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D plus 6 (D+6), 25 February 1945

9th Marines The regiment was committed to action on 25 February by passing through the lines of the 21st Marines, 3d Mar Div. The initial attack commenced at 0930 following a heavy Arty and Naval gunfire preparation with the 1st and 2d battalions abreast, 1st Bn on the right. Heavy fire from along the entire front met any of our advances. This resistance, the type of which was found to prevail throughout the several weeks' action, consisted of small arms fire from exceptionally well concealed positions, so well concealed in fact, that our troops were unable to locate the source of many instances until within 25 yards of it. Areas in defilade to one enemy automatic weapon were covered by another and presented a difficult problem throughout the action. In addition enemy mortar, artillery and occasionally rocket fire was well sighted in on all approaches to his positions and many times intense fire on our advancing troops and front lines caused severe damage and stopped any movement at its inception.

image The first day's attack progressed slowly in face of heavy mortar and artillery fire. Tanks were brought into use, but because of accurate heavy anti-tank fire they were unable to assist appreciably. This day's action took place on and around Airfield number 2. The 1st Bn having crossed the E-W runway in passing through the 21st Marines right, advanced toward Hill 200-P, the commanding ground directly in its sector. Reaching this hill necessitated crossing the NE-SW runway of Airfield number 2, which was well covered by small arms, mortar and anti-tank fire. A number of the tanks which nosed onto the runway became casualties almost immediately, and some of the infantry troops fared little better. However, units did, with the assistance of supporting artillery and NGF, cross and gain the base of 200-P, and after heavy fighting, had a foothold on the hill.

The 2d Bn on the left met heavy resistance in the form of small arms fire from well dug-in and concealed pillboxes on a ridge in its left flank. At this particular area tanks were able to render valuable assistance with point-blank fire on enemy installations. Tank activity was confined to a small area because of the terrain and enemy fire, but the presence and fire support of two or three tanks was a decided advantage. Co G, the left Co of the 2d Bn, after sustaining serious losses made a 200 yard advance on the left. The right of the 2d Bn made similar gains against heavy resistance. At 1430 on the first day, the 3d Bn was committed to flank from the right the strong enemy positions holding up the 2d Bn. This Battalion crossed the airfield between the first and second battalions at 199-V, and in a rapid thrust succeed in advancing 400 yards from the airfield. The advance was stopped abruptly as the enemy poured well aimed, intense Arty and mortar fire on the forward elements of this battalion, thus interdicting them from the ground gained. The fire was so intense as to cause an adjustment of position by the 2d Bns. The first day's fighting then netted this regiment an advance all along its front of from 200 to 400 yards. 

image 21st Marines

F. 25 Feb. This Regt reverted to 3d Div control at 0700 and command of ZofA passed to 9th Mar. All 81mm mortar Plats were Atchd to 9th Mar at 0700. The 9th Mar passed through this Regt at 0930. The Regt supported the 9th Mar by fire and upon being passed through assembled in vicinity of 182 P,Q,R,U,V and conducted anti-sniper patrols and mopping up operations in rear of Div ZofA. 3d Bn was Atchd to 9th Mar at 1345. 81mm Plats reverted to respective Bn control at 1730. 1st and 2d Bns established the Div Res line 181 T, 182 K,L,M,R for the night.

23rd Marines - DOG PLUS SIX, 25 FEBRUARY, 1945

During the preceding night, sporadic mortar, rocket and artillery fire fell in the RCT area. At 2130, the RCT commander and operations officer attended a conference at the Division CP, and received a warning order for continuation of the attack. Immediately upon return of the RCT commander o the RCT CP, at about 2230, a conference was conducted with the BLT commanders and officers of the supporting and attached arms. King-hour was designated as 0930, 25 February, with O-2 assigned as the objective for the attack. The plan for the attack was for RCT 23, in column of battalions, BLT 3/23 in assault, 1/23 following at 600 yards in support, and 2/23 in RCT reserve, to pas through the left element of RCT 24 at king-hour, and seize O-2. BLT 3/23 reverted to parent control at 0530, and RCT 23 passed to 4th Mar Div control at 0630.

Artillery preparation for the attack consisted of fires from Corps and Division artillery, from King minus forty-five to king-Hour. At 0830, the advance echelon of the RCT CP displaced forward and the new CP was established in the vicinity of 182 Y, SE corner. Throughout the remainder of the Iwo Jima Operation, he RCT CP remained at this location. During the scheduled King-Hour artillery preparation, elements of the RCT executed a passage of lines through 2/24, the left unit of RCT 24, and continued the attack at King-Hour in column of BLTs with 3/23 leading, followed at six hundred yards by 1/23 in support. 2/23 initially remained in is assigned assembly area as RCT reserve. Initial progress of the attack was slow as a result of intense enemy mortar fire and automatic weapons fire from pillboxes and bunkers to the front and flanks in the vicinity of Airfield No 2. In order to expedite the attack, arrangements were made with RCT 9 on the left for the tanks attached to RCT 23 to use a route of approach to Airfield No 2 through RCT 9 zone of action. Using this approach, tanks were able to effectively support the attack by destroying AT guns, pillboxes and well concealed emplacements which had retarded the forward progress of BLT 3/23. However, due to the limitations of the routes, and further, because of heavy and consistently accurate AT and mortar fire from the north, access to Airfield No 2 was denied until late in the afternoon. Substantial gains were netted by the RCT during the attack through the constant pounding and aggressiveness of the infantry and tanks. The Jap defensive bulwark in the vicinity of Airfield No 2 was considerably weakened, and by 1430, a tank bulldozer and engineer equipment had made a satisfactory route leading to the EW runway of the airfield. At 1545, Co A, BLT 1/23 was alerted to pass through and pinch out Co K, BLT 3/23, which had suffered heavy casualties in the day's operation. Favorable commanding ground was secured in the right of the RCT zone by 1600, and positions were consolidated for the night. Some difficulty was experienced in establishing contact with RCT 9 on the left because of the necessity of stretching across the open area of the airfield which was effectively neutralized by enemy mortars. At 1640, RCT Warning Order (dispatch) was issued to all major units for the continuation of the attack on 26 February, King-Hour was designated for 0800, with no change in boundaries or objective. Scheme of maneuver prescribed BLTs 1/23 and 3/23 abreast, 3/23 on the right, with 2/23 in RCT Reserve. There was no change in the location of BLT 2/23, RCT Reserve, or of the RCT CP during the day.

image 24th Marines - 25 February, 1945

From 0001 until dawn enemy small arms and mortar fire were received along the front lines. Small groups of enemy attempted to infiltrate through the defensive position of the RCT but was unsuccessful. Orders were received during the night to continue the attack and seize O-2 with RCT 23 passing through BLT 2/24 at King-Hour (0930). RCT 24 was to continue the attack with two BLTs abreast. BLT 2/24 was ordered to move into an assembly area in TA 165 E,J upon being passed through by RCT 23. company G, BLT 2/25 was to relieve Company C. BLT 1/25 as quickly as possible thus becoming BLT 3/24 reserve so that BLT 1/25 intact could revert to RCT 25. BLT 3/24 with Company E and Company G, BLT 2/25 attached was to attack in conjunction with RCT 23. BLT 1/24 with Company F, BLT 2/25 and Company A, 2d Arm'd Amphib Bn attached was to attack in conjunction with BLT 3/24. Other attachments remained normal and functioned under RCT 24 control. Division and Corps artillery fired preparation for the attack from 0845 until 0930. The attack jumped off at 0935 but very little progress was made. BLT 2/24 was passed through by RCT 23 and moved into its assigned assembly area where it, in addition to BLT 2/24 (Less Companies R,F and) became RCT reserve, Company G, BLT 2/25 relieved Company C, BLT 1/25. BLT 1/25 reverted to RCT 26 at approximately 0930. Heavy mortar, automatic weapon and small arms fire were received throughout the day causing heavy casualties and pinning down the attacking troops. Little progress forward was made even though all supporting weapons were used extensively throughout the day in an attempt to breach the enemys positions. Two airstrikes were requested during the day but no strikes were completed. At 1600 BLT 2/24 was ordered to relieve BLT 1/24 in its zone of action. BLT 2/24 to be a reserve. BLT 1/24 took up a position as RCT 24 Reserve in TA 166 A. By 1635 orders were received to consolidate at 1700. This was done with BLT 3/24 having 4 rifle companies in line including Company E, BLT 2/25 which it had been unable to extricate from the fire fight and BLT 2/24 using 3 rifle companies in the line. Progress for the days operation was very slight and RCT 24 suffered heavy casualties. Sporadic enemy small arms and mortar fire continued until the end of the period. CHECK OUT THIS PAGE

25th Marines - D plus 6, 25 February, 1945.

BLT-1/25 reverted to RCT-25 at 0930. RCT-25, less BLT-2/25, remained in Div Res and reconnaissance of zone of RCT-24 was made by unit commanders and staff. at 1700, a verbal warning order was received stating that RCT-25 would pass through RCT-24 on 26 February, and plans were made accordingly.

26th Marines - D+6, 25 Feb 45 Weather: Cool, cloudy; visibility good.

In view of repeated failures of attacks due to heavy enfilade fires from the bluff line, CT 26 planned to attack to seize O-2 only when 3rdMarDiv elements had occupied bluff line well out ahead of LT 326. A coordinated attack was prearranged but was never placed in effect on this date inasmuch as the required situation on the right of CT 26 zone failed to develop. General supply, by this date, had begun to improve considerably. Salvage and evacuation of wounded and dead was still carried out only with difficulty.

Casualties: 2 Off, 75 Enl. Effective Strength: 112 Off, 2411 Enl.

 

image 27th Marines - D plus 6 25 February, 1945

This combat team continued to be division reserve. The fin of a flying bomb which measured 2 1/2 feet in length was found by this combat team. 300 lb. depth charge, type 2, was found rigged as a land mine in T.S. 147O. The enemy dead reported to date was 697.

28th Marines - D+6 1800, 14 February to 1800, 25 February.

Night Activity: Continued light artillery fire from guns in northern part of island. A few Nips infiltrators were killed attempting to get through our lines at the base of SURIBACHI.

Daylight Operations: CT-28 reverted to Corps Reserve at 0630. Ordered to continue mopping up in SURIBACHI area and be prepared to attack in zone of action of 3d, 4th, or 5th Mar Divs.

Colonel Liversedge, and the battalion commanders and operations officer reconnoitered routes to the front in the 3d, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions' zone of action.

The infantry, with engineers attached, closed numerous caves and ferreted out small groups of snipers throughout the day. Location of front lines and CP's remained the same as of D+5.

Casualties for period:

Off. Enl. KIA & DOW 5 WIA 6 SK (evac) 7 TOTAL 18

Combat efficiency: 65%

Category: Battle Summaries | Posted by IJH Staff |