19 June 2013

A Marine Artillery Observer on Iwo Jima

Image size: 1600 x 1286 pixel. 408 KB
Date: Tuesday, 20 February 1945
Place: Iwo Jima, Bonins, Japan
Photographer: Dreyfuss

Private First Class Alvin C. Dunlap, 5th Marine Division, 27th Marine Regiment, directs mortars and artillery against Japanese positions. He is an observer who spotted a machine gun nest finds its location on a map so they can send the information to artillery or mortars to wipe out the position. Note his sheathed KA-BAR knife on his web belt! The World War II battle to take the Japanese Island of Iwo Jima (US Operation Displacement) from the heavily entranced and fortified hard fighting Japanese Army was one of the Marines greatest and bloodiest battles in the Pacific Theater. It is the only battle that the US casualties exceeded the Japanese casualties; 1/3 of all the Marines killed in the Pacific died at Iwo Jima and most of the Japanese soldiers fought to their deaths! It was the beginning of the end of World War II for the Empire of Japan. Occupying Iwo Jima with it's three landing strips allowed allied forces to bomb Tokyo Japan which was only a little over 600 miles to the North and eventually pound the Japanese into submission.


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