Semper Fi! WWII “Battle of Iwo Jima” Began Today

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This gripping photo shows Marine Davis Hargraves, of 2/1 Marines, firing his Thompson over the head of BAR man Gabriel Chavarria, taken sometime in mid-May, 1945, during the Battle of Wana Ridge on the island of Okinawa. A total of 6,821 Americans would be killed at Iwo Jima and 19,217 more wounded before the terrible conflict came to an end. Imperial Japanese Army troops were ordered to fight to the death, resulting in 21,844 Japanese dead, 216 captured. (Photo: USMC)

This stunning custom USMC GIjOE created by customizer, Don Hanke, features a handmade uniform, hand-casted resin helmet, hand-sewn helmet cover, harness and backpack. Only the grenades, belt and rifle are "store bought" items. Stunning! (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

This stunning custom USMC GIjOE created by Don Hanke, features a handmade uniform, hand-casted resin helmet, hand-sewn helmet cover, harness and backpack. Only the grenades, belt and rifle are “store-bought” items. (Photo: Mark Otnes) Click to enlarge.

Please take a moment to remember all the heroes who lost their lives fighting for our freedoms during the Battle of Iwo Jima, which began exactly 68 years ago today. According to the Wikipedia recap:

“The Battle of Iwo Jima (February 19–March 26, 1945), was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields, to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This month-long battle included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of WWII.

The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 11 miles of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were aided by extensive naval artillery and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators had complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle.

The iconic flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi by US forces was perfectly captured in this stunning 1:6 scale diorama by "HeavyGang," currently visible on the homepage of the Patches of Pride website. (Photo: Heavygang) Click to enlarge.

The iconic flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi by US forces was perfectly captured in this stunning 1:6 scale diorama by “HeavyGang,” currently visible on the homepage of the Patches of Pride website. (Photo: Heavygang) Click to enlarge.

American sea power and air power were capable of delivering vast amounts of fire onto the Japanese troops. This invasion was the first American attack on Japanese home territory, and the Japanese soldiers and Marines defended their positions tenaciously with no thought of surrender. The Japanese general in charge never considered surrendering to the Americans to save his men, and he and his officers had vowed to fight to the death, no matter how hopeless their battle was.

Iwo Jima was also the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the overall American casualties (killed and wounded) exceeded those of the Japanese, although Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 of these were taken prisoner. Some of these were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The rest were killed or missing and presumed dead.”

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4 thoughts on “Semper Fi! WWII “Battle of Iwo Jima” Began Today

  1. 12FOOTDAVIS says:

    The ‘gripping’ photo is that of Marine Dan Hargraves, of 2/1 Marines, firing his Thompson over the head of BAR man Gabriel Chavarria..taken sometime in mid-May, 1945, during the Battle of Wana Ridge.. On the island of OKINAWA….NOT IWO JIMA…

  2. Thanks so much for the correction! 🙂

  3. 12FOOTDAVIS says:

    I found an original print- I purchased off of eBay a few years back… The names are scribbled in ink on the back.. The man with the Thompson; first name Davis, NOT Dan… Sorry for the mix up😣

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