D Plus 22 (D+22) 13 March 1945
9th Marines- The 3d Bn 21st Mar was to act as a holding force as was the division reserve, the 2d Bn 9th Mar. The attack jumped off at 0700 12 Mar. The 1st Bn met strong resistance and its advance was slow. Tanks were brought into the action, but their use was again restricted by poor terrain. An armored bulldozer was used to clear a road for the tanks. At most, two tanks were able to operate in the area. The 3d Bn 9th mar to the north and somewhat easier going as resistance was light, especially on its right (N) flank.
The same attack was continued on March 13th and again on 14th March. The 1st Bn relieved the engaged elements of the 3d Bn 21st Mar on the morning of March 13th and the latter reverted to control of its own regiment at 0930 13 March. Definite progress was made by the 1st Bn who, with the use of tanks, succeeding in knocking out many well fortified positions.
V. 13 Mar. The Mission of protecting the 5th Division right flank and clearing the beach area in 235 and 236 was assigned to this Regt. The 1st Bn patrolled the beach area encountering small groups of enemy and killing same, protected the 5th Div right flank during the entire day. 3d Bn was released to the Regt and placed in assembly area at 200 G, H.
23rd Marines - DOG PLUS TWENTY-TWO, 13 MARCH, 1945
The enemy was inactive during the night within RCT 23 zone of action. At 0700 mopping-operations, burial of enemy dead, salvage and police of the zone of responsibility was in progress. Co L (3/23) passed to control of 3/24 in order to effect the relief of Co K (3/23). The relief was completed by 1730, Co K then reverting to parent control. By 1600, mopping-up and police of the RCT zone of responsibility was 95 % completed. All units of Co D, 4th Engr Bn, were detached from units in the forward area, and were assembled under parent control in the vicinity of the RCT CP. Orders were issued assigning rear assembly areas for RCT units when relieved from the line. During the day BLT 2/23, in assembly was altered to be prepared to move its remaining elements to establish a rear RCT security line at 200 WXY in the event of any large scale infiltration through the forward positions of the 3d Marine Division. Considerable small-arms fire from friendly troops in the 3d Division zone fell in the area physically occupied by our own units. Activity in the vicinity of the RCT CP at 182 continued quiet.
24th Marines - 13 March, 1945
Orders were received to continue the mopping up operations, burying enemy dead, collecting of own dead and policing of assigned areas. BLT 3/24 and BLT 2/24 remained attached to RCT 23 and RCT 25 respectively. BLT 1/24 remained in Corps Reserve until 0800 when it reverted to RCT 24. RCT (less BLT 2/24 and BLT 3/24) remained in Division Reserve and continued to clean up TA 182. Patrols were sent throughout the area but found no enemy. Reconnaissance of forward areas was continued. No enemy activity occurred in the RCT area during the period.25th Marines - D plus 22, 13 March, 1945.
Activities during the nigh were limited to a few infiltration attempts and some light mortar fire. The attack by RCT-25 (BLT-2/24 and Div Recon Co attached) was continued at 0700 in accordance with Div Op Or No. 22-45 with BLT-2/25 making the main effort. Resistance was still very strong and consisted chiefly of mortar fire and intense MG fire from well camouflaged pillboxes. BLT-2/25 was able to make slow progress on both its right and its left for gains of 50-75 yards, but its center was unable to move. At 1130, Co L was detached from BLT-3/25 and attached to BLT-2/25 and was immediately placed in the center of the line relieving Co E, however, further progress was made in the afternoon. BLT-1/25 and BLT-3/25 continued to place all types of fire to their front while trying to locate and knock out the mortars firing on BLT-2/25. A flamethrower tank was used throughout the day to support the attack of BLT-2/25, firing up the draws that it was able to reach from the beach road. During the day small groups of the enemy were frequently seen moving from position to position and a large number of them were destroyed; the resistance, however, still remained very heavy. Both light and heavy mortars fire continually fell on the lines of BLT-2/25 throughout the day causing heavy casualties. Co C was moved from its reserve position behind BLT-2/25 to a secondary line behind BLT-2/24 at 1600. When the flamethrower tank made its final run of the day and fired up one of the draws inland from the beach road, it caught a large number of enemy in the open. Of this group of enemy at least 75 were killed by the flame and MG fire from the tank, and by fire of BLT-1/25 when they ran out of the draw.
D+22, 13 Mar 45 Weather: Clear. CT 26 (less LT 226) continued in 5thMarDiv reserve. At about 1600 LT 326 occupied a forward assembly position in readiness for action in the zone of CT 27. LT 226 reverted to CT 26 at about 1800, CT 26 assuming responsibility for their sector of the front. Casualties: 1 Off, 43 Enl. Returned to duty: 1 Off, 6 Enl. Effective strength: 94 Off, 1861 Enl.
27th Marines - D plus 22 13 March, 1945
Opposition was slightly different than on the previous day. Fewer pillboxes were encountered and fewer previously prepared positions. Machine gun fire is cleaning out some of the remaining pillboxes. Several concealed blockhouses have been revealed as artillery uncovers the dirt covering of these. The majority of installations now encountered are those hastily constructed during the night. These hastily constructed pillboxes appear about every 30 yards. Knee mortar, rifle and machine gun fire is encountered. fire is delivered from close range and is quite effective. At night, a group of 30 enemy troops attempted to infiltrate our lines on our right front. Most of these were killed. Small infiltrations on the left battalion sector were broken up by mortar fire. The enemy dead reported to date was 1647.
28th Marines - D+22 1800, 12 March to 1800, 13 March
Night activity: The night was quiet except for a few infiltration attempts.
Daylight operations: Ordered by Division to continue the attack at 0730 to seize the remainder of the island in our zone of action. Boundary between CT-28 and CT-26, 235 L west, 250 O northeast.
The terrain confronting CT-28 was very similar to that around Hill 362. There was a long ridgeline running northwest-southeast across the front. It extended from CR 291 to the west beach in 250 F center.
The south slope of the ridgeline was fairly gradual, but cut with many small draws parallel to it. The top was heavily fortified with pillboxes and spider traps, and the north side was a steep cliff 40 feet to 50 feet high, honeycombed with many caves.
It is believed that this ridgeline was the western sector of the enemy's finall defensive line on northern Iwo.
Because of the depleted strength of our infantry units (several of the companies having been reduced to the normal strength of a rifle platoon) and the fatigue of the men, it was a virtual impossibility to do more than seize the top of the ridgeline. Besides, heavy casualties would have resulted. The plan later decided on was for units of CT-28's right to attack across our front donw the draw to the sea.
The landing Teams attacked from the same positions in the line as on D+21.
LT-228 was able to advance 100 yards on its left by by-passing a pocket of resistance. No other advances were made until 1600, when the right company of LT-228 made a local attack and by 1620 had reached the ridgeline overlooking the large draw to the front. Because of the depleted strength of LT-228 and the wide front it had to cover, 50 men from H & S Co under Captain Downer were attached to LT-228 and sent up to reinforce the line.
7.2 rockets were again used with LT-128 and LT-328.
Tanks supported all three landing teams and knocked out enemy positions both in front of and in by-passed positions behind our lines.
CP's: No change.
Casualties for period: Supporting units for period
KIA & DOW 13 1 destroyer, 1 LC(S) WIA 3 56 2d Bn, 13th Marines SK (evac) 17 A & C Co's. 5th Tank Bn. TOTAL 3 86
Combat efficiency: 38%