The battle for Iwo Jima took place from the 19th of February until the 26th of March, 1945.  Iwo Jima is a small volcanic island, only slightly more than 8 square miles is size. During WWII, it was controlled by the Japanese until the U.S. invasion, and was important to both sides because of 2 airfields on the island, a 3rd airfield was unfinished, and because of its proximity (750 miles) to mainland Japan.  The island was seen by the U.S. as a possible base of bombing operations against Japan by American B-29s.

More than 70,000 US troops, primarily Marines, took part in the 36-day battle, with about 6,800 killed. Today, 151 are still officially listed as missing.  There were originally about 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo.  Only 1,023 were captured alive and over 10,000 were never recovered from caves and fortifications.  Iwo Jima was an extremely costly battle.

Navajo Native Americans learned a special spoken code, and were utilized during the combat on Iwo. They could speak to fellow tribe members about enemy activity without being decoded.  These “code Talkers” made a large contribution to the capture of Iwo Jima.  The included video is about some of the Code Talker action.

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