National Geographic : 1968 Jul
D-Day on Iwo Jima: Marines hit the beach on Feb ruary 19, 1945. Struggling through volcanic ash, they isolate 548-foot Mount Suribachi, only high ground on the eight-square-mile island. Some 21,000 Japanese defenders, concealed in caves, blockhouses, and pill boxes, fought on for a month. The death toll: 6,821 Americans and all but 1,083 Japanese. Up goes the flag. Americans take Suribachi on Feb ruary 23, a moment immortalized by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. For the next 23 years the Stars and Stripes flew from the height day and night. Now a copper reproduction of the flag honors the campaign in which, in Adm. Chester W. Nimitz's words, "uncommon valor was a common virtue." Rusty wreckage of battle, a remnant of a Japanese tracked vehicle appears on an Iwo beach; the restless sea constantly exposes and buries such debris. Plans call for the U. S . to continue operating loran (long range navigation) stations on Iwo and Marcus Islands. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOEROSENTHAL(ABOVE)ANDU.S . MARINECORPS(OPPOSITE); KODACHROME BYJOEMUNROE© N.G.S .