D Plus 8 (D+8), 27 February 1945
9th Marines - Action of the same nature as that described above(25 Feb, 45) for two more days on 26 and 27 February in the general vicinity of airfield number 2. Each morning pre-King hour artillery and NGF preparation of heavy intensity was laid down on enemy positions. Tanks came into more and more use, especially on the left, and aided the advance materially. Infantry troops fought close in, using flame throwers, anti-tank rockets to good advantage.
G. 27 Feb. The Regt (less 3d Bn) continued patrolling in rear of Div Res line. 3d Bn reverted to control of 21st Mar at noon and remained in vicinity of 182 N,O. The Regt reoccupied the same Div Res line at 1830.23rd Marines - DOG PLUS EIGHT, 27 FEBRUARY 1945
Enemy opposition during the night was active in the form of mortar fire on the front line positions and in the rear areas. Prior to 2300, Division Operation Order 8-45 was received, and by 0100 RCT Operation Order 6-45 for the continuation of the attack on 27 February had been issued. At 0535, enemy tank and infantry activity was reported along the boundary between the assault BLTs, forward of the lines; artillery was called for in the general area 201 QR an the enemy effort was dispersed. The operation order for the continuation of the attacked prescribed King-Hour as 0800, with Corps and Division artillery firing a scheduled preparation from king minus forty-five to King-Hour. 2/14 remained in direct support of RCT 23. NAF provided naval gunfire and air support for the attack. The formation for the attack consisted of BLT 3/23(with Co G, BLT 2/23, attached) and BLT 1/23 abreast, 3/23 on the right. The objective remained O-2, with no change in boundaries or zone of action for the RCT. The LD was designated as the front lines at King-Hour. BLT 2/23, less Co G, remained in the rear area as RCT Reserve and was directed to conduct mopping-up operations and to maintain anti-sniper patrols in the RCT rear areas. Co B, 4th tank Bn, attached to the RCT, supported the attack by maintaining one platoon forward for the use of the assault BLTs on call. The remainder of the company assembled in the vicinity of the RCT CP prepared to execute missions as assigned. Co C, 4th Engr Bn, and the 2d Section, 1st Provisional Rocket Detachment, remained under RCT control prepared to execute on call missions requested by the BLTs. As an interior unit, the RCT was to regulate its advance in conformity with RCT 25 on the right, and RCT 9 on the left. Units jumped off at the prescribed King-Hour (0800), and continued the attack, but the advance was immediately held up by strong and determined enemy resistance from caves and pillboxes to the front and flanks. A second artillery preparation was fired from 1200 to 1230, and small gains were made resulting in the destruction of two entrenched enemy tanks that had been impeding the advance. At 1400, small gains of one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards had been made along the entire RCT front. Resistance in the left of the RCT Zone had been considerably reduced; however, on the right, heavy enfilade fire from RCT 25 zone limited the advance of 3/23. In order to reconstitute 2/23 as a full BLT, in preparation for commitment the next day, Co E, BLT 2/24, was attached to 2/23 at 1530. In the small advance that was carved out during the afternoon, tanks were used in support of 3/23 after a route of approach had been bulldozed to the forward area by a tank bulldozer accompanied by engineers. By late afternoon elements of 3/23 had pushed forward close to the top of HILL 382, and were engaged in fierce close combat for the possession of the radar station at 200 Y, on the summit of 382. At 1715, an RCT order was issued to all units to consolidate on the most favorable ground for the night with solid contact left and right. At the same time a warning order was issued to be prepared to continue the attack at 0815, on 28 February. The RCT Reserve and CP continued in their same locations.24th Marines - 27 February, 1945
There was no enemy activity in the area of RCT 24 (less BLT 3/24) from 0001 until dawn. Orders were received from Division during the night. RCT 23 and RCT 25 with BLT 3/24 attached, were to continue the attack at King-Hour (0800) and seize O-2 in their respective zones of action. RCT 24 (less BLT 3/24) remained in Division Reserve in an assembly area in the vicinity of TA 165 E,J,O, 166 A. BLT 2/24 was ordered to reconnoiter the zone of RCT 23 and BLT 1/24 was ordered to reconnoiter the zone of RCT 25 for possible employment. All units of RCT (less BLT 3/24) spent the day policing their respective area, salvaging all equipment possible, resting, cleaning weapons and reorganizing. Routes forward were reconnoitered by BLT and RCT Staff Officers. At 1515 Company E, BLT 2/24 was alerted for possible employment with RCT 23. At 1530 Company E, was attached to BLT 2/23. Orders to consolidate at 1700 were received and all units remained in their assigned assembly areas. Approximately 10 enemy mortar shells fell 150 yards from the RCT CP during the remainder of the period. There was no other enemy activity in the RCT area.
25th Marines - D plus 8, 27 February, 1945.
Extensive infiltration proceeded by very heavy though intermittent mortar barrages were made by the enemy during the night. In the area in front of BLT-1/25, 103 enemy dead were counted following the nights activities. The attack of RCT-25 with BLT-3/24 attached, jumped off at 0800 in accordance with Div Op Or No. 8-45. BLT-2/25 in the center and BLT-3/25 on the right were to continue the attack straight to the front; BLT-1/25 on the left was to by-pass the strongly held area to its immediate front by moving troops to the left through the zone of RCT-23 (which was reported to have advanced on its right to a position forward of the cliff line) and then to attack south east from the RCT boundary toward BLT-2/25. BLT-1/25 moved two Cos behind the right of RCT-23 and left two Cos in its original position. It was found that the right elements of RCT-23 (BLT-3/23) had not progressed sufficiently to allow BLT-1/25 to start its move to the southeast, and this plan could not be carried into effect at K-hour. At 1500 BLT-1/25 decided not to wait on the advance of BLT-3/23 and passed one Co through the right elements of BLT-3/23 in their zone of action and attempted to make the envelopment. This attack was supported by tanks and followed a rocket barrage. An advance of 150 yards was made across an open area but the advance was halted prior to reaching the cover on the far side. Very heavy casualties were received from intense MG, heavy mortar and antitank fire. Two of the three tanks supporting this attack were put out of action by enemy fire and the third was damaged. At 1715 it was seen that the commanding ground could not be reached and that the position was untenable due to the fact that there was no cover and that both flanks wee exposed and orders were issued for this flanking unit of BLT-1/25 to withdraw back through the line of BLT-3/23 and return to its position of the proceeding night. In the center and on the right BLT-2/25 and BLT-3/25 were able to make gains of from 200 to 300 yards when they were ordered at 1600 to halt their advance on favorable ground. At 1730 orders were issued for all units to consolidate positions and dig in for the night.26th Marines
D+8, 27 Feb 45 Weather: Partly cloudy and cool, visibility good. At 0630 elements of CT 27 began relief of lines and at 0800 passed through CT 26 in attack. Effective on passage of lines, LT 227 reverted to CT 27, and LT 126 was attached to CT 27. CT 26 in status of 5thMarDiv reserve, withdrew into unit assembly areas. reorganization, salvage, and evacuation of dead from forward areas were conducted while in reserve. Units were disposed for security from the north and west for the night. Enemy identifications indicate that CT 26 for the previous five days was opposed by elements of the 311th and 312th Independent Infantry Battalions. Although some enemy dead had been found, there were positive indications that nearly all enemy dead and wounded had been removed under cover of darkness, as they withdrew. With the exception of minor night activity the enemy fought almost entirely in position from very strong caves and pillboxes that were extremely well camouflaged, and was but rarely seen above the ground in the open. (This characterized enemy defensive action throughout the operation). Casualties 5 Off , 113 Enl. Effective Strength: 106 Off, 2159 Enl.
27th Marines - D plus 8 27 February, 1945
This combat team was committed again on this date. At K Hour, light mortar fire was encountered. Later, light and ineffective small arms fire was encountered. No determined resistance met our advance. The enemy used whit phosphorous to screen a small troop movement shortly after K Hour. the use of artillery and mortar fire decreased from that of previous days. The enemy dead reported to date was 840.28th Marines - D+8 1800, 26 February to 1800, 27 February.
Night Activity: Continued scattered shelling from artillery in northern part of island.
Daylight Operations: Ordered by Corps to continue mopping up in SURIBACHI area and be prepared to attack in zone of action of 3d, 4th, 5th Mar Divs.
At 1325, CT-28 was ordered to move LT-328 to assembly area in 181 B and G. The necessary orders were issued and by 1800, LT-328 was in position as directed.
LT-128 and LT-228 continued mopping up around MT SURIBACHI. Both landing teams were ordered to be prepared to move to forward assembly area in northern sector on two hours notice.
Lines at the base of SURIBACHI remained the same for the night.
Casualties for period:
KIA & DOW 1 4 WIA 1 13 SK (evac) 4 TOTAL 2 23
Combat efficiency: 70%