Image above: 1966, Invasion Beach "Blue 1 & 2" as taken looking into the sun
towards Mt. Suribachi by the webmaster. Image is Copyrighted by the webmaster.
A special "Thank You" to my friend Jacline who helped restore this old image.




























































































































































































































































































































"...and the beaches ran red with blood..."


     ...describes the scene of the beginning of the American invasion of this Japanese held island, Iwo Jima, in the Bonin islands chain 600 miles to the south of Tokyo. Up until this time most Marines had never heard of this tiny island shaped like a "pork chop" which measured about a mile at its widest point and seven miles at its longest point.

     They would soon find out a lot about this tiny hell hole in the Pacific. Over 6,000 would never return home alive.

     A few years ago, a marine visitor went to the island after obtaining permission and was appalled as to the conditions of the monuments to the fallen Americans...they were in deplorable condition and overgrown by island vegetation. What a terrible way to remember the sacrifices of so many Americans who shed their blood on this small island.

     Following the battle for Iwo Jima, the highest praise possible was bestowed upon the men who endured -- with the simple but eloquent words:


image of Iwo Jima black sand


"Among the men who fought on Iwo island,
uncommon valor was a common virtue."


Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, March 1945

A sample of black Iwo Jima sand from the invasion beach designated as Green-1 which was the beach closest to Mt. Suribachi.





     The following pages are new. They are intended as a tribute to anyone who served on this isolated island in the Pacific. This new site begins simply enough with the story of this web master who spent a year on the island. I served with the United States Air Force as a weather observer/radiosonde operator. My year on Iwo Jima was in the latter half of 1965 and the first half of 1966.

     Many hours were spent "boon docking" -- traveling around the island on foot along with friends to check out the historic landmarks and to see if we could discover new and hidden treasures. We had to be very careful during those trips for some areas still contained unexploded ordinance.

     Below you will find links to a number of stories from servicemen who served on Iwo Jima -- also known as "Sulfur Island" or "the Black Pearl" to name but a few.

     I would like to expand this small web site as a tribute to the servicemen who were stationed on Iwo Jima from February 1945 until 1968 when the island was officially returned to the Japanese government.

     This makes the servicemen who were there on the island members of a unique group of men who are fairly small in number, considering the length of time that the island was in American possession and the small number of servicemen who were stationed on the island.

     If you were a member of this unique group of "Black Pearl Veterans" and would care to contribute your story, I will happily add it to my web pages.


     Joe Richard
     Det. 12, 20th Weather Squardon,
     U. S. Air Force 1962 - 1966



Iwo Jima Aerial Images

Aerial Image of Iwo Jima dated mid year 1967.

Source of the photographs is the 6100 Support Wing History, Volume 1, Jan-Mar l968 assigned to the Fifth Air Force, Pacific AIr Forces, stationed at Tachikawa Air Base Japan.
Image courtesy of the Air Force Historical Research Agency


Overhead Aerial Image of Iwo Jima dated 1959.

Source of the photographs is the 6100 Support Wing History, Volume 1, Jan-Mar l968 assigned to the Fifth Air Force, Pacific AIr Forces, stationed at Tachikawa Air Base Japan.
Image courtesy of the Air Force Historical Research Agency



     Interesting to note: While I was stationed on Iwo Jima (July 1965-1966), the island had changed dramatically since this overhead image was taken in 1959. The main air base was still there with it's single long runway and curved apron. However the second airstrip (just to left of the large base) and the third airstrip (barely seen as an outline between the main base and Mt. Suribachi in bottom of photo) were all but gone...obliterated by the ever encroaching vegetation.


     I am searching for aerial (preferrably directly overhead) images of Iwo Jima taken in the 1960's. If anyone has any idea as to where I might be able to obtain some decent images taken during this time frame, I would appreciate your letting me know.


     Note: The background illustrated throughout this web site is an image of the black volcanic sand from Invasion Beach Green-1, which was the invasion beach located at the base of Mt. Suribachi.



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Did you serve on Iwo Jima?

We have just begun a list of service personnel who have served on Iwo Jima between 1945 and 1968 when the island reverted back to Japan.

We would be honored to add your name to the growing list of Iwo Jima Veterans.

Iwo Jima Veterans

List Added on 1 June 2010


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Battle Hymn


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Robert Hall Ayers, PFC
Co. A., 2nd Sep. Engineers Bn., 1943 - 1946
Time on Iwo: 20 February 1945 - April 1945
United States Marine Corps

Story Added on 14 September 2011

"...I found out many things while on that campaign&emdash;mainly that my fear is pushed out of sight by the hate which I have for them.  It is something far stronger than anything I ever felt before.  You might call it a craze&emdash;ha ha..." 

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Explaination of
Japanese Defence Plan
and Battle of Iwo Jima
by Major Y. Horie

Story Added on 23 January 2008

A document revealing the defence of Iwo Jima and observations of the battle as seen from the Japanese side of the battle. The document is from from interviews with Major Y. Horie after the war. Major Horie was a staff officer of Lt. General Kuribayashi. He survived the battle because he had been sent to Chi Chi Jima the morning of the 19 February 1945 for supplies.


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An Impressive Link: Iwo Jima Photo Album


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Keith W. Johnson
"The Rest of the Story"
1st Radio Intelligence Platoon,
Iwo Jima, February 19, 1945
U. S. Marine Corps

Story Added on 13 November 2007

"...Being in intelligence we knew which outfits were fighting ashore and we knew the going was rough, but we were never in contact with the fighting units as our main job in intelligence was to copy enemy transmissions and locate the stations..."


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William "Bill" Newbauer:
L.C.V.P. Engineer,
U. S. Navy, Iwo Jima, February 20, 1945

Story Updated on 21 July 2002

"...These high swells continued in to shore, although now a little smaller but still very strong with a rip tide effect. We immediately broached, the starboard side was crushed in and we were pulled out about a hundred feet, to be tossed about. We scrambled over the lowered ramp and made it to shore..."


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Tom M. Trotti
Lt. Col. 3/26th, 5th Marine Division,
U. S. Marine Corps, KIA, Iwo Jima, February 22, 1945

Story Updated on 25 November 2007

"...At about 0940, while attempting to pull his battalion together, Lieutenant Colonel Trotti was killed, as was his operations officer, Major William R. Day..."


Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945,
First Flag Raising
An Eyewitness Account
by Radioman Raymond Jacobs

Story added on 16 March 2004.

"...Today, almost 60 years after the event, inaccurate information continues to be circulated about the identity of the Marines and Corpsmen who took part in the events that day on Suribachi..."

Mr. Jacobs has contacted us at World War II Stories -- In Their Own Words and has asked us for assistance in "telling his story" of his participation on the patrol which ascended Mt. Suribachi to raise the FIRST American Flag as the battle for the Iwo Jima raged on down below. Read his account and look at evidence that places Mr. Jacobs in the patrol led by. Lt. Shrier on February 23, 1945.


Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945,
First Flag Raising
An Eyewitness Account
by Radioman Raymond Jacobs

Story added on 14 October 2004.

Conclusions! A letter recently received from Mr. Jacobs on conclusions made regarding Mr. Jacobs photographic evidence. This report is both interesting and informative. Decide for yourself.



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Gareth W. Rosson
Sgt., Ordinance 199th Depot & 3605th HAM Shop,
U. S. Army
Stationed on Iwo Jima

Story Added on 6 March 2007

"...The room was HOT around 105 with a terrible smell. There were 5 or 6 Japanese soldiers, fully clothed, on the floor on the other end of the room. Their bodies were dried like leather. We didn't go down to the next level due to the stench and heat..."



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Raoul M. Ilaw
147 ACS Squadron, GCA Final Flight Controller
U. S. Air Force
Stationed on Iwo Jima
September 1946

Story Added on 22 October 2007

"... We would tie cord around each of our waists as we toured the dark caves with machine guns,  I understand that there was an article in 1949/50, N. Y. World Telegram describing a Japanese Marine that surrended during that period!...."



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William N. Tackitt, S/Sgt.
Stationed TDY on Iwo Jima
U. S. Air Force, 1950

Story Added on 13 June 2004

"...We went into one that had opened up due to cave in below it that had a skeleton of a japanese officer there. He was still covered with some of his uniform..."


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Charles Tibbetts,
Ground Radio Operator, AACS
U. S. Air Force
Station on Iwo Jima: 1955

Story Added on 8 February 2008

"...These pictures were taken with an old Argus C-3 camera but you can still see how some things looked then.  The Marines were there going over the island looking for unexploded shells, etc., and I think they are barely visible down the shore..."



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Howard E. Fornof,
GySg., USMC (Ret)
Foxtrot, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines
Fleet Marine Forces Pacific
March 1952-September 1972

Story Added on 21 February 2005

"...I had the opportunity to I first visited Iwo in 1955 when our company F/2/3 was selected to be the aggressors force in a divisional exercise where the 3rd Marines from Camp Fuji Japan and the 9th Marines from Camp Sukiran Okinawa boarded ships..."



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Harold Spear
A . Co., 802nd Heavy Construction Engineers
Iwo Jima, December 1956 - May 1957
U. S. Army

Story Added on 2 January 2004

"...was in the mess tent eating breakfast when the ground started to shake and we heard a very loud explosion. We rushed outside to see large rocks and and steam blowing several feet in the air. The ground had opened up between the runway and Mt. Sarabachi ..."



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Ronald Armstrong
A 2/C, Water Plant Operator
U. S. Air Force
Stationed on Iwo Jima
February 1957 - February 1958

Story Added on 21 October 2007

"... We  were transported around the perimeter of the island and told to move toward the interior.  Well,  most any sound set off a volley of gunfire.  It was a miracle no one was hit.  No invaders were found...."



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Fred Puente
USAF Air Traffic Control Squadron,
1964th AACS
Stationed on Iwo Jima
U. S. Air Force, April 1958 - April 1959

Story Added on 19 October 2004

"...We could also draw 30 caliber ammo from the Air Police and do some "plinking" around the island at cans, sharks or whatever moved..."



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Charles Simon
U. S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps
Officer Construction, Far East
TDY on Iwo Jima
Early 1960's

Story Added on 22 October 2007

"...After it had been up for a short time, a connector between the cable guy and insulator failed under metal fatigue. The insulator, about the size of a luxury size car swung into the tower and hit it quite hard about 500 feet up the tower. It did a hell of a job knocking the tower out of plumb but it stood..."



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John L. Wick, M.D. (Retired)
Medical Doctor, Stationed on Chichi Jima
September 1964 - August 1966
Iwo Jima Memory
February 1965

Story Added on 23 October 2007

"...It was in February, 1965, exactly 20 years after the invasion.  It was breezy up there, and too cool for comfort, but very clear.  I remember the monument with the American flag waving, and the sound of the brass fittings of the flag pole banging in the breeze.  Even today, when I hear that sound, my mind goes back to Iwo Jima.  Looking down at that invasion beach was the most awe inspiring experience of my life..."




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Joseph L. Richard
Det. 12, 20th Weather Sq.,
My Time on Iwo: July 1965 - July 1966

Story Added on 4 November 2002

The following is an exerpt from the story
About the year that I served on Iwo Jima.

"...After my arrival one of the first things to do was the 'island tour of new arrivals' which was conducted by a couple of the old hands (names escape me) and we all hopped into the back of the base pick up truck..."



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Joseph Pellam
USS Midway, Antisubmarine,
Wyverns (HS-12)
Civilian Worker on Iwo Jima
Stationed in 1993

Story Added on 21 February 2005

"...I went to the top of Suribachi and stood on the spot where the worlds most famous photograph was taken as well as hiking down into the crater and down the other side..."



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An Important Web Page About Iwo Jima

The following link will take you to the most up to date listing of Americans killed during the battle for the island in 1945. There are also additional important links for anyone researching the battle.

A must see web site!

Listing of the Dead From the Battle of Iwo Jima



Did YOU serve on Iwo Jima?

Did you know that there is a group of veterans who have gotten together to form an association of servicemen, no matter what branch of service, who served at one time or another starting at the invasion of the island on February 19, 1945 and continuing until the island was eventually returned to the Japanese in 1968?

Iwo Veterans Organization



Did YOU serve on Iwo Jima?
Do YOU have a story to tell?
Do YOU have a picture or pictures
that tells a story?

Contact me, Joe Richard and I can help by adding YOUR story to my site devoted to veterans who served on Iwo Jima.


If You Would Like to E-mail us, Click on the Image Below:



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Updated on 14 March 2012...1011:05 CST



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