(February 19-March 26, 1945)
Iwo Jima occupied a position of strategic importance to the Allies in the Pacific, providing an air base for long-range bombing missions against mainland Japan. The island would serve as an emergency landing strip for B-29 bombers between their Japanese targets and the American-controlled Marianas Islands. Air raids carried out by the 7th Air Force B-24 heavy bombers began June 1944, followed by landings of the 4th US Marine Division and the 5th US Marine Division on February 19, and the 3rd US Marine Division on February 24, 1945. Four days later, the 28th Marines of the 5th US Marine Division raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. The Battle for Iwo Jima saw 27 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines and Sailors, many post-mortem, more than were awarded for any other single operation during the war. The captured island served its strategic purpose. By the end of World War II, 2,400 B-29 bombers carrying 27,000 crewmen made emergency landings on Iwo Jima.
Battles - Iwo Jima