Operation Detachment: 19 February – 26 March 1945

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The Battle of Iwo Jima was a major battle in which the United States Marine Corps fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. There were several reasons for capturing the island: The Island held 3 airfields, possession of these fields put our fighter planes within range of mainland Japan, allowing fighter protection to our bombers going and coming from Japan, it deprived the mainland Japan of their early warning radars which allowed them to detect our bombing mission going to and from mainland Japan, capturing the airfields eliminated Japans ability to attack our bombers both going and coming from missions over Japan, and posession of the island provided our crippled bombers a safe haven on their return from missions over Japan, saving an estimated 24,000 Army Air Corps crewmen.

This five-week battle comprised of some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II, the landing force was the 5th Marine Amphibious Corps(VAC), it consisting of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions, they landed on Iwo Jima (Sulphur Island) on 19 February, 1945 and fought for 36 days to capture the 7 1/2 square mile island.

When the battle was over, 6821 American Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers, along with an estimated 20,000+ Japanese defenders had died. This was Americas first landing on what was considered traditional Japanese territory.

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"For those who served on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue." - Chester W Nimitz

During WWII, there were 81 Marines and 57 Navy Medal of Honor recipients. During the assault on Iwo Jima, 22 Marines and 5 Sailors received the Congressional Medals of Honor for their actions.

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Pvt FRANKLIN E. SIGLER Medal of Honor

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PFC DOUGLAS T. JACOBSON Medal of Honor

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Capt JOSEPH J. McCARTHY Medal of Honor

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PFC JACKLYN H. LUCAS Medal of Honor

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