Army Air Force planes blasted Iwo for 72 days prior to the Navy's 3-day bombardment. It was a terrible battle. An average of 10 American ships per day were blown up by mines or hit by suicide planes. On the island itself the fire was equally deadly. In some units casualties ranged from 20 to 100 percent within the space of hours.
It was Feb. 24, 1945, at the site of some of the bloodiest battles fought in all of World War II. Iwo Jima, 660 nautical miles from Tokyo, was crucial to the United States war effort, and it had to be taken.
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