Four days after the bloody struggle to come ashore on Iwo Jima’s fire-swept black volcanic sand beaches, a patrol from 28th Marines was ordered to the top of the sullen volcanic lump that dominated the six square miles of sulphur and rock. The seven-man patrol under the Executive Officer of Easy Company, 28th Marines raised a small flag. The flag, difficult to see from the beach, was replaced by a larger one retrieved from one of the LSTs offshore supporting the landing. Five Marines and one Navy Corpsman labored under fire to plant the larger colors into the rocky ground. The raising of the second, larger flag was captured by Joe Rosenthal, and became the most iconic and reproduced image in the history of photography.
Many commonly believe that the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi signaled the end of the fight for Iwo Jima. In reality, twenty-two more days of relentless and ferocious savagery lay ahead. It was not until 26 March 1945 that Iwo Jima was declared secured. Of the six men who raised the flag on Suribachi, three, Sgt Mike Strank, Cpl Harlan Block, and PFC Franklin Sousley, would die on the island, along with more than 6,800 others, mostly Marines. A fourth flag raiser, Second Class Hospital Corpsman John Bradley, was among the more than 19,000 wounded. The man who took the motion picture footage from the same vantage as Rosenthal, Marine Combat Cameraman Bill Genaust, was later killed in one of Suribachi’s hundreds of caves.
Bradley received a Navy Cross for his actions in combat on 21 February, and Strank a Bronze Star. Bill Genaust also received a Bronze Star.
The above movie is the approximately 20 minute production called “To the Shores of Iwo Jima”. Well worth the time, as it is a grim and unvarnished look at the titanic struggle for Iwo. Seldom have the words of a senior officer been so accurate, or heartfelt, as when Admiral Chester Nimitz described the fight for the island.
Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue
Filed under Air Force, armor, Artillery, Defense, doctrine, ducks, guns, history, infantry, leadership, logistics, marines, navy, Personal, ships, SIR!, veterans, war, weapons, World War II
This one has been around a while, but still worth a giggle.
Move over Camel. These are some true Funky Chickens.
H/T to LisaF
I didn’t see a Load HEAT in the hopper for today, but XBrad’s been traveling. I’m going old school today and picking Jaclyn Smith. How many of you guys had crushes on the Charlie’s Angels? She’s been on Law & Order and CSI in recent years.
She’s been on Jericho and Attack of the Show!. A little skinnier than I would normally pick, but XBrad had nothing and Mav had a repeat. Please welcome Candace Bailey to the Load HEAT!
Since XBrad doesn’t seem to have a Load HEAT post, I will step in with Kristin Chenoweth. West Wing, Pushing Daisies, Glee, and some Broadway work, and she looks nice on the red carpet.
Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
The troops did not fail. More than 140,000 Allied soldiers came ashore at Normandy, on this day 69 years ago. The Second Front so long in the coming was established. The cost was more than ten thousand casualties, of which approximately 4,000 were killed. The same number that died in Iraq in eight years, died on the French coast in a single morning. Tens of thousands more would die before Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally eleven months and one day later.
General Dwight Eisenhower’s famous note hearkens to a brand of leadership seemingly all but extinct today. People in positions of great responsibility shouldering the burden for their decisions and everything that is done or fails to be done by those in their charge. What difference does it make? The difference between victory and defeat, liberty and subjugation, existence and extinction.
Filed under Air Force, armor, army, Artillery, ducks, guns, history, infantry, Lybia, marines, navy, planes, SIR!, Uncategorized, veterans, war