WENT TO IWO IN 1970 ABOARD THE COAST GUARD CUTTER KUKUI. ALOT OF HISTORY THERE. WENT TO MT. SURIBASHI. UNLOADED SUPPLYS. COULD STILL SMELL THE SULFER FROM THE VOLCANO.
Does antone know what is on the Island now ans who actually owns it?
I believe it was sometime in 1972 that the island was returned to Japanese control. I visited the island for a week back in the spring of 1987. At that time, the Japanese had naval and air force presence in/around Motoyama #2 air field. The Americans had US Coast Guard presence on the north end of the island who operated the LORAN transmitting station. The tower on Iwo Jima (Iwo To) is the hub of the LORAN system for this entire region with satellite towers on Marcus Island to the east, the Philippines, Okinawa, and on the mainland. The Coast Guard personnel (Coasties) spend a one-year there. It was considered a hardship tour for obvious reasons. A C-130 flight would arrive on Thursday mornings from Yokoto AB (Japan) for supply and personnel transport, then return to Yokota that afternoon. The USAF ran the MAC flights to and from Iwo Jima, but the USCG controlled who/what got on the plane since it was for the express purpose of supplying the CG station. Other than the 30 (+/-) CG personnel, and about 125 Japanese naval and air force personnel, the island was empty. Walking around on the invasion beach, the silence was deafening. Knowing what happened there, the silence was ethereal. (the invasion beach was a 3,500-yard stretch of beach on the SE side of the island starting at the north edge of Mt. Suribachi and extending north to the East Boat Basin) As a side note, the East Boat Basin was the area where LtGen Kuribachi landed in May/June of 1944 to assume control of Iwo Jima. Once, while I was standing on the invasion beach, I remembered what had been said about unexploded ordinance on the island. I made one pass with my boot through the volcanic ash and raked up a 30 caliber round. This was the type of round used by the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle). Incidentally, my father was a BAR man with 28th Marines 5th MARDIV. Plus, I was standing in the general area where he would have landed. Yes, it was eerie. The ‘Big Bertha Gun’ is yet undiscovered. There is a small coastal gun at the base of the mountain (Mt. Suribachi) that has been named the Big Bertha Gun, but that is incorrect. My dad told me that this thing was inside a bunker behind a huge steel door that rolled on railroad tracks. The Japanese would open the doors, lob off a few rounds, then they would roll it back in and close the doors. He said it was just above eye level in the north face of the volcano. Looking at it when I was there, there ‘seemed’ to be a noticeable depression in the north face, but I have no idea if this was it. If you want to know more, just email me. email@example.com
The sand is black, yes. The overgrown foliage green. But beneath it all lies the red blood of Americans who gave their lives and whose souls ascended skyward from that island to Heaven as a reward for moral righteousness. I dare say the souls of the others descended to a place we should all fear.
When you think that the Japanese could look down from Suribachi and see everything that the Americans were doing it must have been hell down in the lowlands, there’s no cover now and then the island had been bombarded for over 70 days. I know feelings run high but the Japanese were the same sort if young men that the Americans were. All war is hell for everyone in it.
A friend is on his way to Iwo right now with his Dad who is a Iwo Jima veteran. They are taking the 20 hour flight to Hawaii, Guam, and then Iwo. I understand that they are meeting up with 60-70 other veterans for the 70th anniversary of the battle.
He said that he is going for his son, that there are no good memories from that battle. As a young marine, he was in reconnaissance and saw lots of horrible fighting. In fact, he was quoted as saying he would prefer to go to Japan and pray for forgiveness for all of the Japanese he killed.
I am a combat disabled USMC wounded on Guam and lived 28 days constant combat in Iwo Jima. I would like to contact other veterans with other veterans contacting me. In 8 years my twin sister and I ,will be 100 years old.
Dear Mr Warner,
I have the email address of an Iwo Jima veteran. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with him.
Interesting. At the Marine Corps reunion in 1985, there was a flagpole at the peak of the Mt Surabachi flying a Japanese. There were memorials and and two small buildings. Now this has been excavated.
MY GRANDPA SGT. MICHAEL YAMOND FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA. I WAS PROUD OF HIM EVERY DAY. HE WITNESSED THE FLAG RAISING FROM 100 YARDS AWAY. WILL FOREVER BE GREATFUL TO ALL THE ARMED FORCES FOR KEEPING US SAFE. GOD BLESS
My father was in ww11 and he left a lot of picture and I would like two is if they are worth anything, As I got pitcher of the Raising Of the flag on Iwo Jima. that was taken the day it was raised… And a lot more if you are any one else are interested
THEY ARE NOT COPY’S,,,
how many people live their
I went on the Honor Flight 5-27-14 from central Florida. Great experience and will never forget it !! If you are a ww2 vet I would recommend you apply for the HONOR FLIGHT.
WENT ON THE HONOR FLIGHT 5-27-14 . A GREAT EXPERENCE AND ONE I WILL NEVER FORGET. ONLY ONE OTHER MARINE WAS AT THE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA . WE EXCHANGES MEMORIES AND I HOPE TO MEET HIM AGAIN. IF YOU ARE A WW2 VET I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU APPLY FOR THE ” HONOR FLIGHT” IN YOUR AREA. SEMPER FI,
My Dad was in the Army but attached to the Marines and went in with the first wave of Marines. Had to get off the ship by cargo net with 60 pound back packs. Most had no training on how to go down the cargo nets. Many fell into the ocean and drowned, while many were shot. They spent the first 4-5 days hunkered down on the beach. I have all of his pictures which include a picture he took of the first US Flag on Mount Suribachi (he also has a picture of the second flag). I don’t know which unit he was in but I will ask him.
Yea, I remember Iwo Jima quite well. After returning from a mission to Japan In May 1945, our B-29 was so heavily damaged we could not land at Iwo; so, all 11 of us bailed out over the island. On the first pass over the island, all the guys in the back end of the plane bailed out, & then on the 2nd pass, all of us in the front end dropped through the nose wheel opening. Some of the crew members were injured; BUT, we were on the island & NOT in the water ! We could NEVER have flown that B-29 back to our home base on Tinian. It is estimated that 25,000 airmen’s lives were saved by using that island as a safe haven after strikes against the Japanese homeland. Consequently, all of us are deeply indebted to the U.S. Marines who captured that small island; ( especially we in the 20th Air Force flying the B-29’s), & will never forget the sacrifices made by them; all the thousands killed & wounded. SEMPER FI !!
To Linda Jacobs
I share your wish, as I would desire to return to Iwo also. The cost to return is prohibitive, so for me, it’s not going to happen. Good luck, Charlie Curley
My father was with the CBs and went in with the first wave of Marines – the reason for going in with the first waves was to get the air strips up and running. I saw a few of his military pictures, but the “bad” ones were kept at a friend’s house. Unfortunately, these pieces of history were destroyed in a house fire. I have read everything I could find on the Iwo invasion and if I had one wish it would be to go and visit.
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