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 in Iwo Jima, Feb. 19, 1945. Tee 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.
Today is the 70th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Iwo Jima, otherwise known as Operation Detachment, which lasted from Feb. 29, 1945 - Mar. 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.
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