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QPME: 70th Anniversary of Iwo Jima

The Battle of Iwo Jima holds a place of honor in the Marine Corps' proud history. This guide is intended for Marines to kickstart their own in-depth study to better understand the context and implications of this key battle.

Iwo Jima Operations

Iwo Jima Operations 

A selection of official U.S. Marine Corps photographs from Iwo Jima Operations, February and March, 1945. 

Please be patient while the slideshow loads. You can view this Iwo Jima Operations album and other Marine Corps photographs online at the USMC Archives Flickr page.

Lt. James T. Dockery Photo Collection

The Lt. James T. Dockery Photograph Collection 

Lt. James T. Dockery, USMC(R), served as an aid on the staff of BGen Samuel Cumming, Assistant Division Commander, 4th Marine Division, World War II. Lt. Dockery participated in the following Campaigns: Roi-Numur, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

The Lt. James T. Dockery Photograph Collection was obtained through a donation by his daughter. Her belief is that her father’s photograph album, containing dozens of photographs of Marines, should be preserved by the Marine Corps. 

The collection includes a list of Dockery's military career assignments and combat actions, a newspaper clipping from the Quad-City Times containing an article about James Dockery shortly after his death on June 3, 2007. Also included was a copy of a graduation certificate from his Reserve Officers Class, and a copy of a World War II Honoree printout.

From the James T. Dockery Collection, (COLL/4445)  Archives Branch of the Marine Corps History Division (OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPHS)

You can view the Dockery photo album and other Marine Corps photographs online at the USMC Archives Flickr page.

Images & Artifacts: National Museum of the Marine Corps

 

The following images and captions were generously compiled by staff at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. These and other exciting artifacts, including the Iwo Jimna flags, can be seen in person at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone’s Posthumous Purple Heart Medal

John Basilone received the Medal of Honor in 1942 in recognition of his outstanding heroism at Guadalcanal in the Pacific during World War II.  One of 10 children and son of an Italian-born father, he was nicknamed "Manila John" because he served with the U.S. Army in the Philippines in the 1930s before enlisting in the Marine Corps.  Following his service on Guadalcanal, Basilone toured the United States on numerous war bond drives before he volunteered to return to combat in 1945.  During the battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945, Basilone was killed in action. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart.

Iwo Jima Flag Raiser, Corporal James R. Michels’ Winter Service Coat

PFC Michels was a member of the combat patrol that placed the first US flag atop Mount Suribachi. The iconic moment was captured on film by Leatherneck magazine’s combat correspondent, Staff Sergeant Louis Lowery.  Arguably the second most famous photo of the battle, the image captures the moment just after the first flag was raised. At the foreground of the shot is James Michels standing guard over the scene with his M-1 Carbine at the ready.

Battle-Damaged Combat Engineer Helmet from Iwo Jima

Corporal Norman Siegal served as a combat engineer in the Battle of Iwo Jima. On the night of 24 February 1945, Corporal Siegal manned a defensive position and was wounded in the head by infiltrating Japanese forces. Ignoring the painful wound, he continued to expose himself to enemy fire and fiercely defended his gun position. When hit again, Siegal ignored large quantities of blood blinding his vision and continued to rain fire on the enemy assault. In recognition of his heroism and wounds, Cpl Siegal received the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart. 

 

Colonel Justice M. Chamber’s Medal of Honor

Lieutenant Colonel Chambers commanded the 3d Battalion, 25th Marines in the Iwo Jima landing on 19 February 1945. His sector was beneath high ground from which heavy enemy fire raked the whole landing beach. "Capture of the high ground," the Medal of Honor recommendation stated, "…was essential to the success of the D-Day operations. It is an established fact that had it not been done, it would have constituted a most serious threat to the subsequent operations of the 5th Amphibious Corps."

Read about more Iwo Jima Medal of Honor winners

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