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“This will certainly be the bloodiest fight in naval Corps history. We’ll record seven kinds of hell top top the beaches, and also that will be simply the beginning. The fighting will certainly be fierce, and also the casualties will be awful, however my Marines will certainly take the damned island.”– Lt. Gen. Holland M. “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, Commander, V Amphibious Corps

The fight was claimed to critical a week. Instead, it take it five. Once it was over, the Japanese garrison of around 20,000 soldiers and also sailors to be wiped out. American casualties consisted of 6,821 Marines and also sailors killed and 19,217 wounded. Together a full is a testimony to the grueling ferocity the combat on that remote Pacific island. Marine correspondent Sgt. Gilbert reputation Bailey observed the of the men who combated on Iwo Jima, “Stories will never ever be written around most of them. There space too many, and also what they perform has pertained to be taken because that granted.”

Yet end the years countless of those story – of heroism and sacrifice both great and little by guys on the fight lines; of corpsmen and surgeons waging their own war to conserve the stays of those wounded; of navy beachmasters and Construction Battalion personnel, the Seabees, imposing company out the beachhead chaos; the cooks at their ar kitchens, braving enemy fire in order to carry out hot food; and so many others – have actually emerged, recall each succeeding generation why commander in cook Pacific (CINCPAC) Fleet Headquarters Adm. Chester W. Nimitz stated of those who battled on Iwo Jima, “Uncommon valor was a typical virtue.”

That statement is underscored by the 27 Medals of respect awarded to Marines and Navy servicemen who combated there, the highest possible number awarded in a solitary battle. The 22 naval Medals of respect represent an ext than 25 percent that the 83 Medals of respect awarded to Marines in the conflict. Of the huge mountain of many acts the heroism rendered on Iwo Jima, those who obtained the Medal that Honor stand for the summit. What adheres to are some of their stories.

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The very first Medal of honor awarded in the fight was the an outcome of action that developed two days prior to Marines would collection foot top top Iwo Jima’s volcano beaches. Underwater Demolition groups (UDTs – the forerunner of marine SEALs) to be conducting reconnaissance and also demolitions goals to conference beach problem intelligence and also destroy underwater obstacles in the work leading as much as the amphibious assault.


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Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class George E. Wahlen, USN, receives his Medal of honor from chairman Harry S Truman. Nationwide ARCHIVES


Though fighting would proceed for several much more days, in CINCPAC communiqué No. 300 dated March 16, 1945, Nimitz stated that “organized resistance had ceased” and also that “the battle of Iwo Island has been won. … With specific knowledge of the cost of an objective which had actually to be taken, the Fleet

Marine force supported the ships of the Pacific Fleet and also by Army and Navy aircraft dealt with the battle and won. By your victory, the Third, Fourth and Fifth maritime Divisions and other devices of the 5th Amphibious Corps have actually made an accountancy to their country which only background will be able to value fully. Amongst the Americans offer on Iwo island, uncommon valor to be a common virtue.” The phrase “uncommon valor to be a usual virtue” was later consisted of in the marine Corps battle Memorial in Arlington Ridge Park exterior Arlington national Cemetery.

As that this writing, Hershel Williams is the last making it through Medal of respect recipient the the fight of Iwo Jima and also one of only two living world War II Medal of honor recipients.

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IWO JIMA MEDAL OF honor RECIPIENTS

(*denotes posthumous award)

Cpl. Charles J. Berry, USMC*Pfc. William R. Caddy, USMCR*Lt. Col. Righteousness M. Chambers, USMCRSgt. Darrell S. Cole, USMCR*Capt. Robert H. Dunlap, USMCRSgt. Ross F. Gray, USMCR*Sgt. William G. Harrell, USMCLt. J.g. Rufus G. Herring, USNRPfc. Douglas T. Jacobson, USMCRPlatoon Sgt. Joseph R. Julian, USMCR*Pfc. James D. La Belle, USMCR*2nd Lt. Man H. Leims, USMCR*Pfc. Jacklyn Harrell Lucas, USMCR1st Lt. Jack Lummus, USMCR*1st Lt. Harry L. Martin, USMCR*Capt. Joseph J. McCarthy, USMCRPvt. George Phillips, USMCR*Pharmacist’s Mate first Class Francis J. Pierce, USNPfc. Donald J. Ruhl, USMCR*Pvt. Franklin E. Sigler, USMCRCpl. Tony Stein, USMCR*Pharmacist’s Mate second Class George E. Wahlen, USNGunnery Sgt. Wilhelm G. Walsh, USMCR*Pvt. Wilson D. Watson, USMCRCpl. Hershel W. Williams, USMCRPharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class Jack Williams, USNR*Pharmacist’s Mate first Class man H. Willis, USN*

This story is indigenous Uncommon Valor: The 75th Anniversary of the fight of Iwo Jima.