75 Years After The Battle Of Iwo Jima

Iwo Jima was a battle that lasted from Feb 19, 1945–Mar 26, 1945.  This battle was extremely gruesome, with 7,000 marine deaths and another 20,000 wounded.  Not only was there a large amount of physical effects on the soldiers’ lives, the battle also left many mental scars that showed the true horror of war.  Soldiers’ experienced and witnessed with unthinkable during the Iwo Jima battle, as evidenced by United States Marine Clayton Chipman, “There were so darn many bodies floating in the water, bodies all over the beach.” 

My grandfather, Allen Hunt, flew at least 40 bombing missions over Iwo Jima, and has since passed on.  Although, my other grandfather, who was not present at Iwo Jima, was part of the island hopping campaign and has some amazing stories to tell related to his experiences.   For example, while on Pelu he got lost from his platoon with another man.  They decided to follow a tank and were witness to when out of a bush a Japanese soldier jumped out and threw himself onto the tank.  He was holding a landmine in his hands that he used to blow the tank up killing himself and the tank crew.  When my grandfather told me the story it really hit home and showed how aggressive and brutal the Japanese fighters were.  It was a shocking story and really made me admire him and every other brave soldier that fought in the island hopping campaign. 

The fighting on Iwo Jima, is said to be some of the most brutal fights during the island hopping part of the war.  Soldiers created tunnels all throughout the island to perform hit-and-run attacks as an example of some of their strategies.  Another crazy story from Pelu was told by my grandfather Lieutenant Colonel Allen Hunt, after the battle my grandfather went through the Japanese tunnels and while in there he took multiple Japanese flags and sent them home to his wife.  She without his knowledge cut the silk centers of the flags out and made a red silk dress, that she wore to the Marine Corps Ball.  This sewn dress is now hanging up in George H.W Bush’s museum, who happened to also be a friend of my grandfathers. 

The crazy guerrilla tactics and brutality used in Iwo Jima paints a very clear picture of how brave the soldiers are that fought in the battles at Iwo Jima and Pelu,