Iwo Jima Today


{ 485 comments… read them below or add one }

Howard Anderson July 31, 2014 at 5:53 am

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 !!

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CHARLIE CURLEY July 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

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

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Linda Jacobs Ellis July 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm

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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CHARLIE CURLEY June 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm

ROMMEL, I DON’T THINK YOU ARE PROHIBITED FROM POSTING ANYTHING RELATIVE TO IWO JIMA.

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Cathy Frosh June 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Charlie, my step father was a Marine in WWII fighting in the Pacific. I don’t know which unit or if he was at Iwo Jima, he passed away about 21 years ago and my brother has all of his military papers; however I do know that his division was one of the first that were sent into Hiroshima 10 days after the bomb was dropped. He died from cancer of the bone; in fact, by the time the doctors discovered it, he couldn’t stand up or move without bones breaking. According to the VA Doctors, every soldier that was sent into Japan so soon after the A bomb died from cancer and other complications that were a direct result of the radiation that they were exposed. However, the U.S. government or military has taken no blame or responsibility for the slow, painful deaths these soldiers had to suffer while just following orders. The same way they would not take responsibility, for a long time, for the effects of agent orange during the Vietnam Conflict. I believe that our military and their families deserve more from the government that they fought to protect. BTW, glad you made if off Iwo Jima and that you have lived a long and happy life. My father is still alive, is 88 years old, in very bad health, but he was in the Navy during WWII and was aboard a Destroyer. He was in the Atlantic fleet and his ship was at Normandy for D-Day, in fact after the war, my Father learned that all of his brothers were there that day too. There were 5 brothers, all joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor, and all came home after the war. My husband served during Vietnam and his son served in the Marine Corp during Desert Storm. Serving during war time is a long tradition in my family.

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Mike Kraai May 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm

My uncle Jason Kraai was with Company H 3rd Battalion 28th Reg. 5th Division and landed in the third wave on Feb. 19 and was wounded on March 18. He did not talk much about his time on Iwo as it brought back to many painful memories.
He lost a lot of friends and did say out of his platoon only 10 survived and they carried him off of the island. He passed away several years ago at the age of 88. Let us never forget what the cost of freedom brings and the brave men and women who are willing to preserve it. God bless all who served. Semper Fi.

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rommel May 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Are we allowed to post pictures of Iwo Jima of today on our blogs?

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John Preston May 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm

I spent several months on Iwo flying raids against Japanese coastal shipping in PB4-Y Privateers and Navy Libs . Our camp was toward the northwest corner of the island where many Japs had thrown themselves off the cliffs and bodies were washed up in the sea caves. With a wind from the north the odor was pretty bad. Several ships had been purposely sunk off the west coast to form a harbor for offloading supplies and it was a good place to swim (I see from the recent photos that several hulks still remain). We had salt water showers so if a rain squall hit the Quonset at 2am we’d all grab our soap and run outside. In early June I watched as over 100 B-29s came in for fuel. Several times a week there’d be 80 to 100 P-51s take off, taxiing across the boonies to try and beat each other to the runway. The next day on my radar I’d see what looked like a land mass where they had all dropped their fuel tanks. Shot down a couple Zeros on Aug 4 in Sagami Bay, What fun!

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CHARLIE CURLEY May 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm

To MICHAEL ZABORSKI
I have never met your friend Joe but I’m not surprised, as he was in the 5th Div and I, in the 3rd.
Good luck to you both,
Charlie.

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Rushmore D June 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Dear Charlie;
I am a documentary filmmaker working on a program about the atomic bomb. If you would be so kind as to get in touch with me (rushmored@gmail.com) I would like to speak with you about the Marines’ point of view on ending the war with Japan. Please get in touch, thank you, Rushmore D

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CHARLIE CURLEY May 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Looking forward to going on “THE HONOR FLIGHT” from ST. Pete airport on May 27th . Our destination is Wash D.C. and visit the WW2 memorials. I will follow with the results later. We should have a plane full of vets. Charlie

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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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Dan King May 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Pete,
I read your April 7th post with great interest. I am reading a book written by a Japanese officer who was the AA commander on Iwo Jima’s southern coast AA unit. His name was Ensign Minoru Tada. (1924-2006). His book is called “Iwo Jima Gyokusai” and is in Japanese only. (I read, write and speak it). On page 68, he mentions the June 15, 1944, air raid by Hellcats and SB2C Divebombers, AND that the No. 1 gun (he commanded 10 of the twin-mounted 25 mm AA machine cannons) shot down a US aircraft that day. He even lists the name of the gun crew commander and the left and right “aiming crew” who spin the handles to rotate and aim the gun.

I am about to complete the writing stage of my new book, “A Tomb Called Iwo Jima”, accounts from Japanese survivors.
I have personally interviewed a half-dozen Japanese Iwo survivors, and read the memoirs of several more.

I would be honored to included your uncle’s photo in my new book. I was surpised to stumble across this information about your uncle Jack Hogue who gave his all. The June 15th 1944 air raid against Iwo JIma is not widely known and I would like to change that. Would you be interested in corresponding with me? If so, please contact me through my website’s “contact” button or via email. (www.historicalconsulting.com)

My previous book is availabe

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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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michael zaborski May 5, 2014 at 12:12 am

Hello Charlie Curley,

Do you remember a Joe D’Abrosca 5th marines from iwo?

Joe’s a good friend.

Best Michael

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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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