Iwo Jima Operation
The 2nd Bn 24th Marines landed on the afternoon of D-Day attached to the Regiment with a mission of filling a gap in the front lines and continuing the attack with them against this defense of Airfields -#1 and #2. Casualties were severe at this early time. From D + 3 to D + 17 2/24 was under parent control (24th Marines) in the capture of Charlie-Dog Ridge, Hill 382 and the following defenses in depth in the division push towards the sea. The advance after Hill 382 was slow - sometimes less than 100yards a day- along with added costly casualties. By D + 17 had been reorganized into a two company ("F" and "G") battalion with "E" company being dissolved. From D + 18 to D + 25 was attached to the 25" Marine Regiment with the mission of assisting that Regiment in its attack of a number of strong points in its area. 'the period PM D + 25 and D + 26 was spent in mopping up in assigned zones. Boarded the APA USS Beckham on D + 27 for transit to Camp Maui.
We learned while aboard ship that there was considerable more mopping up and fighting in the 5" and 3rd Marine Division Zones after the island had been declared "secure".
Iwo Jima was unique from our previous operations with its much earlier higher casualty rates among unit leaders from the squad level to battalion level. The 4th and 5th Divisions each put ashore nine Battalion Landing Teams (BLT) for a total of eighteen. Of these eighteen D-Day infantry Battalion Commanders only five made it through D + 25 when the island was declared "secure". One of the five was the C.O. 2/24. The 3rd marine Division landed six infantry battalions PM D +2. By D + 25, two of the six Battalion Commanders remained.
In retrospect, much praise should be made a matter of record for the fighting done by the replacements who were without combat experience and worked with a make shift leadership set-up. At the ending days of battle many replacements were seventeen year olds.