US Marines invade Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima is five miles long and three miles across at its widest point. But in 1945 it housed three Japanese war ships and over 21,000 soldiers. On this date, three battalions of American soldiers took the island in fierce fighting, a decisive battle in World War II. By the 10th day of fighting, the Americans still had taken only half the island. Some 6,000 American lives were lost along with another 14,000 wounded. Fewer than 1,000 Japanese survived, launching massive waves of suicide charges against the Americans, one of which lasted more than a week. The famous photograph of marines raising the American Flag, later immortalized in bronze, was taken during the battle. After the war, the United States occupied Iwo Jima until 1968, when it was returned to Japan.
A great trip while in the Washington DC area is a visit to the United States Marine Corps Museum in Triangle VA. It’s about 30 miles from DC and well worth the visit. Semper Fi!