Troops atop Mount Suribachi
The situation atop Mount Suribachi is well in hand as Marines give the Stars and Stripes to the breezes that blow over the crater of Iwo Jima's volcano.
U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive


Seventy-five years ago, U.S. Marines came ashore on a desolate eight-square-mile volcanic island dominated by Mount Suribachi and located roughly halfway between the Marianas and Tokyo. Iwo Jima’s value lay in its airfields. B-29s Superfortresses that were damaged or low on fuel could land there, and Army Air Forces fighters based on the island could escort the bombers to their targets in Japan. Three Marine divisions—more than 70,000 men—had the task of seizing the island. But an operation that U.S. commanders forecast would take a week to complete would stretch out to five weeks, and the Marines’ determination and sacrifice on Iwo Jima would become enduring touchstones for the Corps.




Battle Timeline
From Naval History and Proceedings


U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive

Ghost Team of Island X

By David Sears
February 2015
In a prelude to the real contest against the Japanese on Iwo Jima, the 4th Marine Division fielded an all-star football squad that routed its interservice rivals.
National Archives

In the Right Spot, Twice

By Christopher B. Havern Sr.
February 2018
What do the discovery of the sunken remains of the heavy cruiser Indianapolis and the famous flag raising on Mount Suribachi have in common?
Battleship North Carolina (

The Reverend of Iwo Jima

By Major General Jarvis D. Lynch Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
May 2011
Garrison commander, spymaster, Buddhist priest—Tsunezo Wachi was a complex character, a formidable foe, and an amazing postwar friend.
3d Marine Division riflemen

Letters to Iwo Jima

By Alan P. Rems
February 2009
The heroism and sacrifice of 3d Division Marines, as well as their families anguish, are revealed in letters to and from Major General Graves Erskine.
Above and bottom: Sallie Artman; below: U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive

Water Ballet Off Iwo Jima

By Baxter Abbott Sparks
February 2008
Before the Marines landed, Navy Underwater Demolition Team frogmen swam close to Iwo Jima's shore in a daring daylight reconnaissance.
National Archives

The Ugliest Bandage on Iwo Jima

By Colonel Charles A. Jones, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (Retired)
January 2012
When a World War II Marine and corpsman reconnected years later, a decades-old oversight was corrected and a Purple Heart awarded at last.

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Oral Histories


Dyer, George Carroll, Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

Dyer, George Carroll, Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

In the years before and during World War II, Dyer acquired an intimate view of high-level command through his service on the staffs of Admiral James O. Richardson, Ernest J. King, and Richard L. Conolly. And early submariner, Dyer also served in a number of surface ships, including the battleship ...
Kauffman, Draper L., Rear Adm., USN (Ret.)

Kauffman, Draper L., Rear Adm., USN (Ret.)

After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1933, Kauffman was forced to resign because of poor eyesight. He was employed by the U.S. Lines Steamship Co. until 1940 when he joined the French Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Subsequently was a bomb and mine disposal officer in Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. Resigned ...
From the Naval Institute Press
Fighting Spirit book cover


The Battle of Iwo Jima Book Cover


Immortal Images Book Cover


Victory in the Pacific Book Cover


A Special Valor Book Cover