D Plus 1 (D+1) , 20 February 1945
21st Marines The Regt was boated prepared to las areas near control vessels, however due to the congested beach areas and limited space inland, the Regt reembarked on respective ships in the late afternoon.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS ONE, 20 FEBRUARY, 1945
During the night intensive shelling from light and heavy caliber weapons was received through the RCT zone. At King-Hour, 0830, RCT 23 continued the attack. The attack was preceded by a fifteen minute artillery, naval gunfire and air preparation, from King minus fifteen minutes to King-Hour. At King-Hour, artillery lifted four hundred yards and fired a five minute concentration; thereafter fires were on call. The 2d Bn, 14th Mar, was in direct support of RCT 23; elements of Co C, 4th Tank Bn, were assigned to the assault BLTs on the basis of one reinforced platoon per assault unit. The formation for the attack: BLT 3/23 and BLT 2/24 abreast, 2/24 on the right; BLTs 1/23 and 2/23 remained in reserve prepared to support the attack as ordered. The boundaries for the attack remained the same, with no change in the assigned objective, O-1. The initial resistance encountered consisted of intense machine gun, mortar and artillery fire. At 0940, both assault units had reached O-a against heavy resistance and were continuing the attack. Contact with RCT 25 on the right was temporarily broken at this time. By 1200, the northern limits of Airfield No 1 had been secured. During the advance a portion of the enemy defensive position in depth was breached and a series of well concealed pillboxes and infantry strong pints reduced. The attack continued throughout the remainder of the day, but little progress was made in the face of constant mortar, rocket and artillery fire. At 1630, in preparation for securing for the night, BLTs 1/23 and 2/23 displaced forward, and established the Regimental Reserve Line along the seaward edge of Airfield No 1. Solidly tied in together, and with units on the RCT flanks, they formed a strong secure secondary line of defense. contact was established with RCT 27 on the left and regained with RCT 25 on the right, and, at approximately 1800, positions were consolidated in preparation for the night defense. The days advance approximated 500 yards against heavy resistance from well concealed pillboxes and gun positions supported by mortar, artillery and rocket fire. The employment of tanks in support was minimized due to limitations of the terrain and to mines. The RCT CP remained at 164 Y, South.24th Marines - 20 February, 1945
Moderate enemy heavy mortar and artillery fire were received from 0001 until dawn. Light casualties resulted. The 3d and 4th platoons of Regimental Weapons Company were ordered not to land until beaches and beach exits were improved. A large enemy mine field was discovered running parallel to the beach, the mines were removed and a road taped through the field by Hq, Co B, 4th Eng Bn. Reconnaissance of routes forward was made and close liaison was maintained with RCT 23 and RCT 25. At 1623 orders were received to begin consolidation of positions at 1630 and plan to continue the attack at 0810, 21 February. RCT 24 (less BLT 1/24 and BLT 2/24) had remained in its assigned assembly area in TA 165 ), 166 F,G. Sporadic enemy mortar and rocket fire had been received throughout the day. BLT 3/24 received moderate casualties from the enemy fire. During the hours of darkness, prior to 2400, various types of enemy artillery, mortar and DP AA fire was received sporadically.25th Marines - D plus 1, 20 February, 1945.
The night of D-day was marked by local counter-attacks and enemy infiltration attempts. Accurate enemy mortar and artillery fire fell on the front lines and on the beach areas throughout the night causing many casualties and destroying the beach dumps of BLT-3/25.
Div Op Or No. 1-45 was received during the night and ordered a continuation of the attack at K-hour (0830) to seize O-1. BLT-1/24 and Co B, 4th Tank Bn was attached to RCT-25. The plan of action for RCT-25 was as follows: BLT-1/24 relieved BLT-3/25 prior to K-hour; BLT-3 revert to RCT Res; BLT-1 on the left make the main effort; and BLT-2/25 in the center complete the seizure of the high ground to its immediate front and assist the advance of
Div Op Or No. 1-45 was received during the night and ordered a continuation of the attack at K-hour (0830) to seize O-1. BLT-1/24 and Co B, 4th Tank Bn was attached to RCT-25. The plan of action for RCT-25 was as follows: BLT-1/24 relieved BLT-3/25 prior to K-hour; BLT-3 revert to RCT Res; BLT-1 on the left make the main effort; and BLT-2/25 in the center complete the seizure of the high ground to its immediate front and assist the advance of BLT-1/25 by fire. BLT-1/24 remain in position until such time as BLT-1/25 and BLT-2/25 could advance and come abreast.
At 0715, The Commanding Officer, Executive Officer and Operations Officer of BLT-2/25 were wounded by a mortar burst in the BLT CP. Lt. Col. James Taul, Executive Officer of BLT-3/25 was ordered to assume command of BLT-2/25. The attack jumped off at K-hour although considerable difficulty had been encountered in completing proper re-supply and re-organization of front line units on time. Slow advances were made by BLT-1/25 and by BLT-2/25 against very heavy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar, artillery and rocket fire. Tanks of Co "A", 4th Tank Bn supported the attack of BLT-1/25 and BLT-2/25 but were of little assistance due to the rough terrain and the fact that every time a tank reached a firing position it was brought under heavy mortar and artillery fire. During the day heavy mortar and artillery barrages were placed along the front lines of BLT-1/25 near AIRFIELD No. 1 and on the beaches. This fire on the beaches made both the supply and evacuation problems extremely difficult and LVT's were used almost exclusively for bringing in supplies.
At 1600, an air strike consisting of 50 cal strafing, rockets and bombs was placed on troops of BLT-1/24 on top of the quarry in TA 193-W. This air strike was delivered without a preliminary run and was placed on the front lines in spite of the fact that yellow front line marking panels were displayed prior to and during the attack, in such positions to be clearly visible. The troops and panels were visible from RCT-25 CP and from positions on the beach. BLT-1/24 suffered 5 killed and 6 wounded from this attack.
By 1800, gains of 200 to 300 yards had been made by BLT-1/25 and BLT-2/15. The left flank of BLT-1/25 was unable to move throughout the day due to the heavy fire received from the left front in the zone of action of RCT-23. At 1800, orders were issued for all units to consolidate, dig in, and establish firm contact between units.26th Marines
D+1, 20 Feb 45 Weather: Clear and mild CT 26 (less LT 126 attached to CT 27) maintained positions in 5thMarDiv reserve on this date. At about 1830 one platoon (reinf) of LT 326 was sent to outpost west beach in 163, remainder of LT 326 planned to switch position facing beach should counter-landing threat develop. The only vehicles cleared of the beach and available were those of two of the 37mm platoons and 3 half-tracks. Very little equipment or supplies were received over the beach. Casualties: 1 Off, 58 Enl. Effective Strength: 145 Off, 3052 Enl.
27th Marines - D plus 1 20 February, 1945
At 0330, the enemy launched a counter-attack south of airfield #1 with a sizeable force. This attack was broken up some 300 yards in front of our lines. The enemy continued to pound our CP with artillery and mortars throughout the morning. Our front line units reported their assault troops were being held up by heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire, but they were encountering very little small arms fire and enemy infantry. They reported many enemy pillboxes and land mines in the form of yardstick mines wired to 63 kg. bombs. Two or three enemy artillery pieces in T.S. 199F were reported destroyed by naval gunfire.
An enemy dog-tag identified the 145th Infantry Regiment while a captured enemy document disclosed the 2nd Company, 312th Independent Infantry Battalion.
One of our reserve units backing up the line on our left flank reported an enemy CP which had been over-run in T.S. 163X, northeast. They reported 300 enemy dead in the area at 0925. The enemy dead reported to date was 400.28th Marines
1800, 19 February to 1800, 20 February.
Night Activity: Heavy mortar and artillery fire from SURIBACHI and the north end of the island fell throughout the night in our sector.
At 2315, an enemy barge landed on the west beach in LT-128's zone. Thirty-nine enemy were killed attempting to get ashore.
Daylight Operations: Ordered by Division to continue attack at 0830, and seize remainder of island in our zone of action.
LT-228 and LT-328 were ordered to attack and seize SURIBACHI, 228 on the left. Boundary between LTs: 132 B center, B southwest, F northeast, F southeast, K northeast, L southwest, Q northwest, P southeast, U northeast, U center, 122 A northwest. LT-128 was ordered to extend to the south behind LT-328 and mop up along the west coast as LT-328 advanced. E Co was released to 228 prior to K-hour.
The attack started on time but little progress was made. Tanks were unable to make K-hour because they were not able to refuel and rearm on time. After tanks arrived, an advance of 200 yards was made through a strong mutually supporting maze of reinforced concrete pillboxes.
During the afternoon, both Major Allen, commanding D Co, and Captain Young, commanding I Co, were severely wounded and evacuated.
Casualties for period Supporting units for the period
KIA & DOW 2 27 2 destroyers, 2 LC(S),
WIA 5 127 3d Bn, 13th Marines,
SK (evac) 4 C Co, 5th Tank Bn.
TOTAL 8 158
Combat efficiency: 80%