Marine Corps History: Battle of Iwo Jima

Carl | February 19, 2013 

When the United States sent the Marines to capture the Japanese airfields at Iwo Jima, the Marines showed the world their unyielding determination.

Japanese soldiers turned the volcanic island into a trap, fighting from a maze of tunnels and steel bunkers beneath Mt. Suribachi. The Battle of Iwo Jima lasted 36 days and resulted in heavy casualties before the Marines secured the island.

Four days into the battle, a Marine patrol reached the summit of Mt. Suribachi and raised the American Flag to encourage troops below. Later on, a team of Marines was sent with a larger, more visible flag. This time, the flag raising was captured by photographer Joe Rosenthal. Within days, the photo of the moment that embodied the Marines’ struggle and victory became front-page news. The flag raising at Iwo Jima has become an iconic symbol of the Marine Corps. The monument of the Marine Corps War Memorial is cast in its image, inspiring each generation of Marines to strive for greatness.

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