Sandy Beach stretching along the southeastern edge of the tip of Iwo Jima right of Mt. Suribachi, volcano at lower left, was the scene of the landing of U.S. Marines on the strategic Japanese base on Iwo Jima, Feb. 19, 1945. The airfield, which was an objective of U.S. Forces, is at center with smoke rising from the burning installation hit by U.S. Navy bombers during an airstrike prior to landing.
The Battle of Iwo Jima, otherwise known as Operation Detachment, lasted from February 29 to March 26, 1945. U.S. Forces saw some of the fiercest, bloodiest fighting in the Pacific during the five-week battle. Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which American casualties were higher than Japanese casualties. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on the island only 216 were taken prisoner; the majority of the remainder were killed in action.
The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's iconic image of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman.
Some graphic content follows.