Photos Battle for Iwo Jima

BravoZulu

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“It was the fourth day after we landed, I was all alone, lying on a slope on the edge of an airfield, when I heard some ships’ horns sounding. And cheering started from guys in the foxholes.

I casted my eyes to the summit of Surabachi, and there was the flag! What a feeling that was! I felt ecstasy! I knew it was all over. So many of us had been killed. We made it through... I quickly realized it wasn't over at all.

I endured the entire 37-day fight, day after bloody day.

I hate to use this term, but Iwo Jima was really a killing ground. Hate to say that, but that’s exactly what it was.

I came across Marines sitting on the ground, hands to their faces, sobbing their hearts out. Their minds just snapped.

Toward the end we were told to go pick up the dead Marines and put them on the edge of the road to be picked up by truck and taken to the cemetery. Many of them have been laying there for a week or so. A lot of guys grabbed a dead Marine by the arm or leg—and it would come off.

Long trenches were scooped out in the ground, then row after row of dead Marines were wrapped in their ponchos and laid to rest. I remember looking for the grave sites of my buddies who were killed.. I then realized I was looking over the graves of thousands of young Americans who gave their lives, many too young to have learned what life was all about.

That wasn’t a pleasant sight, as a matter of fact, I don’t remember ever seeing a pleasant sight on Iwo. Except the ship when we left.

Out of the 50 men I landed with, only myself and 5 others survived." – PFC Bill Montgomery, 2nd Bn, 26th Marines, 5th MarDiv, Iwo Jima survivor.
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US Marines raise a second flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, WC 1221.)
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US aircraft carrier Bunker Hill burns after being hit by two kamikaze planes within 30 seconds during the Battle of Okinawa, May 11, 1945. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration, 80-G-323712.)
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A column of LCS(L) passes Mount Suribachi, on the southern end of Iwo Jima, during the pre-invasion bombardment, circa 17-19 February 1945. Official U.S. Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog#: NH 104146.
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Marine Corps' 27th Regiment, 2nd Battalion landing on Iwo Jima in 1945.
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In this undated photo, "Butch," a Doberman pinscher Marine War Dog, stands guard as his partner, Pvt. Rez Hester of Liberty, N.C., catches some sleep in a foxhole on Iwo Jima in 1945.
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Japanese position at the base of Mount Suribachi is eliminated by a high-explosive charge set off by the invading Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima in this undated photo from 1945.
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Aerial view of the American invasion fleet approaching Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945.
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A DUKW taking to the water from the bow doors of the USS LST-782 (landing ship, tank) during the Battle of Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945.
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U.S. Coast Guard and Navy vessels landing supplies on the Marine beachhead at Iwo Jima, February 1945.
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Navy and Coast Guard landing craft of all types crowd onto the assault beach at Iwo Jima to bring the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions ashore. National Archives & Records Administration photograph. Catalog#: 48302.
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Men of the U.S. 4th Marine Division landing on Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945.
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USS LSM-238 (landing ship, medium) unloading equipment during the Battle of Iwo Jima, February 1945.
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U.S. Marines on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima (1945).
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United States Coast Guard personnel resting on a volcanic ash beach during the Battle of Iwo Jima, 1945.
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Marine Corps rocket trucks in action during the Battle of Iwo Jima, February 28, 1945.
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Two members of the 5th Marine Division resting in the shadow of Mount Suribachi
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Sherman tank modified with a Mark I flame thrower targeting a Japanese strongpoint
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A U.S. 37 mm (1.5 in) anti-tank gun fires against Japanese cave positions in the north face of Mount Suribachi.
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USS New York firing its 14 in (360 mm) main guns on the island, 16 February 1945 (D minus 3)
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1945 view of Iwo Jima
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LVTs approach Iwo Jima.
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19 February 1945 air view of southern part of Iwo Jima
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19 February 1945 air view of Marines landing on the beach
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19 February 1945 air view of Marines landing on the beach
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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.
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US Army Soldiers from the 147th Infantry engaging heavily fortified Japanese positions
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U.S. Marines (Left to Right), PFC. J. L. Hudson Jr. Pvt. K.L. Lofter, PFC. Paul V.Parces, (top of blockhouse), Pvt. Fred Sizemore, PFC. Henrey Noviech and Pvt. Richard N. Pearson pose with a captured Japanese flag on top of enemy pillbox.
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A U.S. Marine firing his Browning M1917 machine gun at the Japanese
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Two Marines using a "Hotch Kiss" from the Japanese, 1945
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Foreground 3rd USMC Division Cemetery; left background is 4th USMC Division Cemetery Iwo Jima.
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February-March 1945. Air view of 4th Division Cemetery. Photographed 1945. U.S. Marine Corps photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. (2016/02/17).
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February-March 1945. Entrance to Fifth Marine Division Cemetery. Photographed 1945. U.S. Marine Corps photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. (2016/02/17).
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60th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima in 2005.
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Assault craft streaming toward beach on Iwo Jima. Note smoke rising on beach from naval shelling. Taken by aircraft from USS Saginaw Bay (CVE 82), February 19, 1945
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