Battle of Iwo Jima (1945)

The Pittsburgh Press (February 17, 1945)

Burning Tokyo blasted again

Landing below Japan follows heavy U.S. air-sea bombardment
By William F. Tyree, United Press staff writer

New island hop by U.S. troops, this time landing on Iwo Island in the Volcanos, was reported by the Japs. To the north, U.S. carrier planes raided Tokyo for the second straight day.

ADM. NIMITZ’s HQ, Guam – U.S. troops stormed ashore early today on Iwo Island, only 750 miles south of Tokyo, enemy broadcasts reported.

At the same time, carrier planes hit the burning Jap capital for the second straight day of a diversionary assault.

Invasion forces swarmed over the southwest and southeast beaches of Iwo in twin landings only 10 minutes apart, a Tokyo Domei broadcast said. It added the customary claim that the troops had been “repulsed” after fierce fighting.

The report of the invasion came on the second day of an earth-shaking bombardment of Iwo in the Volcano Islands by more than 30 U.S. warships – ranging from battleships to destroyers – and scores of carrier- and land-based bombers. Most shore batteries were knocked out yesterday.

The U.S. Navy Department declined to comment on the Jap reports of the Iwo landings. One official pointed out that the enemy often makes such claims in an effort to “fish for information.”

Japs claim 147 planes downed

A landing on Iwo would represent an amphibious jump of 750 miles – halfway to Tokyo – from the Marianas for the Americans and would give them at least three strategic air bases within Flying Fortress, Liberator and fighter-plane range of the enemy capital.

Wave after wave of U.S. carrier planes sent hundreds more tons of bombs crashing down on smoking Tokyo today. A Jap communiqué said the second day of the unprecedented assault got underway at 7 a.m. (6 p.m. Friday ET) and the raid was still continuing 8½ hours later.

The Japs said 200 U.S. carrier planes have been attacking Hachijo Island, in the Izu group 200 miles south of Tokyo, since early yesterday.

The enemy communiqué admitted that 61 Jap planes were lost in yesterday’s nine to 10-hour attack on Tokyo, but claimed 147 U.S. planes were shot down and more than 50 damaged. Jap planes counterattacking the American task force “heavily damaged and set afire” a large warship, believed an aircraft carrier, the communiqué said.

Battleship sunk, Tokyo claims

Tokyo broadcasts freely interpreted the assault as a diversionary attack to cover an invasion of Iwo and one said an American landing on Japan itself may be near. Another warned without elaboration that U.S. forces may “attempt to come near the homeland at two points, one of them the Boso Peninsula,” western arm of Tokyo Bay and site of the Yokosuka Naval Base.

Domei said U.S. forces began landing operations on Futatsune Beach in Southwest Iwo about 10:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. Friday ET), but were “completely smashed.”

“Following the failure, all enemy troops withdrew far out to sea,” the broadcast said.

Two minutes later – 10:40 a.m. – U.S. troops began landing on Kamiyama Beach on the southeastern tip of the tiny eight-square-mile island, Domei said.

“Our garrison troops going into action to engage these enemy forces successfully repulsed them, with severe losses inflicted on the invaders,” it asserted.

The broadcast, while saying that the second landing had been “repulsed,” notably made no claim that these forces had also withdrawn.

Iwo, a gourd-shaped island in the Volcano group, is barren and rocky. The Japs, however, built three airfields on its shores from which to intercept Tokyo-bound Superfortresses and raid their bases in the Marianas. It also served as an observation post from which to warn the homeland of the approach of Superfortresses.

The landing, if confirmed, would put U.S. troops for the first time on Jap soil administered as part of the Tokyo Prefecture. Winter monsoons normally sweep the area from December to March, bringing strong winds and high seas.

A Jap communiqué claimed counterattacking Jap batteries and planes at Iwo sank a battleship, two cruisers and two other ships of the invasion fleet. Three assault craft were damaged and 10 American planes shot down, the communiqué said.

Three waves totaling 50 planes from the sky-filling fleet of 1,200 to 1,300 aboard the world’s biggest carrier armada standing less than 300 miles off the Jap coast opened today’s assault on the Tokyo area soon after dawn, enemy broadcasts said.

Other formations followed at intervals of an hour and a half, concentrating on Greater Tokyo itself rather than inland targets as yesterday, broadcasts said. They admitted transportation facilities in the Tokyo metropolitan district and adjacent areas had been hit.

A Jap communiqué issued at 3:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. ET) acknowledged that the raids were still continuing at that hour.

The Tokyo radio said at 9:06 p.m. (8:06 a.m. ET) that the air-raid warning was continuing in the Tokyo-Yokohama area “because of an unknown object in the southern waters.” Fourteen minutes later Tokyo said one American plane was flying northward over the Izu Islands toward the capital.

It asserted that the American carrier planes had caused only “slight” damage to ground installations in yesterday’s attack on the Tokyo area. However, a pall of smoke, broken by occasional flashes of fire, still hung over Tokyo from that attack as the second phase of the assault got underway today.

Domei reported that 600 carrier planes took part in today’s raid on Tokyo, compared with 1,200 to 1,300 yesterday. The agency said the attacks were centered on airfields and aircraft factories in the Kanto area, which embraces the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan districts.

A Superfortress pilot who witnessed yesterday’s raids said as many as 1,200 planes were over the capital at one time, it was speculated that the planes flew more than 2,000 sorties yesterday.

Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Fleet, confirmed that the assault on Tokyo had extended into a second day in a brief communiqué which said merely that the attack was “continuing.” Unofficial reports reaching headquarters indicated that the first day’s attackers met “considerable success.”

B-29s sight smoke

Superfortresses crew who witnessed the attack from the substratosphere told of smoke rising 7,000 feet or more from burning installations and of scores of Jap planes shot down or destroyed on the ground.

It was assumed that yesterday’s attacks were designed to destroy or pin down enemy planes on the several dozen fields dotting the great plain around Tokyo. Today, it was believed, Helldivers and Avengers began pinpoint bombing of Jap military installations, including aircraft repair and manufacture facilities.

Tokyo conceded that the assault appeared to have the aim of destroying the Jap Air Force.

Japs too busy

The fact that the Japs to date have mentioned only one attack on the task force off their coast may indicate that they have been so busy attempting to protect Tokyo that they have been unable to muster sufficient planes to attack the American carriers.

Adm. Nimitz said in his communiqué that preliminary reports indicated “considerable damage” had been inflicted on installations on Iwo by battleships and cruisers during the first day of the bombardment yesterday.

Silence batteries

Enemy shore batteries which sought to answer the bombardment were silenced, he said. Carrier aircraft set fire to two luggers and probably destroyed three enemy bombers on the ground.

A Kingfisher seaplane from one of the cruisers in the bombardment force shot down a Jap Zero fighter. One American aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft batteries, but the pilot was rescued.

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Iwo Island part of Tokyo region

By the United Press

The reported landing on Iwo Jima would put U.S. troops on soil administered as part of the Tokyo Prefecture for the first time.

The tiny gourd-shaped island is strategically situated for use as an air base and observation point despite its small size and lack of developed harbors. It has an area of only eight square miles, but lies on a direct route from the Marianas to Japan.

Good escort base

The Japanese Domei News Agency has pointed out that if Iwo fell to the Americans, it would provide an escort base for B-29 Superfortresses.

Iwo lies in the range of the warm Japanese current and this is one of its driest months, despite the fact that this is considered part of the winter monsoon season.

Successful conquest of Iwo Jima would bring the Japanese capital within the range of land-based fighter planes and would free B-29 bases on the Marianas from the threat of enemy air raids.

Built on two volcanoes

The island has been built up by two volcanoes, Suribachi Yama on the southwest and Moto Yama on the northwest. The volcanoes are connected by a narrow neck of lowland.

Moto Yama rises 358 feet high in a flat-topped dome shape. It is surrounded by terrace cut by the Waves and has a number of vents, some of which expel steam and sulfurous vapors. Suribachi Yama is an extinct volcano rising to 546 feet.

The Volcanic Islands, including Kita Iwo on the north and Minami Iwo on the south, were absorbed into the Japanese Empire in 1891. The inhabitants of Iwo Jima are almost entirely pure Japanese, although somewhat taller than the usual inhabitants of the home island. In 1940, the population was 1,151.

The largest village on the island is Higashi, less than a mile inland from the northeast coast. Other principal settlements are Minami, on the east central coast; Nishi, on the northwest; and Moto Yama, in the north central part of the island. The main villages are connected by roads and trains.

Völkischer Beobachter (February 18, 1945)

Feindliche Flotte vor Japan

Tokio, 17. Februar – Das Erscheinen eines vom Kaiserlichen Hauptquartier als machtvoll bezeichneten alliierten Flottenverbandes in den an Japan angrenzenden Gewässern und die Beschießung der Insel Iwojima durch alliierte Schiffsartillerie wird in Tokio als der „Beginn einer neuen Phase“ im pazifischen Krieg bezeichnet.

Es wird dabei darauf hingewiesen, dass der alliierte Schiffsverband, der die Luftangriffe gegen den Bezirk von Kanto und die Präfektur Shizucka durch seine trägerbasierten Flugzeuge am Freitagmorgen und am Nachmittag durchführte, den Hauptteil der alliierten Kriegsflotte im Pazifik darstellt. Man nimmt an, dass dem Verband allein zehn Flugzeugträger angehören, von denen rund 1000 alliierte Flugzeuge an den Angriffen auf das japanische Gebiet teilnehmen können.

Die Koppelung der großangelegten Luftangriffe gegen die japanische Hauptinsel mit der Beschießung der Insel Iwojima durch einen alliierten Schiffsverband aus 30 Kriegsschiffen, zu denen Schlachtschiffe und Flugzeugträger gehören, lässt nach japanischer Ansicht mit der Möglichkeit rechnen, dass eine alliierte Landung auf Iwojima geplant ist. Die Ausschaltung von Iwojima würde für die Alliierten eine Erleichterung ihrer Luftangriffe bedeuten.

U.S. Navy Department (February 18, 1945)

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 262

Battleships’ gunfire damaged defensive installations including three heavily casemated coastal guns knocked out and probably three more damaged during a heavy bombardment of shore defenses on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on February 18 (East Longitude Date). The island was under fire of heavy units of the United States Pacific Fleet throughout the day. The bombardment of Iwo Jima on February 16‑17, and 18 was under the immediate tactical direction of RADM W. H. P. Blandy, USN.

Carrier aircraft of the Pacific Fleet damaged sixteen small ships and barges at Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands on the same date. Four planes were damaged on the ground by strafing attacks and three aircraft at the island seaplane base were strafed. Our planes met intense anti-aircraft fire.

Bombing from low altitude Seventh Army Air Force Liberators operating under the Strategic Air Force attacked airfield and defense installations on Iwo Jima on February 17 setting large fires. Anti-aircraft fire was intense.

StrAirPoa Liberators and Navy search aircraft of Fleet Air Wing One attacked the airdrome on Marcus Island on February 18.

On the same date, aircraft of the same forces attacked airfields of the Truk Atoll meeting only two enemy fighters which were not aggressive.

Corsairs of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing bombed and damaged a pier, warehouses and other targets on Babelthuap in the Palaus on February 16.

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The Pittsburgh Press (February 18, 1945)

Nimitz silent on reported Iwo landing

Says bombardment continues third day

Action in the Pacific included capture of most of Corregidor Island by Gen. MacArthur’s forces. Tokyo reported an American landing on Iwo Island, but Adm. Nimitz said merely that Iwo was being bombarded for the third day. Meanwhile, U.S. carrier planes carried their raid on Tokyo into a second day. U.S. troops served a surrender ultimatum to Jap troops holed up in Manila. Bataan Peninsula was captured by a combined U.S. landing at Mariveles and advances down the coasts.

PACIFIC FLEET HQ, Guam (UP) – Adm. Chester W. Nimitz announced today that a powerful American battle fleet had carried the bombardment of Iwo Island into a third day.

Tokyo claimed U.S. troops had begun invading that “doorstep” island to Japan, 750 miles south of the Nipponese capital.

U.S. ship damaged

A bulletin issued at 10:30 a.m. (7:30 p.m. Saturday ET) reported that one ship in a task force of Adm. Raymond A. Spruance’s U.S. Fifth Fleet had been damaged by “intense” Jap fire from Iwo, which was being blasted by naval artillery shells or airplane bombs for the 74th consecutive day.

Carrier planes of the attacking force strafed the Bonin Islands of Chichi and Haha north of Iwo, damaging 23 grounded planes and exploding an ammunition barge Friday. Warship anti-aircraft batteries shot down two Jap planes attacking the warship armada in what was the first announced enemy attempt to strike back.

A Berlin broadcast said that Jap headquarters in Tokyo announced that U.S. troops had invaded the Bonin Islands early Saturday. Berlin claimed the Japs damaged two U.S. troop transports and repulsed those landings.

The Bonins comprise 27 major islands, the northernmost of which lies 580 miles south of Tokyo.

Claim attempts repulsed

Tokyo claimed the Americans had attempted to land on the southeastern coast of Iwo at 10:30 a.m. Japanese Time Saturday (9:30 p.m. Friday ET), but were repulsed. Ten minutes later, another force battled ashore at a point two miles to the northeast, the enemy said, without adding at that time any claim to having repulsed it.

A later Tokyo broadcast warned Japan that the situation “warrants us no optimism” because U.S. warships were still massed offshore and “persistently watching for an opportunity to make a landing.”

‘Glorious victory’

The broadcast said the Jap garrison had scored a “glorious victory” in that “not a single enemy has been permitted to land on Iwo Jima yet,” but said “it is apparent that the enemy still has a reinforcement convoy behind him.”

None of Tokyo’s claims were confirmed by Adm. Nimitz although from the scope of the three-day operation it appeared momentous developments were at hand in the Battle of the Pacific.

Adm. Nimitz’s bulletin did not say whether attacks by some 1,200 carrier planes on the Tokyo-Yokohama area of Tokyo were continuing into the third day.

Further reports ‘unavailable’

“Further reports on the attacks on Tokyo by aircraft – are unavailable,” Adm. Nimitz said.

But Tokyo reported that the carrier planes attacked Japan for six hours yesterday – second day of the attack. A high officer here said a radio silence which had blacked out details of the Tokyo assault was “beautiful,” meaning that as long as the Japs did not attack the carriers and escorting warships the American commanders would not break silence.

Indicating the ferocity of the attacks, however, Tokyo admitted it lost 61 planes over the homeland and claimed to have downed or damaged 250 U.S. planes.

Battleships and cruisers

Of the assaults on Iwo, Adm. Nimitz said: “Bombardment of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands by battleships and cruisers of the Pacific Fleet is continuing.”

He announced that carrier planes, and Army heavy Liberator bombers had joined the attack Friday, going down through intense anti-aircraft fire to deliver their assaults.

The reported landing on Iwo – which lies about the same distance from Tokyo as Bermuda from Washington – would be the first American invasion of the Japanese homeland. The eight-square-mile island in the Volcano group is part of the Tokyo administrative district.

4,197-mile march

Tokyo said the Americans climaxing a 4,197-mile march from Pearl Harbor via Guam and Saipan, smashed into Iwo at two points along a two-mile front.

Covered by bombardment from a fleet of 30 battleships, cruisers and lesser craft, the Americans first tried to land on Futatsune Beach, at the southeastern tip of Iwo, Tokyo said.

“Garrison troops promptly counterattacked and completely smashed the enemy attempt,” Tokyo said.

All U.S. troops withdrew to their transports, Tokyo claimed, but 10 minutes later more invasion craft ground ashore at Kamiyama Beach, two miles northeast of Futatsune.

The enemy claimed that in Friday’s bombardment of Iwo and Saturday’s pre-invasion shelling. Jap shore batteries and warplanes sank an American battleship, two cruisers and two unidentified ships, and damaged three landing ships and shot down 10 planes. The Japanese said the attacking fleet included five battleships and six cruisers.

Iwo, 717 miles north of Saipan, lies 675 miles from Honshu. It is the largest of the Volcano group and 48th island in a chain of 48 which extend southward from Tokyo – all stepping-stones on the road to the Jap capital, third largest city in the world.

Has large airfields

The island has three large airfields and its capture would give the U.S. Army Air Force a base from which to send fighters in escort of B-29 Superfortresses launched on a campaign to blast the industrial heart from the Jap war machine.

Superfortresses taking off from Iwo would cut approximately 1,500 miles from their present flights from the Marianas, enabling them to carry more bombs.

Tokyo said the Kanto area – the metropolitan district of Tokyo and Yokohama – was attacked for six hours by U.S. carrier planes starting at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The Japs reported great air battle southwest of Tokyo.

Tokyo said Friday’s attackers, which dropped approximately 1,000 tons of bombs, concentrated on points deep inland but that the Saturday attacks were mostly around Tokyo and Yokohama. One enemy broadcast reported 600 planes over Japan at one time.


Report by Sgt. Richard Mawson (BBC), February 19 JST:

Report by Arthur Prim (CAN):

Report on Iwo Jima landing (CAN):

Report by Leslie Nichols aboard battleship (MBS):

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U.S. Navy Department (February 19, 1945)

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 264

United States Marines supported by heavy units of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and by shore-based and carrier aircraft have landed on Iwo Island in the Volcano Islands.

The landings were made by the Fifth Amphibious Corps which includes the Fourth and Fifth Marine Divisions after heavy bombardment by battleships, cruisers and lighter units of the Pacific Fleet and sustained bombing by substantial forces of Navy carrier aircraft and also by Army bombers of the Strategic Air Force, Pacific Ocean Areas, which is under the command of Lt. Gen. M. F. Harmon, USA.

VADM Richmond Kelly Turner, U.S. Navy, Commander Amphibious Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, is in overall command of the Amphibious Forces involved in the operation.

Expeditionary troops are under the command of Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith, USMC, Commanding General Fleet Marine Force Pacific. Maj. Gen. Harry Schmidt, USMC, is Commanding General of the Fifth Amphibious Corps. The Fourth Marine Division is under command of Maj. Gen. Clifton B. Cates, USMC, and the Fifth Marine Division under the command of Maj. Gen. Keller E. Rockey, USMC.

The naval forces which prepared the island for invasion with heavy bombardment included the following old battleships: USS NEW YORK (BB-34), USS TEXAS (BB-35), USS NEVADA (BB-36), USS ARKANSAS (BB-33), USS IDAHO (BB-42) and USS TENNESSEE (BB-43).

More than 800 United States ships are involved in the operation. The carrier forces and amphibious forces are under the command of ADM R. A. Spruance, Commander, Fifth Fleet.

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 265

The Marines who landed on Iwo Island in the Volcanos have established a beachhead along the southeast shoreline extending from the volcano at the southern tip of the island 4,500 yards northward. The operation is proceeding satisfactorily.

The landing was made at 0900 today (East Longitude Date) against resistance which was light initially. Sporadic artillery and mortar fire encountered in the early hours on the beaches increased markedly after the drive inland began. Our casualties are moderate.

By 1000 penetrations from the beaches were generally about 500 yards in depth and at that time advance units of the attackers had reached the southern end of the southern airfield and had penetrated airfield defense east of the airstrip.

The troops went ashore after intense bombardment by heavy units of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and heavy bombing by carrier air groups.

Two light units of the supporting fleet task force suffered some damage during the pre‑landing attack.

A message has been sent to the units concerned as follows:

The Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, joins the Commander Fifth Fleet and Commander First Carrier Task Force in appreciation of the assistant and cooperation provided by the XXI Bomber Command, the Submarines Pacific, and Fleet Air Wing One in connection with the carrier attack on Tokyo.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 19, 1945)

30,000 Marines battle to dig out Japs on Iwo

Foe fights fiercely from caves despite 4-day bombardment
By Frank Tremaine, United Press staff writer

New Pacific invasion was confirmed today. U.S. Marines stormed ashore on Iwo Island in the Volcanoes. U.S. Superfortresses returned to the attack on Tokyo.

ADM. NIMITZ’S HQ, Guam – Two divisions of U.S. Marines, 30,000 men, stormed Iwo Island from an 800-ship invasion armada today.

In the first two hours of bitter fighting, the Leathernecks established a 4,500-yard-long beachhead, extending inland 500 yards to the edge of Suribachi Yama airfield.

“Our casualties are moderate” and the operation is proceeding satisfactory, Pacific Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz said in his fourth communique of the day.

Resistance from the trapped enemy forces was increasing as the veteran Marines pushed inland on the tiny eight-square-mile island 750 miles from Tokyo, the communiqué said.

A pooled dispatch from the invasion flagship said hidden Jap artillery and mortars were pouring a deadly crossfire in the attacking Marines and that American casualties were “considerable.”

The dispatch said, however, that the Marines slowly were rooting out the concealed enemy gunners and that the overall progress of the invasion was satisfactory.

Marine Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith said:

Our men are scattered all over hell’s acre out there. They’re after those hidden Jap guns which are mighty hard to locate. Most of those guns are in caves. They come out and fire five or six rounds and then go back into hiding.

The Marine beachhead extended northward along the southeastern coast from the 546-foot -high volcano that forms the southern tip of the. island.

Radio Tokyo said that the Americans had won footholds on the southwest, south and east coasts.

Troops of the Fourth and Fifth Marines pushed inland in an attempt to knock out the positions from which enemy garrison forces were pouring artillery and mortar fire on the beachhead.

Damage was reported only to two light units of the supporting fleet. These ships were hit during the pre-landing assault.

The enemy’s ability to fight back from his heavily entrenched and defended positions was noted by Adm. Nimitz, who said that resistance “increased markedly after the drive inland began.”

Swarms of carrier and land-based planes and the 14 and 16-inch guns of battleships were pouring thousands of bombs and shells onto the island in support of the invasion troops. But the enemy garrison was putting up a defense reminiscent of Tarawa and Peleliu.

“There is a whale of a scrap going on back there at Iwo,” said a radio correspondent who flew over the embattled island as the invasion got underway.

The invasion of Iwo came on the fourth day of a terrific naval bombardment and the 74th day of an air assault on the tiny patch of land within fighter-plane range of Tokyo.

Jap broadcasts said American warships completely ringed Iwo and fired shells into the island from virtually every point on the compass.

The first tiny assault boats from hundreds of transports hovering out to sea hit the beaches at Iwo at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. Tokyo Time and 7 p.m. Sunday ET) shortly after nearly 8,000 rockets had scorched the coastline.

Webley Edwards, who flew over the island in a Liberator bomber as a representative of the combined radio networks, said he could see the bright flare of flamethrowers as the Marines assaulted inland pillboxes.

Battle on ridge

Another battle was raging on an inland ridge, Mr. Edwards said. Troops were landing “far up and down the coast,” he said. Carrier planes roared over the Marines at treetop levels. strafing enemy strongpoints ahead.

The entire island was covered by clouds of smoke and dust, broken here and there by bursts of flame as shells and bombs found their mark. Hundreds of Japs were believed to have been killed in the preliminary bombardment, but the remainder of the garrison of 10,000 to 15,000 was expected to put up a fanatical do-or-die fight.

The immediate prize were three airstrips from which Fiving Fortresses, Liberators and even fighter planes could attach Tokyo. One Tokyo broadcast said Marines on the southeast coast already were near the Suribachi airfield.

Futatsune Beach first

Tokyo said the first invaders landed on Futatsune Beach in southwest Iwo from 100 assault craft. Soon afterward, the broadcast said, two other forces landed simultaneously on the eastern and southern coasts. Reinforcements were moving toward the last two beaches from 200 or more landing craft, Tokyo reported.

Included in the bombardment force, Adm. Nimitz’s communiqués revealed, were some of the “ghosts” of Pearl Harbor, including the old battleships USS New York, USS Texas, USS Nevada, USS Arkansas, USS Idaho and USS Tennessee.

Vice Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner had overall command of the amphibious forces, Adm. Nimitz said, with famed Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith commanding the expeditionary groups.

The invading Fifth Amphibious Corps, under command of Maj. Gen. Harry Schmidt, comprised the 4th Marine Division under Maj. Gen. Clifton B. Cates and the 5th Marine Division under Maj. Gen. Keller E. Rockey.

Iwo Island is part of the Tokyo administrative district.

Tokyo finally acknowledged that the Americans had gained footholds on Iwo after trumpeting claims that four landing attempts had been smashed Saturday.

During the final stages of the preliminary bombardment, Tokyo said, some major fleet units approached as close as a half mile from the Iwo coast.

Japs claim sinkings

A Jap communiqué claimed that Jap ground batteries and aircraft had sunk or damaged 23 American ships Friday and Saturday off Iwo. Listed as sunk were a battleship, four cruisers, two minesweepers, four landing transports and three unidentified warships.

A number of Jap coastal batteries were smashed in the preliminary bombardment. A Pacific Fleet communiqué early today said three heavily-casemated coastal guns were knocked out and three others damaged by battleships on the third day of the bombardment Sunday.

Blandy heads bombardment

Rear Adm. W. H. P. Blandy, former chief of the Navy Bureau of Ordnance, had tactical command of the bombardment, the communiqué said.

Carrier aircraft of the supporting force damaged 16 small ships and barges at Chichi in the Bonin Islands, just north of Iwo. Four planes on the ground and three aircraft at a seaplane base were also damaged at Chichi.

Occupation of gourd-shaped Iwo would give the Americans three airstrips from which fighters could escort B-29 Superfortresses to Tokyo and other targets on the Jap mainland. The strips also could be enlarged to accommodate Flying Fortresses and Liberators for raids on the Jap homeland.

Built up by volcanoes

The island has been built up by two volcanoes, Suribachi Yama on the southwest and Moto Yama in the northeast. Moto Yama rises 358 feet and has a number of vents, some of which are active. Suribachi Yama, rising 546 feet, is extinct.

Iwo is the largest of the three Volcano Islands, which lie just south of the Bonin chain. They were absorbed into the Jap Empire in 1891 and their inhabitants are almost entirely pure Japanese, though somewhat taller than the inhabitants of the home islands.

The population of Iwo in 1940 was 1,151. The largest village on the island is Higashi, less than a mile inland from the northeast coast. Other principal settlements are Minami. on the east-central coast; Nishi, on the northwest, and Moto, in the north central part of the island.

Tough Iwo fight seen by Halsey

WASHINGTON (UP) – Adm. William F. Halsey Jr., commander of the Third Fleet, predicted today that fighting on Iwo Island would be “very tough.”

He doubted, however, that the Jap Fleet would come out to interfere.

Adm. Halsey came here for conferences after leading his force on a three-month series of engagements in Jap-controlled waters.

“We’re going to have to go in and dig out the Jap Fleet. They’ve got very little to fight with and what they have left 1s not in too good shape,” the Admiral said.

Asked what would bring the enemy fleet out, Adm. Halsey replied: “I can’t get myself into a rat’s frame of mind, so I don’t know.”

The Admiral’s remarks were liberally sprinkled with typical “Halseyisms.” He indicated that the presence of women prevented him from using the kind of language he felt necessary in talking about the enemy.

Flying reporter sees Iwo ablaze from end to end

By William F. Tyree, United Press staff writer

ABOARD A NAVY LIBERATOR BOMBER OVER IWO JIMA – Tiny, tough Iwo Jima was ablaze from end to end today as our bomber dropped down into its battle smoke to watch wave after wave of Marines plough ashore from an 800-ship invasion armada for a showdown fight in the enemy’s front yard.

From 1,000 feet above the beachhead, it was obvious that the Marines had a terrific battle on their hands.

Even as the mighty battleships, cruisers and destroyers circled endlessly, sending crushing salvoes into the volcanic slopes of the island, I could see Marines dashing for cover on the rocky southeastern beach. Some were far inland toward the airstrip.

However. the Japs were fighting from their underground defenses. Twice as we swung over Mount Suribachi’s crater at the south end of the island and around the northern wooded section, the Japs gave us bursts of anti-aircraft.

As we approached the island, hundreds of small craft moved toward the beach, unleashing thousands of rockets.

Waves of Marines followed within 45 minutes.

Smoke and dust covered the entire island. Iwo itself looked like a fat pork chop sizzling on the skillet as carrier planes swept in under us, strafing and bombing every installation they could find.

One fighter crashed in flames just inland from where the Marines struggled to consolidate their beachhead. In the calm waters off the island, hundreds of ships maneuvered endlessly while old pre-war battleships – USS New York, USS Texas, USS Nevada, USS Arkansas, USS Idaho and USS Tennessee – belched shells from their squat gun platforms.

There wasn’t a Jap plane in the sky.

Iwo Island was appropriately named “Hot Rock” for the occasion of this attack. Our aircraft personnel chattered furiously over the command radio as they took stations for continuing the fight.

Springs gas leak

Two Navy photographic planes with Webley Edwards of CBS, representing the combined networks, and myself, representing the combined American press, took off from the Marianas early this morning, but Mr. Edwards’ plane was Lucky Louie. It got there first and mine, The Lemon, lived up to its name and sprang a disastrous gas leak three hours out.

After a disheartening return to base, the pilot, Lt. Cmdr. L. R. Gehlback of Beacon, Illinois, grabbed us another bomber and we reached the target about 10 a.m., just as the fight began to get rough.

The co-pilot, Ens. John G. Schell Jr. of Asheville, North Carolina, gave me headphones as we heard the Marines calling for fire support from the fleet. Bursts of orange flames sprang from the muzzles of the battleships and cruisers’ big guns and huge columns of smoke and fire rose skyward from the island seconds later.

Steams from hits

It was a systematic murder and destruction. Suribachi’s crater steamed from successive hits along its ridges overlooking the beach. I could see many formidable pillboxes along the beaches, as well as a few rusty ship hulls, already put out of action.

None of our surface forces had been disturbed by enemy counteraction by midafternoon, although the water literally was alive with Yanks either going ashore or carrying supplies to the beach.

The invasion armada had spread out for scores of miles around the island. There was no mistaking the fact that the Americans arrived to stay on Tokyo’s doorstep, but the fight looked like it would require a week or more before the finish and as if an awful lot of blood would be spilled before it was over.

Who will lead drive on Japs still mystery

Iwo invasion poses command question

WASHINGTON (UP) – The invasion of Iwo Island, 675 miles from Japan, put U.S. forces well within the enemy’s inner defense zone today and revived Washington’s No. 1 military mystery:

Will Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz or someone else command the coming grand assault against the Japs and lead the Americans in the victory march through the streets of Tokyo?

Military observers have asked that question repeatedly in the past, but never before has an answer seemed so imperative. The island-hopping phase of the Pacific war is rapidly nearing an end, and there is sharp speculation here as to whether all U.S. forces in the Pacific are to be combined for the next step.

May be settled

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill may have settled that point during their recent conferences. If so, they gave no indication of it in their public announcements.

But the fact that the final battle against Japan will be land action, most likely on the Asiatic mainland, has led many observers here to pick an Army man as the most probable choice if the post of supreme commander in the Pacific is created.

Gen. MacArthur has met and defeated the Japs in both jungle and open country. Though his resources have often been limited, he has inflicted many times more casualties on the enemy than his own forces have suffered.

Nimitz also brilliant

Adm. Nimitz also has established a brilliant record. Over long and bloody paths, Adm. Nimitz and Gen. MacArthur have carried the American flag so close to the heart of the Jap resistance that a unification of command appears inevitable.

Adm. William F. Halsey, commander of the Third Fleet, was in Washington for consultation. He said at a press conference that the Army and Navy would go to Tokyo together.

Of Gen. MacArthur, Adm. Halsey said: “We’ve worked together for more than two years and I have the greatest respect and admiration for him.”

Started at Port Moresby

Gen. MacArthur began his return to the Philippines when his men halted the Jap advance before Port Moresby, New Guinea. In a campaign that is regarded as brilliant for both planning and execution, he swept on through British and Dutch New Guinea, past the Admiralties, Halmaheras and finally into Luzon. The capture of Manila and strategic portions of Luzon sealed the fate of the Philippines although much mopping-up work remains.

When Manila fell, Gen. MacArthur said that one stage of the Pacific war had ended and that “on to Tokyo” was the next motto.

MacArthur made bid

“We are ready in the veteran and proven command when called upon.” he said in a frank bid for the Tokyo assignment.

While Gen. MacArthur was driving upward from the Southwest Pacific, Adm. Nimitz was pushing across the central area. After the conquest of Guadalcanal, Adm. Nimitz’s forces – Marines and Army troops as well as the mighty Pacific Fleet – took the Gilberts, the Marshalls, the Marianas, the Palaus. His fleet units covered Gen. MacArthur’s invasion of the Philippines. Between the various invasions, Adm. Nimitz’s Pacific Fleet met and defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy in a series of decisive actions.

Fleet’s job comes first

It will be the job of the fleet to land American troops on Jap soil and the Chinese coast. Indeed, until that stage in the war is reached, it may be that a Navy man will be in command. But once the landings are made, the Army probably would take over.

Some conservative observers here believe the assaults against the Jap islands and the Chinese mainland may have to await the end of the European war. If this should prove so, the question of a combined command may not arise.

After Germany falls, millions of additional troops will be available for service im the Pacific, and the MacArthur and Nimitz commands each could be built into an independent force of considerable strength, each with a specific job.

What a quote! None of that woke crap then.

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“All of Europe has fallen to the German Reich, but don’t worry guys we got Iwo Jima”. FDR alternative universe.

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U.S. Navy Department (February 20, 1945)

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 266

United States Marines attacking Iwo Island drove across the southern end of the island by 1800 on February 19 (East Longitude Date) cutting off the enemy strongpoint in Suribachi Volcano from his forces in the north. Resistance in this area was moderate and our forces occupied about 104 yards of the western beach of the island.

During the afternoon of the first day, advance elements of the attacking units expanded their hold on the island’s southern airfield slightly but were meeting stiff opposition there and on the northern flank of the beachhead. Our forces advancing from the east toward the northern end of the field were engaged in heavy fighting.

The northern part of the beachhead was under intense mortar and artillery fire during a large part of the day but it was expanded inland about 250 yards. Unloading of equipment and supplies began on the southern beaches.

Casualties in the south were light but on the open slopes east of the airfield, our forces were being resisted bitterly and casualties were more numerous.

Enemy positions on the island were under heavy naval gunfire, aircraft bombing, strafing and rocket attacks throughout the day.

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 267

The United States Marines on Iwo Island moved forward on February 20 (East Longitude Date) against enemy defenses as fanatically defended as any yet encountered in the war in the Pacific.

By 1200 on the second day of the assault, the Marines had taken an area which includes the southern airfield and the ground from the northern slope of Suribachi Volcano to a curving east and west line which crosses the northern ends of the runways and extends from the western beach to the northern anchor of the beachhead on the east side of the island.

At 0230 on February 20, the enemy sent a night counterattack of about battalion strength down the runway of the southern airfield but the 27th Regiment of Marines met it staunchly, broke it up and beat off the remnants. Sporadic artillery and mortar fire fell on the beaches throughout the night but our forces continued to unload supplies.

Fleet units supported the troops throughout the night with illumination and heavy gunfire. Our night fighters drove off several small attempted air raids by enemy aircraft which failed to reach the island.

On the morning of February 20, with strong air and gunfire support, the Marines began the attack which has given us control of the southern airfield.

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 268

The Marine Divisions on Iwo Island made slight gains north of the southern airfield on the afternoon of February 20 (East Longitude Date) and by 1800 local time on that date were positions in the face of heavy mortar and artillery fire and some rocket fire.

In the south, Marines attacking Mount Suribachi met stiff opposition.

A large proportion of our artillery is now ashore and in position to support both flanks of the beachhead.

The guns of the Pacific Fleet continued to shell enemy defenses on the island with close‑in fire support concentrated on numerous caves and strongpoints from which the enemy was bringing the northern end of the beach­head under heavy artillery and mortar fire. More than 8,000 tons of am­munition have been expended by naval gunfire thus far in the bombardment.

Carrier aircraft continued their intensive attack on the island throughout the afternoon although their operations were handicapped by rain, low clouds and poor visibility.

Supplies are being placed ashore satisfactorily.

No estimate of casualties is yet available.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 20, 1945)

Marines occupy third of island

U.S. invaders open attack led by tanks and flamethrowers
By William Tyree, United Press staff writer

Wednesday, February 21, 1945 (JST)

What Iwo means

Iwo Jima – literally Sulphur Island – is pronounced Ee-Woh-Jee-Mah.

Driving across Iwo to the west coast, Marine invaders cut off Japs in the Mt. Suribachi area and seized the island’s largest airfield.

ADM. NIMITZ HQ, Guam (UP) – U.S. Marines have occupied approximately one-third of Iwo and captured the main airfield on the island.

The U.S. invaders have also opened a powerful attack led by tanks and flamethrowers against fanatically resisting Japs, it was disclosed today.

In bloody fighting, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions established a straight east-west line across the island north of the airfield. Then, with a spearhead of tanks estimated by Tokyo to number 300, the Leathernecks charged forward against the entrenched enemy, aerial observers reported.

Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz announced capture of the airfield, the richest single prize on the eight-square-mile island 750 miles south of Tokyo.

A headquarters spokesman later said the fighting continued as bitter as that in any of the battles across the Pacific – from Guadalcanal, to Tarawa, to Saipan.

After capturing the airfield, the Marines drove across the narrow neck of Iwo and reached the western shore. Consolidating their lines, the Marines pivoted on their right flank for the offensive. Automatic riflemen moved ahead with the tanks and flamethrowers in the vanguard of the attack against the enemy’s interlocking pillboxes and concrete bunkers.

Japs split in two

The Jap defenders have been split into two pockets by the drive which slashed across the southern end of the island. Marines stormed the forbidding flank of towering Suribachi Volcano, from the crater of which the enemy was raining shells on the Americans.

A Jap Domei News Agency dispatch broadcast by Tokyo radio said 300 American tanks have been landed at the Marine beachhead. Tokyo reported that in one sector alone, held by 10,000 Marines, there were 150 tanks. The enemy claimed 30 had been “blasted.”

Storm into heavy fire

From their girdle across the southern tip of Iwo, units of the two invasion divisions stormed into heavy Jap gunfire from the northern rim of the key airfield this morning.

Adm. Nimitz’s communiqué some hours later reported that the Marine gains overran the air base within fighter range of Tokyo and scaled a flank of Suribachi.

The Japs counterattacked down the main runway of the southern airfield at 2:30 a.m. The 27th Regiment of Marines broke up the thrust, and the invasion push continued.

Shells rain on beaches

All night bursts of artillery and mortar fire fell on the invasion beaches. But the American grip was secure and broad enough to permit the unloading of supplies.

U.S. battleships, cruisers and destroyers hurled shells into the Jap positions all night.

U.S. night raiders drove off several Jap planes which tried to raid the island. So firm was the aerial screen over the invasion forces that the enemy never reached Iwo.

Radio Tokyo said a second American assault group stormed ashore at an unspecified point on the rocky coast north of the 2½-mile-long original beachhead.

The troops went ashore at a point where the cliffs were 30 to 45 feet high and very bad for landing operations, Tokyo said. Jap garrison forces intercepted the invaders at the water’s edge and “furious fighting is at present in progress,” the broadcast said.

Adm. Nimitz’s communiqué reported that the northern sector of the original beachhead was extended 250 yards inland yesterday despite intense mortar and artillery fire.

Heavy enemy fire

Observers who flew over Iwo today reported that the Japs were pouring heavy artillery and mortar fire into the Marines.

They said the fanatical Japs fought from protective positions along the ridges of the volcanic island and from a maze of foxholes.

The defenders of the northern end of the main airfield were solidly entrenched, and the Americans paid for every inch they gained.

Battleships, cruisers and destroyers blasted the Jap strongholds incessantly, while carrier planes swarmed over the island in gunning and rocket attacks.

Predictions borne out

It was evident that predictions of bitter and bloody fighting were being borne out.

On the north flank, the resistance was especially bitter.

Although Suribachi was cut off by the plunge across the island, the Japs on the crater were still able to lay down a deadly fire on the Americans.

Casualties in the south were light. But on the open slopes east of the airfield, bitter fighting was underway and casualties were “more numerous,” Adm. Nimitz’s early communiqué said.

The Marines were fighting from seven invasion beaches with flamethrowers, tommy-guns, grenades and bayonets, in what front dispatches said was one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific war.

Artillery has been brought ashore and will be thrown into the battle today to aid the Marine invaders, a dispatch from Vice Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner’s flagship said.

Yanks reinforced

Radio Tokyo claimed that 1,500 of the invaders had been “wiped out,” another 2,000 wounded and 30 tanks “blasted.” But the same broadcast conceded that 20,000 Marines already had landed and noted that there were 150 tanks ashore in one sector alone.

The enemy broadcast said:

Despite heavy damages, the enemy is constantly bringing up reinforcements. Our garrison units are violently intercepting them from both sides, the east and the west, as well as on the direct front.

The 4th and 5th Marine Divisions reached Motoyama Airfield No. 1 – also called Suribachi Airfield – after fighting up steep terraces onto a mountain plateau against steadily-increasing Jap resistance. The airfield has three airstrips, the longest totaling 5,025 feet.

Jap artillery, mortars and machine guns were emplaced in the crater of 546-foot-high Mt. Suribachi.

Murderous crossfire

The Jap garrison of perhaps 15,000 was sweeping the invasion beaches and beachhead area with murderous crossfire from caves, pillboxes and other long-prepared defenses.

Adm. Turner, commander of the amphibious assault, told United Press writer Mac R. Johnson on the invasion flagship that Iwo was “as well a defended fixed position as exists in the world today.”

Yanks will land in Japan, Radio Tokyo warns people

Creation of home guard in enemy homeland urged to meet American attack

WASHINGTON (UP) – Radio Tokyo told the Jap people today that they must expect an American invasion of their homeland.

The warning came as the Jap High Command formally acknowledged that U.S. troops were ashore on Iwo Island, 750 miles south of Tokyo, and the capital itself smoldered from the largest B-29 raid yet on Japan.

Landing possible

“We must now realize that it is not impossible for the enemy to attempt a landing on the homeland,” a Tokyo domestic broadcast said, quoting an editorial in the influential newspaper Mainichi.

The broadcast said:

In the fourth year since the outbreak of the war, the battlefront has gradually narrowed down from the gigantic and elastic defense structure that was won at the outset of the war until now the homeland has indeed become a fighting front. The intention of the enemy to take Iwo Jima is bitterly strong.

Enemy at gates

A German DNB dispatch from Tokyo said the people had come to realize that “the enemy is at the gates.” Jap newspapers, the dispatch said, were urgently demanding the establishment of a Jap home guard similar to the Nazi Volkssturm “in order to be able successfully to meet the United States attack against Japan herself.”

“The Japanese are fully aware that the recent air raids will be repeated on an even larger scale,” DNB said.

Editorial: Halsey’s warning

The Battle of Iwo Island will be very tough, but not as bad as Tarawa because we have learned a lot since then. That is the judgment of Adm. Halsey, just back in Washington after his spectacular series of victories in the Far Pacific. Few, if any, can speak with greater authority in that field.

In addition to his comment on the big battle now raging over the key air bases within 750 miles of Tokyo, the naval hero had a great deal to say about the Pacific war in general and the nature of the Japs in particular. Apart from the swearing, name-calling fireworks with which he decorates his interviews – a blustering technique unlike the sober effectiveness with which he fights and wins his battles – he has much wisdom to give us.

According to Adm. Halsey, the Japs are going to attempt peace feelers to save themselves this time and prepare for another war. They will try to undermine our determination for complete victory and unconditional surrender. That will be the point of greatest danger. This is how he figures it:

The industrialists in Japan undoubtedly see that their empire, which has taken them a great many years to build up, is rapidly getting in position where it is going to crumble absolutely. When they can get the upper hand… they will take over, and begin to put out very attractive peace feelers… They will appeal to mothers of men who are out there now.

Naturally, the mother wants her son saved, and may not think that by doing that she is sending her grandson and his grandson to death. If we negotiate peace and don’t demand unconditional surrender, we will be committing the greatest crime in our history.

He added that “we had better keep our fleet after victory.”

The peace feelers, predicted by the Admiral, have already begun. Only last week, Tokyo said the Foreign Minister would not “reject any hand offering peace.”

So far, there is no disposition in this country to fall into a negotiated peace trap. But Adm. Halsey’s warning won’t hurt us. We cannot be too alert in a war for survival.

U.S. Navy Department (February 21, 1945)

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 269

The Fifth Amphibious Corps, having secured the southern Iwo airfield made a general advance toward the island’s central airdrome on February 21 (East Longitude Date). Advance elements of the 5th Marine Division on the western side of the island bypassed the southern ends of the airstrip’s runways while the 4th Marine Division was pushing toward the center of the field directly from the south at noon. Gains were made along the whole line and were generally about 500 to 1,000 yards in extent.

In the meantime, Marines at the south end of the island were pressing slowly forward up the slopes of Mount Suribachi and during the forenoon of the third day of the assault. They made gains averaging more than 100 yards against this enemy citadel.

In both the northern and southern actions, the Marines are moving forward yard by yard against heavy machine gun mortar, small arms, and rocket fire. The numerous small strongpoints which confront our forces in all areas thus far penetrated are being reduced by individual troop action.

Casualties at 0800 local time on February 21 were estimated at a total of 150 officers and 3,500 men wounded, missing and killed. Of these, our forces had evacuated 3,063 of the wounded.

During the night of February 20‑21, little activity by the enemy was noted. Attempts at infiltration of our line were frustrated and a local counter­attack on the left flank where the enemy used several tanks supported by artillery fire was repulsed.

Ship’s guns supported the ground troops throughout the night with shell fire and illumination and continued heavy fire support through the morning. Carrier aircraft made heavy bombing and strafing attacks on February 21.

Supplies and rations were unloaded on the beaches throughout the night of February 20‑21.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 21, 1945)

Marines gain yard by yard

U.S. casualties 3,650 in third day – invaders advance half a mile
By William F. Tyree, United Press staff writer

They met the Japs on Iwo, these two U.S. Marines, whose bodies sprawl on the shell-blasted beach of the Pacific island. The bodies are mute evidence of the ferocity of the battle for the tiny Jap stronghold. The picture was sent from Guam to San Francisco by U.S. Navy radio-telephoto.

ADM. NIMITZ HQ, Guam – U.S. Marines advanced an average of half a mile today as they stormed Iwo’s second airfield.

The invaders of Japan’s “doorway island” bypassed the southern tip of the airfield and drove toward its heart from the south against a withering Jap barrage.

The battle was one of the most costly and savage of the Pacific war – a hell on earth, eyewitnesses said.

Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz announced on the third day of the invasion of Iwo that the two Marine divisions had suffered 3,650 casualties – killed, wounded or missing – up to 8 a.m. today. The casualties included 150 officers and the rest enlisted men.

A communiqué on the Iwo battle, the toughest in the long history of the Marine Corps, said the two divisions were slugging forward yard-by-yard against heavy machine gun, mortar, small-arms and rocket fire.

Hammer up coast

Maj. Gen. Keller E. Rockey’s 5th Marine Division hammered up the west coast beyond the lower end of the runways of the last airfield remaining in Jap hands. The first and main field was firmly in American hands.

At the same time, Maj. Gen. Clifton B. Cates’ 4th Marine Division launched a frontal assault against the field from the south and by noon was “pushing toward the center of the field,” Adm. Nimitz’s communiqué said.

“The Fifth Amphibious Corps, having secured the southern Iwo airfield, made a general advance toward the island’s central airdrome today,” the communiqué said.

Along whole line

“Gains were made along the whole line, and generally were about 500 to 1,000 yards in extent.”

At the south end of Iwo, where part of the Jap garrison was cut off by the Marine drive across the island, U.S. forces were driving slowly up the Slopes of Mt. Suribachi, volcano peak from which the enemy was plastering the Marines.

This morning, the forces pushing up Mt. Suribachi gained more than 100 yards in the face of a murderous fire sweeping the slopes.

3,063 casualties evacuated

Adm. Nimitz said that of the 3,650 casualties by 8 a.m. today, 3,063 of the wounded had been evacuated.

In the dry language of the communiqué, “the numerous strongpoints which confront our forces in all areas thus for penetrated are being reduced by individual troop action.”

That meant that the Marines were charging the Jap strongpoints and dugouts with flamethrowers, small arms and bayonets, in bloody hand-to-hand struggles.

The Japs were relatively quiet last night. A local counterattack on the American left flank, supported by several tanks and artillery fire, was beaten off, and attempts at infiltration were thwarted.

Warships rock foe

Warship guns supported the Marines throughout the night, rocking the Jap-held part of Iwo with a ceaseless barrage which continued today.

Carrier-borne planes swarmed back into the battle with bombing and strafing attacks.

Making it plain that the Marines had come to stay, the unloading of supplies and rations on the beaches went on all last night.

“The Japs are resisting desperately, and the fighting is fierce in some parts of the combat area,” United Press writer Mac R. Johnson reported from a warship off Iwo.

One group kills 100

He said the Japs were resorting to their night infiltration tactics which became standard practice with them. One U.S. battalion alone reported that more than 100 Japs were killed in these attempts.

The going was the toughest in the center of the line at the No. 2 Motoyama Airfield, Mr. Johnson said. The Japs appeared to be throwing everything they had into the defense of this base, the second most important objective on the island. The No. 1 field, already captured, was the first.

Radio Tokyo said the Americans were “continuously” landing fresh reinforcements with the number of troops ashore passing the 20,000-mark yesterday noon. More than 7,000 Americans have been killed or wounded and at least 100 tanks disabled, the broadcast said.

The 27th Regiment of Marines beat off the fanatical first Jap counterattack on Motoyama Airfield No. 1 early yesterday.

Last-man stand

Though cut off from the remainder of Iwo by an American smash to the west coast, Jap troops on Suribachi were fighting literally to the last man from well-fortified caves and gun emplacements studding the side of the 554-foot mountain.

Col. Harry B. Liversedge of Pine Grove, California, commander of the Marine regiment which cut off Suribachi, said his men found pillboxes every 10 feet and less at the base of the volcano.

Jap guns and mortars on Suribachi were firing almost point blank at Marines attempting to clamber up the sides of the extinct volcano. The Japs were also pouring shells into the rear of other forces farther north.

Fiercest on north

Front reports said the fiercest resistance was being met on the northern end of the beachhead. There the Japs were supplementing their artillery and mortar barrages for the first time in the Pacific war with anti-personnel rockets.

Magnetic and “yardstick” mines were also being encountered.

Iwo losses larger than at Tarawa

WASHINGTON (UP) – The battle for Iwo has already cost more casualties than the bloody capture of Tarawa in 1943.

The Tarawa losses, however, were proportionately heavier than those thus far reported from Iwo.

At Soissons, France, in the last war, the Marines suffered 1,400 casualties in 60 minutes.

Adm. Chester W. Nimitz estimated today, the third day of the Iwo battle, that casualties had reached 3,650. In the 76-hour Tarawa battle, casualties totaled 3,151.

The great proportion of Iwo casualties were wounded, as indicated by Adm. Nimitz’s report that 3,063 of the total had been evacuated. On Tarawa, the ratio was 988 men killed to 2,163 wounded.

Only one Marine division participated in the assault on Tarawa. Two divisions are in action on Iwo.

When you see the dual actions of Iwo Jima and Manilla hit you in the newspaper, it is hard to see how anyone would complain about the upcoming bombings as anything but just desserts. Attitudes at this point were so hardened that people would accept anything to feel the war was closer to over.

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