18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima - We Are The Mighty
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18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima

Seventy-two years ago Marines raised the American flag over Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. Joe Rosenthal’s photo of the second flag-raising became one of the most famous photos of World War II, but the battle actually raged from Feb. 19 to Mar. 26. Here are 18 other photos from the battle where almost 7,000 Marines, sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and soldiers lost their lives:


1. The Marines landed on Iwo Jima in waves on tracked boats.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps

2. The water was thick with the Marines, sailors, and Coast Guardsmen of the landing force.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: National Archives and Records

3. At the beaches, the Marines poured onto the black, volcanic sand under Japanese fire.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps

4. Japanese artillery and mortars took out a lot of the heavy equipment as it got bogged down in the sand.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Robert M. Warren

5. The Navy used its big guns to destroy the lethal Japanese artillery where possible and to break open bunkers firing on U.S. troops.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Navy

6. This duel between the heavy guns played out on the island as constant explosions.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

7. The Marines would advance when the fire was relatively light, trying to take Japanese positions before another artillery barrage.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps

8. When the fire was particularly heavy, they’d burrow into the sand for cover.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: National Park Service

9. Additional forces surged onto the beach as the first waves made their way inland. The reinforcements were made necessary by the stunning Marine losses. One 900-man regiment lost 750 Marines in just 5 hours.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections

10. Throughout the fighting up the beaches, Mount Suribachi dominated the landscape. The Marines knew it would be a tough fortress to capture.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps

11. Sailors and Coast Guardsmen continued to land materials at the secure beachheads, giving the Marines more ammunition and other supplies.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Coast Guard Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Paul Queenan

12. Moving up the mountain, the Marines had to use heavy firepower to stop Japanese counterattacks.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps

13. The Marines busted bunker after bunker and cleared trench after trench, but the march up Mount Suribachi was dangerous and long.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Government

14. Flamethrower tanks helped clear out the defending Japanese.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps Mark Kaufman

15. The Marines moved into the Japanese trenches that they had just knocked the enemy out of.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps

16. The Japanese bunkers had protected both the Japanese infantry and the big guns that were firing on the Marines.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: National Park Service

17. When the Marines first took the summit, they flew an American flag they had carried up. When it was spotted by Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal, Forrestal asked to keep it.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery

18. However, the Marines were set on keeping the symbol of their brothers’ sacrifice. Lt. Col. Chandler Johnson ordered a group of Marines to raise a second, larger flag and recover the original for the Corps.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Navy

The photo by Joe Rosenthal of the second flag raising became an icon of the Pacific campaign. The Marine Corps selected the image for the Marine Corps War Memorial.

18 more photos from the hellish campaign that was Iwo Jima
Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain

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