D Plus 5 (D+5), 24 February 1945
21st Marines - 2d Bn sighted a small number of Japs in rear of their lines at 0630, they were hunted down and killed immediately. The Regt with two (2) Tk Cos 4th Div in support continued the Atk at 0915 in assigned ZofA with the 2d Bn and 3d Bn abreast. 3d Bn executed a passage of lines through the 1st Bn. 1st Bn assembled as Regtl Res in vicinity of 182 W. Excellent progress was made along the entire front with the 3d Bn advancing approximately 600 yards against well organized mutually supporting pillboxes. The Atk was continued at 1330. At 1445 twelve (12) blue tanks were operating on Airfield No 2. Enemy mines and direct AT fire caused many tank casualties. 2d Bn made good progress around the west side of the airfield, however due to heavy casualties from MG and mortar fire were unable to advance beyond 182 B,C. 3d Bn continued to press the Atk and by 1545 managed to get two Cos across the center of the airfield. The high ground in 199 X,Y changed hands several times and much hand to hand fighting took place before this high ground was taken. Two depleted 2d Bn Cos crossed the center of the airfield to this area and attempted to Atk west to join with the 2d Bn Co on the left. This Atk did not progress and by 1600 contact had not been established with the company on the left. Two Cos from the 1st Bn were Atchd to the 2d Bn to fill in the gap. The two Cos of the 1st Bn took up a position just south of the airfield in 182 H,E. At 2145 the following general line was consolidated for the night; 181 E; 182 A,G,H,I,D; 199 X,Y; 200 U; 183 A, B. 3d Bn 23d Mar Atchd at 1647 occupied a RRL at 182 P,Q,R and reverted to the 4th Div at 1730, however remained in position until the following morning. Many local small counterattacks along the Regtl front were repulsed during the night with considerable casualties.23rd Marines - DOG PLUS FIVE, 24 FEBRUARY, 1945
Enemy activity during the night was confined to frequent shelling of RCT assembly areas with mortars, artillery, and rockets. Repeated efforts were made by all echelons of the command to locate the source of this enemy fire, and shell reports of the possible location of enemy guns were forwarded to Division. The immediate effect of the counterbattery fire was evidenced in the fact that enemy fire was reduced when certain target area locations were fired. The RCT remained in VAC reserve throughout the entire day with no change in the disposition of troops. BLT 2/23 executed mopping up operations on Airfield No 1, and the revetments adjacent thereto. Mines and duds were marked and locations reported to division. During mopping-up of this area no contacts with the enemy were reported. At 1130, on 4th Div order, BLT 3/23 was alerted to be prepared to move on fifteen minutes notice to the zone of RCT 21 or RCT 24. The 1st 37mm AT Platoon, R/W Co, and the 3d Plat, Co C, 4th Tank Bn, were attached to BLT 3/23 in the event it was moved for possible commitment in either zone designated. At 1530, on Division order, 3/23 moved to a new assembly area vicinity TA 182 UP, and was attached to RCT 21 as reserve for the night. During the day 11 officers and 473 EM from the 24th Replacement Draft were landed from the APAs and proportionately assigned to the BLTs to replace casualties suffered to date in the operation. There was no change in the location of the RCT CP during the day.24th Marines - 24 February, 1945
Sporadic enemy fire from automatic weapons, rifles and mortars was received along the front lines from 0001 until dawn. The enemy attempted to infiltrate through the front lines in small groups but were repulsed. At 0545 orders were received by RCT 24 to continue the attack at King-Hour (0915) and seize O-1(A). The BLTs were ordered to continue the attack, pivoting on the right BLT (BLT 1/24). This was to straighten out the RCT line. Attachments remained the same and the LD was the front line at King-Hour. BLT 2/25 (Less Company G) remained in RCT reserve. Division and Corps artillery fired a preparation for the attack from 0845 until 0915. An air strike was made from 0900 until 0915. The attack jumped off at 0915 with BLT 2/24 making the main effort. Good progress was made initially on the left but enemy resistance quickly stiffened and progress was slow throughout the day. heavy enemy fire was received from the hill in the vicinity of TA 183 C,D and the vicinity of the southeastern strip of Airfield No 2. BLT 2/24 reached the top of the hill in 183 C,D but received a terrific mortar barrage which forced it to withdraw to the foot of the hill. Orders were received to consolidate at 1700 on the most advantageous ground, and this was done. BLT had 3 companies on line with Company G, BLT 2/25 in reserve. BLT 3/24 had 4 companies in line, one of which was Company E, BLT 2/25, which was committed to fill a gap in the lines. BLT 1/24 had all three companies in line. Company F, BLT 2/25 was attached to BLT 1/24 reserve. BLT 1/25 was attached to RCT 24 at approximately 1600 to be RCT 24 Reserve in the vicinity of TA 166 A. Company C, BLT 1/25 was attached to BLT 3/24 as its reserve, leaving BLT 1/25 (less Company C) and BLT 2/25 (less Companies E, F and G) in RCT 24 reserve. During the day the left flank of RCT 24 advanced approximately 500 yards, the center approximately 50 yards and the extreme right flank about 100 yards, thus straightening the line in the RCT. Three air strikes were called during the day. Artillery and NGF had supported the attack throughout the day and provided defensive fires and illumination during the night. During the remainder of the period small arms fire, grenades and mortar fire were received along the front lines. The heaviest fire was received on the left in the zone of BLT 2/24.25th Marines - D plus 5, 24 February, 1945.
A few rounds of enemy mortar and artillery fire fell in the RCT area during the night causing no casualties. RCT-25, less BLT-2/25, remained in Div Res throughout the day and continued reorganization and rehabilitation. Further reconnaissance of the Div front line was made by all units. at 1600, BLT-1/25 was attached to RCT-24 in accordance with orders from Div. One Co of BLT-1/25 was attached to RCT-24 in accordance with orders from Div. One Co of BLT-1/25 was in turn attached to BLT-3/24 for use as a Res Co during the night.
26th Marines - D+5 24 Feb 45 Weather: Clear and cool
CT 26 (plus LT 227 continuing attached) planned to resume coordinated attack to seize O-2 at the time at which 3rdMarDiv elements on the right advanced sufficiently along the bluff to knock out positions enfilading CT 26. At 1350, following artillery preparation and rocket barrage, the jump-off was made. Steady progress was made for about 500 yards until about 1600 contact was lost with 3rdMarDiv elements, unable to keep up along bluff line. At this time LT 326 was receiving grenades and heavy fire from cave and pillbox positions in the bluff stopping the advance for this date. Lines were tied in for the night by committing elements of LT 126 into gaps on the extreme right and left to extend front lines rearward; it was thereafter necessary for LT 126 to maintain these contact positions until CT 27 passed through CT 26 on D+8. 3dSec, 6th War Dog Platoon, was attached to CT 26. Salvage collection and repair of weapons as well as other equipment was needed but had not functioned to date, due chiefly to the intensity of fires in the forward areas. Casualties: 21 Off, 332 Enl. Effective strength; 114 Off, 2486 Enl.27th Marines - D plus 5 24 February, 1945
This combat continued to be division reserve. 30 enemy troops were found around sulfur hole at T.S. 181P. Several committed suicide and the others were mopped up. These included 3 officers. Mine fields of horn type mines were discovered in T.S. 181D and M. Fields are small in area. Over-run mortar positions were found booby-trapped. Roads west of Airfield #1 continue to receive heavy artillery and mortar fire when they were in use. the enemy dead reported to date was 645.
28th Marines - D+5 1800, 23 February to 1800, 24 February
Night Activity: A few scattered rounds of high velocity enemy artillery fell around the base of SURIBACHI.
122 Japs were killed trying to infiltrate our lines. Many had demolitions tied to their bodies and were apparently trying to reach Corps and Division artillery.
Also, during the night several 320mm mortars passed overhead and landed out to sea. It is amusing to note that this mortar was at first thought to be a P-61 nightfighter because of the peculiar sound made while passing over.
Daylight Operations: All units continued mopping up on and around SURIBACHI. Units also reorganized, and began salvage of arms and equipment.
The 3d Platoon, 5th MP Co. reverted to company control this date.
Lines for the night remained the same.
Casualties for period:
KIA & DOW 1 WIA 19 SK (evac) 1 1 TOTAL 1 23
Combat efficiency: 65%