Wednesday, November 11, 2015

By Land And Sea

 Happy Veterans Day
Here is where Daddy earned his right to be called a Veteran
Daddy served in the Navy as an Electrician's Mate Third Class (an aircraft mechanic) in CASU 52, attached to the 5th Marine Division.

 Starting on 15 June 1944, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Air Forces began naval bombardments and air raids against Iwo Jima, which would become the longest and most intense in the Pacific theater.[15] These would contain a combination of naval artillery shellings and aerial bombings that went on for nine months. On 17 June, the destroyer escort USS Blessman sent Underwater Demolition Team 15 (UDT-15) toward Blue Beach for reconnaissance. The Japanese infantry fired on them, killing one American diver. On the evening of 18 June, the Blessman was hit by a bomb from a Japanese warplane, killing 40 sailors, including 15 members of her UDT.

Unaware of Kuribayashi's tunnel defense system, many of the Americans assumed the majority of the Japanese garrison were killed by the constant bombing raids.

 Above is a flame thrower and below the tunnels Dad spoke of under the Island where the Japanese hide and came out at night.

The limited bombardment had questionable success on the enemy due to the Japanese being heavily dug-in and fortified. However, many bunkers and caves were destroyed during the bombing giving it some limited success. The Japanese had been preparing for this battle since March 1944, which gave them a significant head start. By the time of the landing, about 450 American ships were located off Iwo Jima. The entire battle involved about 60,000 U.S. Marines and several thousand U.S. Navy Seabees