Iwo Jima Today


{ 470 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete Hogue April 7, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Thanks to all for their good comments on this site. My Dad’s brother was lost at Iwo on June 15, 1944. Jack Hogue was a young Navy pilot, flying from the Yorktown, CV-10, with the Hellcat squadron, VF-1. You will note that this occurred EIGHT MONTHS before the first ground and amphibious troops got there. It was the very first American attack on this Island. There were fifteen aircraft in this particular raid. The squadron commander was Cdr. Bernard Max Strean, who had an outstanding military career, retiring as Vice Admiral. The Yorktown was then under the command by Captain Joseph J. “Jocko” Clark. The reason for the attack was primarily to contain the Japanese aircraft stationed there because June 15th was “D-Day” for the attacks on Saipan, to the south. Jack Hogue may well have been the first American loss at Iwo, being one of two shot down that day. The other was squadron-mate, Lt. Paul “Pablo” Henderson from Florida. Jack was born in Bloomburg, East Texas, later living in Denton and graduating from North Texas State. I was priviledged to meet many of the remaining squadron members at a reunion, including Admiral Strean, several years ago. They continued to recall the events of those days, as if it had just happened. (as a side note, Admiral Strean is listed as a technical advisor in the Charleton Heston movie, “Midway.”) Kindest regards to all.

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Tim Binsted April 7, 2014 at 8:56 am

Hello all, from the United Kingdom. Just letting you know that there is still fascination in the American Japanese war over here. I have read extensively over the years of the US drive to beat Japan especially Iwo Jima and the other major battles. It played an important part for me as my father, an RAF Spitfire pilot, was imprisoned by the Japanese in Changi, Singapore (1942 – 1945). If you guys, with a little bit of help from us Brits over there at the time, if you would allow me to say, had not beaten them, I wouldn’t be here. Still respected after all these years. TB

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Robert Smith March 24, 2014 at 7:51 pm

I lost my Uncle during the battle for Iwo Jima, he was wounded and died on a hospital ship and buried at sea. I have his picture and medals along with US Flag. Never got to know him as I was born 6 years later.

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CHARLIE CURLEY March 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm

This is the third time I have sent a note. Let’s keep this website alive. As a 19 year old kid on Iwo I witnessed sights and experiences that aged me in minutes. I am now 88 and in fair shape. My mind continues to reflect on Iwo and the 6800 Marines killed and the thousands wounded. As stated before, my opinion stands, that the invasion of Iwo was a mistake.
All of us lucky guys who came home are thankful that we were allowed to continue our lives and contribute to our country, each in our own way. My Communion was offered Wednesday for all the guys who did not make it off the island as well as the wounded. Also, I remembered the families and the heartbreak they suffered. Let’s not forget such an important event that happened 69 years ago.

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Henry Rushlow April 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Hello Charlie: I was in the Naval amphibs. We landed the 5 th marines 2350. Green beach, the first beach at the base of
the mountain. All the Marines landed in the first three waves . My task was to keep the beach clean.
anyone Please reply::: I am almost 90.
email ….. rushlowhenry@gmail.com

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Mark Taliani March 19, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Thank you Charlie…….most of us will never know the horror you have seen.
It took unbelievable courage to do what you and your fellow Marines did on that island. I for one, will never forget!!

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Lonnie Andrews December 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Was stationed there 61/62 toured the Island many times BUT never seen Shells lying around as was stated earlier.If you went boon docking always had to be at least 3 people so someone could go for help.Had a hole when I arrived that was the size of Hard Ball and when I left we had dumped several 2 1/2 ton trucks and a couple D8 dozers that was dumped in the hole,Was called Million Dollar hole when I left.
Took care of the Grave Yard by WHITE WASHING ALL MARKERS TALKING TO ALL WHO WERE THERE.
Thye only place I was ever at that I wanted to go back to,But did not want to visit all the other places on the TOUR.
Was only allowed 3 Hrs on the island ,then you had to load up and go to RETURN TO GUAM.

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tony December 8, 2013 at 5:08 am

1. I thank all veterans past and present for their service.
2. I have read many articles on the military action on Iwo Jima.
My feelings are that the battle for Iwo Jima could have been avoided altogether.
Here are my reasons:
A. Iwo Jima is more than 600 miles from the Japanese mainland.
B. An operating military unit requires provisions in order to remain active, clean water, food, medical supplies, weaponry, fuel etc.
Due to the geographical location of the island and the inability of the Japanese homelands to resupply the military garrison, it would be only a matter of time before the soldiers would die from medical disabilities, starvation or dehydration.
You can’t eat bullets or grenades.
Eventually the remaining soldiers would beg the U.S. forces to ” rescue” them.

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K.P. Ferris February 25, 2014 at 4:11 am

Tony, Iwo Jima wasn’t taken to capture Japs, it was taken to launch aerial attacks on Japan and as an emergency landing field for returning B-29′s that were unable to make it back to Tinian.

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CHARLIE CURLEY November 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

IWO JIMA CONSISTS OF VOLCANIC ASH

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Ashley hill November 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

What is Iwo Jima made of?

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robert quinn November 8, 2013 at 7:57 pm

kids today have no idea about what world war II was all about i guess liberals dont want to scare them!

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R. Pollard November 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm

My Dad was 27 years military serving WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I am a U.S. Navy vet. We both taught history. We both are liberals. So, Robert your comment is not only incorrect but extremely ignorant.

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Harrel Shewmaker November 5, 2013 at 1:05 am

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. This,or that, should have been done with these results. Maybe,maybe not. Many have said WWII could have been avoided if certain things had done in Armistise of 1918.Unlikely if anyone knows what if….??

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gary Isch November 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I was with the Air Force from 1960-1964. Was stationed on Iwo Jima from Jun 1962-1963. Was a ground radio operator.The Island used as an emergency landing strip. In the one year I was stationed there we had about 3 emergency landings. In the summer time in the middle of the night you could hear some of the unexploded land mines go off. We had about 20 Air Force and 15 Coast Guard stationed there. Was only 19 at the time and really got me interested in the things that were done there years earlier.

Gary Isch Airman First Class

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CHARLIE CURLEY November 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I was @ Iwo with the 3rd Division, 12th Marines. I was 19 at the time and now 87. My present thought is this : Iwo was a mistake. We lost 6800 Marines and their families were destroyed from grief. The powers to be in congress knew the” A Bomb “was just around the corner and we could and should have waited for its development. By waiting we may have lost a fEveryday ew B29′s and their crews but never 6800 Marines. Someone got greedy and wanted recognition in spite of the fact we knew an invation would be horiffic and costly. I know hindsight is 20/20 and I hope I’m wrong in my evaluation but unless someone convinces me otherwise, I’m sticking with my opinion. Each day my prayers are with the guys that died and the families that lost them. God love them !!!

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robert quinn November 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm

you were there you have every right to voice your opinion i served in the navy working with f-14′s many yrs later with fighter squadron 32- i think in war decisions are made to hurt the enemy anyway you can i feel taking iwo saved many lives but the cost to the marines was very high and lets not forget the navy corpsman who died there- very brave men!

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Ronald J McCormack October 22, 2013 at 2:19 am

My dad, BM1c Jay F McCormack was a USS Missouri plankowner and surrender witness. He was assigned to the gunnery department on a 40mm Bofors anti aircraft gun. His position is visible in the famous picture of a Kamikaze striking the starboard side aft. Dad was onboard from the day the Missouri got launched until he witnessed the surrender in Tokyo Bay. Dad took part in the naval bombardment of Iwo Jima. God bless everyone who was
involved in taking Iwo.

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Bill Lussier June 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I served on Iwo in 1975 – 1976, while in the USCG. The island served as a different place for me then the many who so bravely fought and died there. I always thought of them when i walked around the island and saw all the equipment and shells laying around. From the pictures above, it looks like a tropical paradise and in some ways it is, not the hot stinking rock that it was to so many who ave been there. I feel proud to have walked on the same ground as those brave men. I also feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be there. God bless them all.

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Christophe Moreau June 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Greetings, I’m Christophe my grand father was in the Canadian Army. All I want to say is that, I want to thanks every men that have served on Iwo Jima and on any other part of the world during WWII. God bless you soldiers.

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ALEXANDER ANAYA Z June 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Dios bendice America, por tener disciplina. conducta y ante todo DETERMINACIÓN, para no fallarle a sus Marine Coorps, que dan lo más preciado “SU VIDA POR SU AMADA PATRIA”.

En mi pais Colombia, nadie hace, ni recuerda a sus SOLDADOS, ASESINADOS POR EL TERRORISMO.

Alexander Anaya Zambrano

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Kerry Russell Pearson May 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

God, I just remembered guys, When I lived in Washington DC back in 1988 I went out with this girl and her Grand father was Lynde McCormick who was the battle plans officer for Admiral Nimitz at the battle of Midway. I hope this is correct information as it has been 25 years. My girlfriends father was Jet McCormick who was a Marine who landed on Okinawa in 1945. He was shot by a sniper and that was the end of his war. the ironic thing that amazed me was Jet showed me the Jap snipers rifle that shot him. He had it in the same plastic bag when the other Marines in his platoon killed the Jap and gave Jet the rifle that same day. I think they named a US Navy ship after my girlfriend grand father called the USS Lynd McCormick?? Can anyone confirm this? cheers KR Pearson(USS Lynde McCormick (DDG-8) was a Charles F. Adams-class destroyer in the United States Navy).

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Kerry Russell Pearson May 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I forgot to ask if anyone can tell me how I go about making a pilgrimage to Iwo Jima Island? Thank you K R Pearson

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Kerry Russell Pearson May 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Well guys, God bless all the Marine survivors of all the world war II Pacific campaigns who are still alive. I am a ex Aussie soldier but have been a mad US Marines enthusiast. I have so many books on you guys and DVD documentary’s including the HD digitally refurbished Battle of Iwo Jima( Sulfur Island). Those Japs were dug in like a bloody Aussie bush tick, so deep you had to go in and get the bastards. The bombardment was devastating to the island fauna it left no cover for you guys. I can imagine how some of you today are savaged by this battle and have nightmares even to this day. I GOD BLESS YOU ALL! I hope you all live the rest of your lives healthy and at peace and hope I have the knowledge your families pull and understand what you all have been through. I hope you all receive a letter from our Queen Elizabeth II when you all turn 100 years old and still going strong. I am just about to watch the Iwo Jima documentary DVD again for I have lost count how many times. If their are any Iwo veterans who read this I would love to hear from you. email – basenji@m2data.com.au K R Pearson Camden Sydney Australia.

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George S May 20, 2013 at 2:36 am

My father in law, John Gunther, 4th Marine Division was in the first wave of the landings. His unit took 92% casualties. He was in combat and not relieved until the 16th day. Something like out of 245 men in his unit onlt 7 or 8 walked off the island on their own. He was one of them. He saw both flag raisings and said the second flag was from one of the ships because the first was deemed too small. He said a cheer went up across the island when the Marines saw that flag raised. He remembers being about 30 yards away from John Basilone when a shell killed him.

When he was relieved and brought aboard a ship he was very grateful to the sailors who led him to a coffee pot and was told it would have coffee available for the Marines 24hrs a day! He is 87 yrs old and only started talking about Iwo to his family about 5 years ago. He has had trouble sleeping and terrible nightmares from Iwo ever since.

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Kevin Jones May 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm

George,
Perhaps your father in law and my dad knew each other. My dad was 4th Marine Division, Company E. He was on the first wave also. My dad made it ’til March 8 or 9 and was wounded. He was able to walk, so he was sent back to the beach assisting another Marine who had taken a round to the leg. I lost my dad in June 2011 at 88. His name was McCray Jones. They called him Mac. Dad remembered the flag raising, too; and the cheer. He remembered seeing the replacement flag, but like the book says, he never saw that one go up. I recently toured the Marine Corps museum in Quantico (March ’13). Imagine my shock when I came around the corner and saw that flag. My wife asked me if I was okay when she saw that big tear roll down my cheek. I said that I was indeed okay, but the last time anyone in my family laid eyes on that flag, my dad was a young, strapping 23 year old fighting for his country. What an honor for me to see that sight.
Kudos to your dad in law. I thank him for his service. I know from talking to my dad that it was a nightmare. One gift he gave me before his death. He took my copy of Flags of Our Fathers and went through it, noting things that he remembered and making comments for me.
He remembered seeing the guy fall from the ship on the approach to Iwo Jima. You are the first person I’ve seen post who had a relative who was 4th Division, 1st wave, like my dad. Your dad-in-law probably did not know my dad; I guess it gives me that one more link to his youth.
God bless.

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George S. June 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Hi Kevin, I’ll ask him the next time I see him. It’s weird, nowadays he has all sorts of short-term memory problems but can recite the names and hometowns and other details about all the guys he served with. He went to Wash D.C. a few years back for some kind of ceremony with the Marine Corps commandant and the flag. I’ll have to take the museum tour. I’ve driven by on a couple of occasions on vacations but never stopped.

I think my father in law survived because he was 19 yrs old and maybe 130lbs, he gave them a small target. After one advance, his fellow Marines mentioned that he must have felt very lucky. He didn’t know what they meant by that until they told him they saw bullets striking very near him as he ran forward. He was so focused on getting to the next foxhole he didn’t notice! I’m glad he eventually began to tell us these stories. You read about battles in a book, but to hear a firsthand account really paints a picture and brings the enormity and horrors of war home to you.

Thank you for your comment, and thank you to your father for all he did so we could remain free.

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Kevin Jones August 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm

George,
Sorry for the delayed response. If there was anything I’d like to see added to this great website is a feature that would notify me when I get a response. Not to be negative; I am so greatful, for it takes me back in time and brings back many wonderful memories of my dad (and now my mom, who died 2 years and 1 day after my dad).
Your recollection of your father-in-law’s story reminded of my own dad talking about sitting on a clump of rocks. He was in a somewhat safe area, but there was still gunfire. All of a sudden he felt a wetness oozing on his back and thought for sure a sniper had gotten him. He told me that he felt around, thinking he would find a serious wound, scared to death! He found that a rock had fallen and hit his canteen, bursting it! He was relieved!
I am hoping that with the bit of inheritance I was able to have passed down, I will be able to muster up an Iwo trip; I don’t know, but it would certainly be worth it to me.
Thanks again.
God bless the United States Marines.

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George S May 20, 2013 at 2:39 am

Forgive me for forgetting to add- God Bless The U.S. Marine Corps And All Who Ever Served! Semper Fi!

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Gerard Gallagher April 13, 2013 at 7:13 pm

My Ma’s Father served for Australia in various campaigns. He was James (Jim) Kelly. Many of my uncles were pilots in in the balle of Britain too. You tanks would be well served to remember the sacrifices that were made prior to your arrival in the war.
My beautiful Grandfather died in 1998. He died with a tear and many comments about the war: “sorry I could not kill more of the slitty eyed bastards” .. something I took to heart and was not pleased with. I was very young then!
They were nasty. And He knew better.
I miss Him terribly. I wish I knew my uncles too.
I am a fly-boy these days and God help the Japanese if they ever become my enemy.

Yours truly,

Gerard J Gallagher

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Randall Thomasson March 10, 2013 at 10:50 pm

The scrub brush landscaper reminds me of the area around Fort Cronkhite by San Francisco. I wonder how the fishing is around the island?

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U.S.M.C. { SEMPER Fi } February 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

God Bless The Corps

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Sgt. J. B. Newman, USMCR February 23, 2013 at 12:03 am

My father was W. G. Newman and he had been a Marine prior to WWII, having served from 1933 to 1939, during which time he was a China Marine under command of Capt. David M. Shoup. He was called back to the Corps in 1943, and joined the Third Marine Division for the invasion of Guam. Then back to Pearl Harbor for more training and the invasion of Iwo Jima where he was a supply Sgt. , and landed on the third day. He was an old man to his fellow Marines at the ripe old age of 30. By the Grace of God, he was not wounded. He remained in Dog Company of the USMCR, in Savannah, Georgia and was called up with that outfit for the Korean Conflict. By the time that I went to Boot Camp at P.I., SC, Capt. David M. Shoup was a General officer and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. I served in the USMCR from 1959 for two enlistments ending in 1967. During that time, I graduated from college and later law school. On the exact date of the D-Day for Iwo, Pop died in 2003 at 89 . February 19, will be special for me and my family forever, and I am proud to have been a Marine and the son of a Great Marine. Semper Fi!!!

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Andrew McClure February 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

my father died before Christmas, he was 92. he was on the USS Libra. he finally told my brother and i a little bit about this battle a couple of years ago when we took him to the first reunion of the Libra. he would stop and start talking, you could he was going back. he saw the flag raising too, i don’t think he knew if it was the first or second but he always made a point of mentioning that monent.

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