commanding Japanese officers committing seppuku behind the lines while the rest perished in the banzai charge, as happened during the battles of Saipan and Okinawa. The island was officially declared secure at 09:00 on 26 March.[citation needed]

Once the island was officially declared secure, the Army's 147th Infantry Regiment was ostensibly there to act as a garrison force, but they soon found themselves locked in a bitter struggle against thousands of stalwart defenders engaging in a last-ditch guerrilla campaign to harass the Americans.[47][48] Using well-supplied caves and tunnel systems, the Japanese resisted American advances. For three months, the 147th slogged across the island, using flamethrowers, grenades, and satchel charges to dig out the enemy, killing some 1,602 Japanese soldiers in small unit actions (along with many others who died in sealed caves) while suffering fifteen men killed in action and another 144 wounded. The Ohioans were also credited with capturing 867 Japanese; combined with the number of enemy soldiers killed, this casualty figure represented over 10% of the original Japanese garrison.[4]


A flamethrower operator of E Company, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, runs under fire on Iwo Jima.

The United States M2 flamethrower was heavily used in the Pacific. It features two tanks containing fuel and compressed gas respectively, which are combined and ignited to produce a stream of flaming liquid out of the tip.[49]

These flamethrowers were used to kill Japanese holed into pillboxes, buildings and caves. A battalion would assign one flamethrower per platoon with one reserve flamethrower in each group. Flamethrower operators were usually in more danger than regular troops as the short range of their weapon required close combat, and the visibility of the flames on the battlefield made them a prominent target for snipers. Still they were essential to breaking the enemy, and one battalion commander called the flamethrowing tanks the "best single weapon of the operation."[50]

Prior to Saipan the Marine Corps had left flamethrowing tank development to the Army. They had placed an order with the Army for nine tanks per division. At Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Colonel Unmacht's top secret "Flame Thrower Group" located eight M4A3 Sherman medium tanks to convert for Operation Detachment. His Seabees, from the 117th CB, worked to combine the best elements from three different flame units: the Ronson, the Navy model I and the Navy Mk-1.[51] The Ronson was quickly superseded by the far better CB-H2.[52] The U.S. Army Chemical Corps variously identified these tanks as POA-CWS-H1,[53] (Pacific Ocean Area-Chemical Warfare Section-Hawaii) CWS-POA-H2, CWS-POA-H1 H2, OR CWS-"75"-H1 H2 mechanized flamethrowers. U.S. Marine and U.S. Army observer documents from Iwo Jima refer to them as the CB-Mk-1 or CB-H1.[54] Marines on the lines simply called them the Mark I.[54] The official USMC designation was "M4 A3R5".[54] The Japanese referred to them as M1 tanks, and it is speculated that they did so because of a poor translation of "MH-1".[54]

On Iwo Jima the flame tanks all landed on D-day and went into action on D+2, sparingly at first. As the battle progressed, portable flame units sustained casualty rates up to 92%, leaving few troops trained to use the weapon. More and more calls came for the Mark-1s to the point that the Marines became dependent upon the tanks and would hold up their assault until a flame tank was available.[50] Since each tank battalion had only four, they were not assigned; rather, they were "pooled" and would dispatch from their respective refueling locations as the battle progressed. Towards the end of the battle, 5th Marine tanks expended between 5,000 to 10,000 US gal (19,000 to 38,000 L) of napalm per day.[50]


Japanese holdouts on the island, including two of Lieutenant Toshihiko Ohno's men, Yamakage Kufuku [sic] (山蔭光福, Yamakage Kōfuku) and Matsudo Linsoki [sic] (松戸利喜夫, Matsudo Rikio), lasted four years without being caught, and finally surrendered on 6 January 1949.[55][56][57]

Though ultimately victorious, the American victory at Iwo Jima had been extremely costly. According to the Navy Department Library, "the 36-day assault resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead."[58] By comparison, the much larger scale 82-day Battle of Okinawa lasting from early April until mid-June 1945 (involving five U.S. Army and two Marine Corps divisions) resulted in over 62,000 U.S. casualties, of whom over 12,000 were killed or missing. Iwo Jima was also the only U.S. Marine battle where the American casualties exceeded the Japanese,[9] although Japanese combat deaths numbered three times as many as American deaths. Two U.S. Marines were captured during the battle, neither of whom survived their captivity.

The USS Bismarck Sea was lost, the last U.S. aircraft carrier sunk in World War II. 20 Grumman FM-2 Wildcat fighters and 11 Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers went down with Bismarck Sea. Also, the USS Saratoga was so severely damaged that she no longer took part in either combat or transportation duties for the rest of the war. She became a training ship. 31 Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters and 9 Grumman TBM Avenger torpedo bombers were destroyed by the kamikaze attack on Saratoga.[59][15][page needed] Because all civilians had been evacuated, there were no civilian casualties at Iwo Jima, unlike at Saipan and Okinawa.[60][failed verification]

Strategic importance

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Battle of Iwo Jima" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Lieutenant Wade discusses the overall importance of the target at a pre-invasion briefing.
American supplies being landed at Iwo Jima

In hindsight, given the number of casualties, the necessity and long-term significance of the island's capture to the outcome of the war became a contentious issue and remains disputed.[61] The Marines, who suffered the actual casualties, were not consulted in the planning of the operation.[62] As early as April 1945, retired Chief of Naval Operations William V. Pratt stated in Newsweek magazine that considering the "expenditure of manpower to acquire a small, God-forsaken island, useless to the Army as a staging base and useless to the Navy as a fleet base ... [one] wonders if the same sort of airbase could not have been reached by acquiring other strategic localities at lower cost."[11]

The lessons learned on Iwo Jima served as guidelines for the following Battle of Okinawa and the planned invasion of the Japanese homeland. For example, "because of the casualties taken at Iwo Jima on the first day, it was decided to make the preparatory bombardment the heaviest yet delivered on to a Pacific island".[63] Also, in the planning for a potential attack on the Japanese home islands, it was taken into account that around a third of the troops committed to Iwo Jima and again at Okinawa had been killed or wounded.[64]

The justification for Iwo Jima's strategic importance to the United States' war effort has been that it provided a landing and refueling site for long-range fighter escorts. These escorts proved both impractical and unnecessary, and only ten such missions were flown from Iwo Jima.[65] By the time Iwo Jima had been captured, the bombing campaign against Japan had switched from daylight precision bombing to nighttime incendiary attacks, so fighter escorts were of limited utility.[66]

Japanese fighter aircraft based on Iwo Jima sometimes attacked AAF planes, which were vulnerable on their way to Japan because they were heavily laden with bombs and fuel. However, although some Japanese interceptors were based on Iwo Jima, their impact on the American bombing effort was marginal; in the three months before the invasion 11 B-29s had been lost as a result.[67] The Superfortresses found it unnecessary to make any major detour around the island.[68] Capturing the island neutralized Japanese air attacks based from it on the Marianas, but they were too small to ever launch significant attacks.[66]

Marines from the 24th Marine Regiment during the Battle of Iwo Jima

The Japanese on Iwo Jima had radar[69] and were thus able to notify their comrades at home of incoming B-29 Superfortresses flying from the Mariana Islands. However, the capture of Iwo Jima did not affect the Japanese early-warning radar system, which continued to receive information on incoming B-29s from the island of Rota (which was never invaded).[12]

As early as 4 March 1945, while fighting was still taking place, the B-29 Dinah Might of the USAAF 9th Bomb Group reported it was low on fuel near the island and requested an emergency landing. Despite enemy fire, the airplane landed on the Allied-controlled section of the island (South Field) without incident and was serviced, refueled and departed.

In all, 2,251 B-29 landings on Iwo Jima were recorded during the war.[70] Author J. Robert Moskin records that 1,191 fighter escorts and 3,081 strike sorties were flown from Iwo Jima against Japan.[71] A more recent Air Force study found the contribution of VII Fighter Command superfluous. Another rationale for capturing the island was to serve as a base for shorter-range B-24 Liberator bombers against Japan, but no significant B-24 bombing campaign ever materialized.[66]

Some downed B-29 crewmen were saved by air-sea rescue aircraft and vessels operating from the island, but Iwo Jima was one of many islands that could have been used for such a purpose. As for the importance of the island as a landing and refueling site for bombers, Marine Captain Robert Burrell, then a history instructor at the United States Naval Academy, suggested that only a small proportion of the 2,251 landings were for genuine emergencies, the great majority possibly being for minor technical checkups, training, or refueling. According to Burrell,

This justification became prominent only after the Marines seized the island and incurred high casualties. The tragic cost of Operation Detachment pressured veterans, journalists, and commanders to fixate on the most visible rationalization for the battle. The sight of the enormous, costly, and technologically sophisticated B-29 landing on the island's small airfield most clearly linked Iwo Jima to the strategic bombing campaign. As the myths about the flag raisings on Mount Suribachi reached legendary proportions, so did the emergency landing theory in order to justify the need to raise that flag.[62]

The "emergency landing" thesis counts every B-29 landing on Iwo Jima as an emergency and asserts that capturing the island saved the lives of the nearly 25,000 crewmen of all 2,251 planes (2,148 B-29 crewmen were killed in combat during the entire war in all theaters). However, of the nearly 2,000 B-29s which landed from May–July 1945, more than 80% were for routine refueling. Several hundred landings were made for training purposes, and most of the remainder were for relatively minor engine maintenance. During June 1945 which saw the largest number of landings, none of the more than 800 B-29s that landed on the island did so because of combat damage. Of the aircraft that would have been lost without being able to land, air-sea rescue figures indicate that 50% of crewmen who ditched at sea survived, so even if Iwo Jima had not been taken the estimate of the supposedly potential 25,000 dead crewmen from airplanes crashing into the ocean should be dwindled down to 12,500.[66]

In publishing The Ghosts of Iwo Jima, Texas A&M University Press said that the very losses formed the basis for a "reverence for the Marine Corps" that not only embodied the "American national spirit" but ensured the "institutional survival" of the Marine Corps.[72]

Naval vessels badly damaged

The following table lists for each ship badly damaged in the Battle of Iwo Jima, the dates they received hits, the cause, the type of ship, and the casualties inflicted during 17–28 February. The carrier USS Lunga Point, which received light damage, was listed because of the importance of escort carriers in the battle.

Naval vessels badly damaged and sunk by Japanese forces at Iwo Jima, primarily kamikazes, 17–28 February 1945[g][58]
Ship Day Type Cause Killed Wounded
LCI(G)-438 17 Feb 1945 Landing craft infantry/gunboat Coastal battery 0 4
LCI(G)-441 17 Feb 1945 7 21
LCI(G)-449 17 Feb 1945 21 18
LCI(G)-450 17 Feb 1945 0 6
LCI(G)-457 17 Feb 1945 1 20
LCI(G)-466 17 Feb 1945 5 19
LCI(G)-469 17 Feb 1945 0 7
LCI(G)-473 17 Feb 1945 3 18
LCI(G)-474 * 17 Feb 1945 3 18
Blessman 18 Feb 1945 Destroyer Aerial bomb over engine room 42 29
Gamble 18 Feb 1945 Destroyer/minesweeper 2 aerial bombs 5 9
LSM-216 20 Feb 1945 Landing ship, medium built Coastal battery/air attack 0 0
Bismarck Sea * 21 Feb 1945 Escort carrier 5 bomb hits and kamikaze hits, one on low angle dive, hit after elevator, thru to hangar deck, sunk 318[73] 99
Lunga Point 21 Feb 1945 kamikaze Nakajima B6N skidded into her, light damage 0 6
Saratoga 21 Feb 1945 Carrier kamikaze dove w/bomb penetration 123 192
LCI(G)-760 25 Feb 1945 Landing craft infantry, mortar Coastal battery 0 2
Terry 28 Feb 1945 Destroyer 11 19
Whitley 28 Feb 1945 Large cargo ship Air attack 0 5
Total 539 492

Legend: * Ship sunk or scuttled

Medal of Honor recipients

Main article: List of Medal of Honor recipients for the Battle of Iwo Jima

Harry Truman congratulates Marine Corporal Hershel Williams of the Third Marine Division on being awarded the Medal of Honor, 5 October 1945.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed on a member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes himself by "... conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States ..." Because of its nature, the medal is commonly awarded posthumously.

The Medal of Honor was awarded to 22 Marines (12 posthumously), and 5 were presented to sailors, 4 of whom were hospital corpsmen (2 posthumously) attached to Marine infantry units. The medals awarded for the battle accounted for 28% of the 82 awarded to Marines in World War II.[74]

At the time of his death on 29 June 2022, Marine Hershel W. Williams was the last living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.[75] He received his medal for actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima.


The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington with the Washington Monument and the United States Capitol in the distance.

The Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial was dedicated on 10 November 1954 at Arlington National Cemetery.

The United States Navy has commissioned two ships with the name USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) (1961–1993) and USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) (2001–present).

On 19 February 1985, the 40th anniversary of the landings on Iwo Jima, an event called the "Reunion of Honor" was held (the event has been held annually since 2002).[76] Veterans of both sides who fought in the battle attended the event. The place was the invasion beach where U.S. forces landed. A memorial on which inscriptions were engraved by both sides was built at the center of the meeting place. Japanese attended at the mountain side, where the Japanese inscription was carved, and Americans attended at the shore side, where the English inscription was carved.[77] After unveiling and offering of flowers were made, the representatives of both countries approached the memorial; upon meeting, they shook hands. The combined Japan-U.S. memorial service of the 50th anniversary of the battle was held in front of the monument in February 1995.[78] Further memorial services have been held on later anniversaries.[79]

The importance of the battle to Marines today is demonstrated in pilgrimages made to the island, and specifically the summit of Suribachi.[80] Marines will often leave dog tags, rank insignia, or other tokens at the monuments in homage.[81] Iwo Jima Day is observed annually on 19 February in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts[82] with a ceremony at the State House.

The Japanese government continues to search for and retrieve the remains of Japanese military personnel who were killed during the battle.[83]

Depiction in media

The Battle of Iwo Jima has been featured in numerous films and documentaries. The U.S. military produced the 1945 documentaries To the Shores of Iwo Jima[84] and Glamour Gal,[85] a film about a Marine artillery piece and its crew. John Wayne stars in the 1949 feature film Sands of Iwo Jima.

"Iwo Jima", part eight of the 2010 HBO miniseries The Pacific produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, includes part of the Battle of Iwo Jima from the point of view of John Basilone, from the beginning of the invasion until his death later in the day. Basilone was the only enlisted Marine to receive both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross in World War II.

Ira Hayes, one of the Marines who appeared in Joe Rosenthal's Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima photograph, was the subject of the 1961 film The Outsider, starring Tony Curtis as the conflicted flag raiser. Hayes, Gagnon, Bradley were depicted in the 2006 film Flags of Our Fathers, directed by Clint Eastwood. Flags of Our Fathers is filmed from the American perspective and is based on the 2000 book by James Bradley and Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers.[86] The 2006 film Letters from Iwo Jima, also directed by Clint Eastwood, depicts the battle from the Japanese perspective.

See also



  1. ^ Many of which would succumb to their wounds, die of disease, or surrender at a later date. The last group of Japanese soldiers to surrender on Iwo Jima did so in 1949.
  2. ^ "... the defenders of Iwo literally developed [the improvement of natural caves] into a science. Because of the importance of the underground positions, 25 percent of the garrison was detailed to tunneling. Positions constructed underground ranged in size from small caves for a few men to several underground chambers capable of holding 300 or 400 men. In order to prevent personnel from becoming trapped in any one excavation, the subterranean installations were provided with multiple entrances and exits, as well as stairways and interconnecting passageways. ... the northern slope of Mount Suribachi alone harbored several thousand yards of tunnels. By the time the Marines landed on Iwo Jima, more than 11 miles of tunnels had been completed."[7]
  3. ^ Burrell writes about how many historians have overestimated the number of Japanese casualties, with 20,000 and even 25,000 listed. Burrell puts the range between 18,060 and 18,600, with exactly 216 of these taken prisoner during the course of the battle. Another 867 prisoners were taken by the U.S. Army between April and June, after the Marines had left.[5]
  4. ^ Served as Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1948 to 1951.
  5. ^ Did not land on Iwo Jima
  6. ^ "General Kuribayashi may have been killed in this foray; but his body was not identified, and it seems more likely that this brave and resourceful officer committed hara-kiri in his subterranean command post."[1]
  7. ^ All information is public domain from United States Navy, with casualties taken from individual action reports; table format and structure is heavily borrowed from Morison 1960, p. 388, Appendix II.


  1. ^ a b Morison 1960, p. 68.
  2. ^ Garand and Strowbridge, "History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II" vol. IV, "Western Pacific Operations" (1971) p. 458, note 26. Retrieved 2/5/2024. Also see Senshi Sosho vol. 13, "Army Operations in the Central Pacific (pt. 2): Peleliu, Angaur, and Iwo Jima." p. 415 (Japanese)
  3. ^ Bartley, "Iwo Jima: Amphibious Epic" (1954) pp. 220-1. Retrieved 2/5/2024
  4. ^ a b Robertson, Neimeyer & Nash 2019, p. 39.
  5. ^ a b c Burrell 2006, p. 83.
  6. ^ a b Toland 2003, p. 669.
  7. ^ Garand & Strobridge 1971, pp. 455–456.
  8. ^ Carriers Hit Tokyo!. Universal Newsreel. 19 March 1945. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  9. ^ a b O'Brien, Cyril J. "Iwo Jima Retrospective". Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2007.
  10. ^ Lewis 2007, p. 59.
  11. ^ a b Pratt, William V. (2 April 1945). "What Makes Iwo Jima Worth the Price". Newsweek. p. 36.
  12. ^ a b Joint War Planning Committee 306/1, "Plan for the Seizure of Rota Island," 25 January 1945.
  13. ^ a b c d Landsberg, Mitchell (1995). "Fifty Years Later, Iwo Jima Photographer Fights His Own Battle". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2007. Landsberg, Mitchell (1995). "Photographer FiGhts Life-Long Battle Over Famous Flag- Raising Photo". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  14. ^ a b Morison 1960, p. 14.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Morison 1960.
  16. ^ Japanese Monograph No. 48, p. 62, cited in Garand & Strobridge 1971, p. 450.
  17. ^ King 2014, pp. 58–59.
  18. ^ Hammel 2006, p. 36.
  19. ^ King 2014, p. 80.
  20. ^ Japanese Monograph No. 45, p. 257.
  21. ^ "Chronology of the Battle of Iwo Jima". Archived from the original on 7 July 2010.
  22. ^ Wright 2004, p. 22.
  23. ^ Wright 2004, pp. 22–23.
  24. ^ Navy Department, Amphibious Operations, Iwo Jima 1945, Chapter II: Naval Gunfire.
  25. ^ "United States Marine Corps War Memorial". The George Washington University. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  26. ^ a b Wright 2004, p. 23.
  27. ^ Navy Department Library, "Navajo Code Talkers".
  28. ^ a b c Wright 2004, p. 26.
  29. ^ Wright 2004, p. 26–27.
  30. ^ Leckie 1967, p. 28.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Allen 2004
  32. ^ Wright 2004, p. 27.
  33. ^ Leckie 1967, p. 25.
  34. ^ a b Wright 2004, p. 32.
  35. ^ Wright 2004, pp. 30–31.
  36. ^ Wright 2004, p. 31.
  37. ^ Wright 2004, p. 33.
  38. ^ USMC Statement on Marine Corps Flag Raisers Archived 24 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Office of U.S. Marine Corps Communication, 23 June 2016
  39. ^ "Warrior in iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo was misidentified, Marines Corps acknowledges". NBC News. 16 October 2019. Archived from the original on 19 February 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  40. ^ "Charles Lindberg, 86; Marine helped raise first U.S. flag over Iwo Jima". Los Angeles Times. 26 June 2007. p. B8. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
  41. ^ a b Wheeler 1979, p. 50
  42. ^ Leckie 1988, p. 870.
  43. ^ Leckie 1988, p. 871.
  44. ^ a b Leckie 1988, p. 872.
  45. ^ Antill 2001.
  46. ^ Moskin 1992, pp. 372–373
  47. ^ "The Curious Case of the Ohio National Guard's 147th Infantry". 6 December 2015. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  48. ^ Morison 1960, pp. 68–70.
  49. ^ Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History. "Flamethrower". Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  50. ^ a b c Kelber & Birdsell 1990, pp. 558–583, 586
  51. ^ Quinlan 1948, p. 51.
  52. ^ Quinlan 1948, p. 52.
  53. ^ Unmacht 1948.
  54. ^ a b c d Telenko, Trent (30 August 2013), "History Friday: Technological Surprise & the Defeat of the 193rd Tank Battalion at Kakuza Ridge", Chicago Boyz Blog archive, archived from the original on 30 October 2020, retrieved 22 August 2020
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  56. ^ Cook, Donald. "Capture of Two Holdouts January 6, 1949". No Surrender: Japanese Holdouts. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
  57. ^ 山蔭光福; 松戸利喜夫 (1968). 硫黄島最後の二人 [The Last Two of Iwo Jima] (in Japanese). 読売新聞社.
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  62. ^ a b Burrell 2004.
  63. ^ Keegan 1990, p. 566.
  64. ^ Keegan 1990, p. 575.
  65. ^ Assistant Chief of Air Staff (September–October 1945). "Iwo, B-29 Haven and Fighter Springboard". Impact. pp. 69–71.
  66. ^ a b c d What if the Navy and Marine Corps had bypassed Iwo Jima? Archived 13 January 2022 at the Wayback Machine. Navy Times. 19 February 2020.
  67. ^ Cate & Olson 1983a, pp. 581–582.
  68. ^ Cate & Olson 1983b, p. 559.
  69. ^ Newcomb 1982, pp. 50–51.
  70. ^ "Iwo To Japan". 506th Fighter Group. Archived from the original on 8 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  71. ^ Moskin 1992, p. 373.
  72. ^ "The Ghosts of Iwo Jima". Texas A&M University Press. 2006. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
  73. ^ "Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) 1944–1945". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 15 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  74. ^ "United States Army Center of Military History Medal of Honor Citations Archive". Medal of Honor Statistics. United States Army Center of Military History. 16 July 2007. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  75. ^ Carroll, David (7 April 2021). "Local World War II veteran & Medal of Honor recipient Charles H. Coolidge dies at 99". WRCB. Archived from the original on 7 April 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  76. ^ Jeanette Steele (13 March 2014). "Iwo Jima: A veteran returns". UT San Diego. Archived from the original on 6 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  77. ^ Reunion of Honor Memorial Archived 19 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  78. ^ Iwo Jima 50th anniversary U.S., Japanese vets to meet on Iwo Jima Archived 19 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine. UPI
  79. ^ "Veterans mark 60th anniversary on Iwo Jima". 12 March 2005. Archived from the original on 6 January 2022. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  80. ^ Blumenstein, LCpl Richard; Sgt. Ethan E. Rocke (October–December 2007). "From Black Sands to Suribachi's Summit: Marines Reflect on Historic Battle". Marines Magazine. United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  81. ^ See: File:IwoJima Homage Insignia Devices.jpg
  82. ^ "The General Laws of Massachusetts – Declaration of Iwo Jima Day". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  83. ^ Kyodo News, "Map of Iwo Jima's underground bunkers found in U.S. Archived 19 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Japan Times, 6 May 2012, p. 2.
  84. ^ To the Shores of Iwo Jima 1945.
  85. ^ Glamour Gal 1945.
  86. ^ Bradley & Powers 2001.


Further reading