Sunday, February 25, 2007

2007 Academy Awards

The Academy Awards presentation with be in the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Feb. 25. Clint Eastwood is expected to receive an Oscar for best picture of the year <> Letters from Iwo Jima, and for best achievement in directing. Former Vice President Al Gore is expected to receive an Oscar for his Documentary film <> Global Warming.
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Letters from Iwo Jima
Directed by Clint Eastwood.

It's the companion movie to Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers." For a fraction of a second at the very beginning of "Letters from Iwo Jima," you may think that you are gazing overhead at a field of stars. In fact, you are looking straight down into the ground, at waves of black sand on the volcanic island where, over the course of five weeks in February and March, 1945, an invasion force of 100,000 Americans (two thirds of them U.S. Marines) fought 22,000 entrenched Japanese infantrymen. Only 1,083 Japanese survived the battle, while 6,821 Americans were killed and 20,000 wounded.

It's a simple establishing shot: a tilt up from the beach where the Allied forces landed to Mount Suribachi, a rocky knob on the southern tip of the island where the Japanese holed up in a network of tunnels and bunkers, and on top of which the famous, iconic image of the raising of an American flag was taken. That classically heroic-looking photo, and the collateral damage from its exploitation as a propaganda tool to sell War Bonds, was the subject of Eastwood's 2006 "Flags of Our Fathers," the companion piece (or other half) of "Letters From Iwo Jima," though it doesn't really matter which one you see first.

The opening moments of "Letters" have a cosmic zoom-like effect, taking us from the timeless and abstract (stars/sand) into a specific place and time: "Iwo Jima 2005," as a title denotes. It was on this barren little sulfuric spec in the Pacific Ocean, only about five miles from one end to the other, that so many people fought and died 60 years ago.

"Flags of Our Fathers" ended with a similar motion, going from memory-images of surviving Marines frolicking in the surf, to the Stars and Stripes atop Mount Suribachi and the battleships in the harbor, and finally up into the sky (another reason you might think you're looking up rather than down at the start of "Letters," which begins with a view in the opposite direction from the close of "Flags"). The camouflaged artillery that proved so deadly and menacing in "Flags" are, by the start of "Letters," just rusty relics at a war memorial site. Archeologists explore Suribachi's caves and tunnels, still marveling at how the soldiers ever managed to build them.

And then we're on the beach again, in 1945, as Japanese soldiers prepare for the invasion they know is coming by digging trenches in the sand. It looks like a futile, Sisyphean effort. In a letter to his wife (heard in voiceover) one of the diggers, a puppy-faced former baker named Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya, in a thoroughly winning performance), writes philosophically: "This is the hole that we will fight and die in."

They might have died a lot sooner if they'd stuck with this ill-conceived sand strategy. When the new commander, General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (the always-commanding Ken Watanabe), arrives at Iwo Jima, he immediately changes plans, ordering men and artillery to dig in on higher ground. These are the preparations for the massive ambush we see in "Flags of Our Fathers."

The Japanese, who are seen as fierce, highly organized fighters in "Flags," aren't as well-prepared, or well-equipped, as we may have thought. Dashing Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), the Olympic equestrian star who once partied with Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford in Hollywood, appears on the island with his horse, as a symbolic morale-boost for the men. But in a conversation with Kuribayashi over a bottle of Johnnie Walker, Nishi approaches the military reality they face in an indirect manner: "When you think about it," Nishi offers, "it is regrettable that most of the Combined Fleet was destroyed." This is the first news Kuribayashi has had of that particular catastrophe -- but he already knows he doesn't have the manpower or weaponry he needs to resist the pending invasion. (Again, parallels to under-equipped American soldiers being asked to hold ground in Iraq without the necessary material support from their leaders at home is a part of the movie's frame of reference.)

"The Imperial Headquarters is deceiving not just the people but us as well," Kuribayashi says. It's a line that could have been adapted from "Flags of Our Fathers," which was also an examination of various forms of propaganda, codes of honor, and nationalistic symbolism that are among the primary weapons in any war.

When young Saigo is conscripted into the Japanese army, he and his pregnant wife are stunned at the response of his neighbors and friends who, like brainwashed cultists, keep repeating that he is fortunate to be chosen to die for his country. The emphasis here is on the honor conveyed by death itself -- something we see later in the film when soldiers, aware that they're engaged in a hopeless battle, choose to kill themselves rather than fight to the death. One can't help recalling the words attributed to Gen. George S. Patton in 1944: "Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

In both his films, Eastwood empathizes with the "expendable" soldier on the ground, the "poor bastard" who is only a pawn in a war conceived by generals and politicians, some of whom have never come anywhere near a battlefield or a combat zone. And Eastwood fully commits to a boots-on-the-ground POV: The raising of the American flag, presented as a routine, off-hand task to the soldiers in "Flags of Our Fathers" (and which would have remained that way if a photographer had not been present), is only glimpsed obliquely from afar by the Japanese in "Letters from Iwo Jima." Life or death, heroism or folly: It all comes down to which side you're on, and which piece of ground you're occupying, at any given moment in the battle.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

David Crockett, Tennessee

David Crockett left Lawrence County, Tennessee on his way to Texas 90 years before my birth in Lawrence County. However, Davy left a lot of footprints for us to follow. He did the best he could with what God gave him to work with. The following is part of Crockett's life, according to Margaret Nolen Nichol.

"Be sure you are right, then go ahead".
~David Crockett


David Crockett, Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Trapper, Explorer, State Legislator, Congressman, Martyr, was born in a small cabin near the junction of Limestone Creek and the Nolichucky River in upper East Tennessee, August 17, 1786. He was the fifth son, of nine children, born to John and Rebecca Hawkins Crockett.

John Crockett, his father, was born in Maryland, in 1754, and was a descendant of Huguenot ancestors who had immigrated from France to England, Ireland, and America. In America, their migration continued from Maryland to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The name originally was Crocketagne, and the progenitor of the American Crocketts had been the second in command of the Home Guard for Louis, King of France. Line of descent follows: Gabriel Gustave De Crocketagne, Antoine De Sauss Crocketagne, Joseph Louis Crockett, William Crockett, David Crockett, John Crockett, and David Davy Crockett. The senior David Crockett married Elizabeth Hedge in Maryland. Their sons were John, William, Robert, Joseph, and James. The Crocketts migrated to the East Tennessee area while it was still a part of North Carolina and settled in, what was then, the Watauga area.

On July 5, 1776, a Petition was sent to the Honorable, the Provisional Council of North Carolina from the settlers in the Watauga area. This petition explained the situation that the settlers found themselves in at the time, and ask recognition of their efforts toward establishing a form of government for the area. Their type of government, and military establishments were explained in full and submitted to the Council for their candid and impartial judgment in annexing them to the state of North Carolina. David Crockett, Sr., and William Crockett signed the petition.

John, William, and Robert Crockett fought in the Battle of King’s Mountain during the Revolutionary War. During their sons’ absence, David Crockett, Sr., and his wife, Elizabeth, were killed by an Indian attack. All of their children were killed, except for two sons, Joseph and James, and one daughter, who was scalped but survived. Joseph and James were taken captive by the Indians.

John Crockett had married Rebecca Hawkins in Maryland and immigrated, with the rest of the family, to the East Tennessee area. Rebecca Hawkins Crockett was to move many times, including the relocation during her marriage, and as she followed her son, David through his moves to several locations in Middle Tennessee, before moving to live near him in Gibson County, Tennessee. Rebecca Crockett is buried in the Memorial Plot near the reconstructed log cabin of David Crockett in Rutherford, Gibson County, Tennessee.

John Crockett served under Colonel Isaac Shelby in the Battle of King’s Mountain, and was presiding magistrate when Andrew Jackson received his license to practice law. He was a commissioner for building roads and, in 1783, a Frontier Ranger. His name appears on the 1783 Tax List of Greene County, North Carolina. John Crockett lived on Limestone Creek in Greene County when David Davy Crockett was born, and a few years later moved to a place in the same county ten miles north of Greenville. The next move was to Cove Creek, where he built a mill in partnership with Thomas Galbraith. In 1794, his mill and house were destroyed by a flood. John Crockett moved his family to Jefferson County (now Hamblen County), built a log cabin-tavern on the road from Abingdon, Virginia to Knoxville, Tennessee, and continued to live there until his death. David Crockett was eight years old when the family located here.

David Crockett remained with his family until he was the age of twelve. By this time he had grown in size and he was given a job driving cattle to Front Royal, Virginia. After arriving at Front Royal, he worked for farmers, wagoners, and a hatmaker. He was offered a job driving cattle to Baltimore, and he lived there until he reached the age of fifteen. Whether remnants of the Crockett and Hawkins family were still living in the area had not been documented, but we can assume that he had relatives there.

David Crockett returned to his families’ home to find his father in debt. Davy was six feet tall, by this time, and well able to do the work of a man. He obligated himself for a year to Col. Daniel Kennedy, his father’s creditor. Daniel Kennedy was the son of John Kennedy, Esq. who has been called, "The Father of Greene County". The Kennedy family were Quakers, and held in high esteem throughout the eastern part of Tennessee.

David Crockett often borrowed the rifle of his employer and became an excellent marksman. From wages earned, he bought new clothes, a rifle of his own and a horse. He began to take part in the local shooting contests. At these contest, the prize was often quarters of beef. A contestant would pay twenty cents for a single shot at the target, and the best shot won the quarter of beef. Davy Crockett’s aim was so good that more than once, he won all four quarters of beef.

The son of his employer conducted a school nearby, and an arrangement was worked out for a period of six months for David to attend school for four days and work for two days. Excepting the four days he had when he was twelve years old, this was the only schooling David Crockett had.

On August 12, 1806, David Crockett and Mary Polly Finley were married. Davy and his new wife moved into the Duck and Elk River area of Lincoln County, Tennessee. They located near the head of Mulberry Fork, where he began to distinguish himself as a hunter. They lived there during the years of 1809-1810. His two sons, John Wesley and William Finley, were born there.

The Crockett family moved, in 1811, to the south side of Mulberry Creek, near Lynchburg, where David build a log house where his family lived till 1813. He hunted and cleared a field three miles northwest of his homestead on Hungry Hill. When bear and other game became scarce, he moved to better hunting grounds in Franklin County where he settled on Beans Creek and built a homestead which he called "Kentuck". This was the Crockett home until the close of the War of 1812. This homestead is marked by a well standing in a field 3 1/2 miles south and to the east of U.S. Highway 64 in Franklin County.

When the Creek Indians opened hostilities and attacked Fort Mimms, August 30, 1812, the Militia was called for the purpose of raising volunteers. Davy Crockett volunteered and was assigned to Captain Jones’ Mounted Vols. He went to Beatty Springs, where he went with Major Gibson across the Tennessee River into the Creek nation as a spy. He chose George Russell, son of Major Russell, as a partner. They returned safely and reported to General Coffee, who was in command. Davy Crockett , and 800 volunteers of General Coffee’s command, crossed the Tennessee river through Huntsville, Alabama. Davy ask permission of General Coffee to go hunting, and on the river to Muscle Shoals and Melton’s Bluff, he killed a bear. David Crockett fought in the Battles of Fort Strother and Talledega, took part in the Florida Expedition, and rejoined General Russell to do battle with the British. Upon his return home to Franklin County, in 1815, he found his wife, Polly, dying. Polly Finley Crockett is buried in an old cemetery overlooking Bean’s Creek.

In 1816, David Crockett married Elizabeth Patton, a widow, with two small children. She was the widow of George Patton. David and Elizabeth Patton lived in "Kentuck" till 1817, when he moved to Lawrence County, Tennessee.

Lawrence County was created, October 21, 1817, by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly from mostly Indian Territory as a result of the Treaty of 1816, with the Chicasaw Indians. Local government was established in 1818. David Crockett was instrumental in helping to lay out the county, and selecting the county seat, Lawrenceburg, in 1819. The site was chosen because of its proximity to the center of the county, and the fact that Jackson’s Military Road ran on the eastern edge of the town. In April, 1821, the road was changed to go through the center of the town. This road was a major thoroughfare from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi, and played a significant role in the development of the county.

David Crockett was one of the first commissioners and justices of the peace in Lawrence County. He ran a water-powered grist mill, powder mill and distillery in the area of the county that is now David Crockett State Park. He was elected Colonel of a regiment and, from that time, was known as Colonel Crockett. He was elected to the Legislature in 1821. After his term in office, he returned home and shortly thereafter a flood destroyed his installation and bankrupted him. He decided to move further west and removed to Gibson County, Tennessee. He left the remains of his property to his creditors.

In the spring of 1822, David Crockett arrived in Gibson County, and built, what was to be his last home, in Tennessee. He chose land about four and one half miles east of Rutherford and built his cabin. Using some of the logs from this cabin, a replica has been constructed in the town of Rutherford where it houses a museum. The mother of David Crockett, Rebecca Hawkins Crockett, is buried on the grounds.

David Crockett ran for the Legislature, in 1823, and his keen and quick wit earned him the respect of the frontiersmen in the area. He used his backwoodsman persona to entertain his audiences wherever he spoke. His opponent was Dr. W. E. Butler, who was married to the niece of Mrs. Andrew Jackson. However, the new settlers liked the man that they called their own and elected him. It was David Crockett who introduced the bill to form Gibson County, in 1823.

During a trip to Philadelphia, in 1823, David Crockett was presented his famous long rifle "Betsy" which contained the following inscription; "Presented to the Honorable David Crockett of Tennessee by the young men of Philadelphia." This inscription is on the barrel in gold, and near the sight is the motto, "Go Ahead" in letters in silver.

In 1826, David Crockett ran against Colonel Adam Rankin Alexander and Major General William Arnold, both of Jackson. His opponents ran a joint campaign and chose not to mention David Crockett in their speeches. The people did not ignore him, but reelected him by a majority of 2,748. He was their advocate for their "squatters rights" in the district. Davy preferred to call them settlers.

In 1829, the popularity of David Crockett was at such a peak, that his opposition looked for a man that they thought could beat him. Captain Joel Estes, of Haywood County and Colonel Adam Alexender were his opponents. The heated races received wide publicity over a wide region. The results at the polls were, Crockett, 8525; Alexander, 5000; and Estes, 132. David Crockett now felt that he was in a position to promote some his preferences. He broke with the administration on the Bank question, and the Cherokee relocation. His dislike of Andrew Jackson probably dated back to the Creek War and Jackson’s rigorous treatment of his Tennessee troops. However, the break was not received well back in his frontier country. The people of the area had a strong liking for Andrew Jackson, as well. When David Crockett returned home, he found that some strong feelings had developed against him for his stands.

When election day arrived, Davy Crockett found that he had lost the election, by a narrow majority, to his opponent, William Fitzgerald, of Dresden. The election had been called, by David Crockett, a campaign of "trickery". His opponents had announced that he was to speak at several places, and the candidate, not knowing of the arrangement, did not appear. This left the settlers displease and, it is believed, was the reason for his defeat.

When the 1833 elections came, supporters of Andrew Jackson, passed legislation that reconstructed the district in such a way as to give advantage to his opponent, William Fitzgerald. This gerrymandering was called by David Crockett, "the most unreasonable every laid off in the nation, or even to-total creation." The battle was hard fought, but David Crockett won the election. Once more in Congress, he boasted, "Look at my neck, and you will not find any collar with a label, ‘My Dog, Andrew Jackson."

When the tallied results of the, 1836, election were announced, David Crockett had lost by a narrow majority. He retired to his frontier home to contemplate his future. The "people’s friend" decided to answer the call from Texans for volunteers to help their fight for independence.

By 1830 more than 20,000 Americans had migrated to Texas seeking a place to settle and David Crockett, ever looking for new frontiers to conquer, was a prime candidate to assist in the settlement. "As the country no longer requires my services, I have made up my mind to go to Texas. I start anew upon my own hook, and God grant that it may be strong enough to support the weight that may be hung upon it." He left behind wife, children, mother and siblings to take his place in American history.

In 1718, at a native American village in a pleasant wooded area of spring fed streams at the southern edge of Texas Hill country, Spain established the Mission San Antonio de Verlero (later called "The Alamo"). A barracks called San Antonio de Bexar was built to protect this mission. This was more than half a century before the founding of the United States.

In December, 1835, San Antonio de Bexar was under the control of Mexican General Perfecto de Cos with about 1200 soldiers from Mexico. At daybreak, on the fifth, Texans who had been camped outside the fort, begin a siege of the fort. Against heavy odds both men and artillery skirmished for the next two days. On the seventh, the Texan leader, Ben Milam, was killed, and the Texans, inspired to avenge his death, engaged in house to house combat that continued for two more days. At daybreak, on the ninth, General Cos signaled a Mexican truce. The Texans gained all the public property, guns and ammunition.

Mexican General Santa Anna determined to retake San Antonio, and impress upon the settlers the futility of further resistance to Mexican rule. The vanguard of his army arrived in San Antonio, February 23, 1836. The 145 Texans in the area took refuge in the fortified grounds of the old mission known as "The Alamo." Their leaders were William B. Travis, for the regulars; and Jim Bowie, for the volunteers.

General Santa Anna’s army continued to grow over the following two week to about 2,000 troops. William Travis made an appeal for aid from the other Texans in the area. A few reinforcements arrived, making the final total of 189 men. David Crockett was probably among these last recruits.

After bombarding the mission, the Mexican stormed it's walls. At 6:30 a.m., March 6, 1836, The Alamo was taken. Losses in the battle have been placed at 189 Texans and 1600 Mexicans.

Several conflicting stories recount the final hours of the storming of The Alamo, but it is generally agreed that the remains, of the defenders, were piled in a pier and burned in the square. In November, 1836, Colonel Juan Sequin, of the army of the Republic of Texas, reoccupied San Antonio and, in February, 1837, he held a funeral for the defenders. He reported finding two small heaps and one large heap of ashes. Ashes from the small heaps were put in a coffin and used in a funeral procession to the church and back, Salutes were fired over each heap and a service was read at the large heap. A specific burial place has not been determined. Some cremated remains unearthed on the grounds of San Fernando Cathedral are entombed near the front entrance of the church.

Forty six days after the Siege of The Alamo, April 21, 1836, at the Battle of San Jacinto, 783 men led by General Sam Houston defeated General Santa Anna’s 1,500 Mexican troops. The battle lasted only eighteen minutes. Nine Texans lost their lives. The loss for the Mexicans were 630 dead, and 730 prisoners. General Santa Anna, disguised as a peasant, was captured the following day.

The Battle of San Jacinto won the independence for the Texans and the settlement of the new republic began. All who had fought for independence were granted 640 acres by the new government. In 1853, Elizabeth Patton Crockett arrived in Texas to claim her grant. She was accompanied by her children: Robert Patton Crockett, and his family; George Patton, and his family; and Rebecca Halford, and her family. After the cost of the survey, the land grant had shrunk to 320 acres. Their grant was located about four miles north of a trading post, now called Acton, in what now Hood County. Elizabeth Crockett was sixty five years old, but continued to do her share of the frontier work. She died at the age of seventy two, and her remains, with several members of her family, are in Acton State Park and Monument, the smallest state park in Texas. The monument shows her looking to the west, eyes shaded.

Children of David Crockett and Polly Finley Crockett are: John Wesley Crockett, b. 1808; William Finley Crockett, b. 1809; and Margaret Finley (Polly) Crockett, b. 1812. Children of David Crockett and Elizabeth Patton Crockett are: Rebecca Elvira Crockett, b. 1815; Robert Patton Crockett, b. 1816; and Matilda Crockett, b. 1821.

After David Crockett left for Texas, John Wesley Crockett, won two terms in Congress, the seat his father had held.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Keith Ellison, US Congressman - Muslim

About 100 pieces of email is received by me everyday. Most are deleted upon arrival. But this one caught my eye for three reasons <> Thomas Jefferson
was mentioned, the Marines were mentioned, and it was sent to me from my cousin Don Belew, who was born and raised in San Diego, Calif.

U. S. Veteran Dispatch

January 2007

Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in. Capitol Hill staff said Ellison's swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota.

The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library. Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "avisionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom couldbe "gleaned" from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic "Barbary" states of Morocco, Algeria,Tunisia and Tripoli.

Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic "Barbary" states.

Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves. The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the"non-Muslim" older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected. Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the sexual interests of Muslim men by allowing themto take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines astheir fortunes allow.

Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created "eunuch stations" along major African slaveroutes so the necessary surgery could be performed. It was estimated that only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived afterthe surgery.

When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslavedby Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"--an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria. Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congressagreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.

Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors. Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again. Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands fortribute and wanted matters settled "through the medium of war." He proposeda league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.

In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji AbdulRahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain. The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to appease. During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam"was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon themwherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return ofAmerican hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percentof United States government annual revenues in 1800. Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group offrigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informedCongress.

Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marinesand many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast. The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.

In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.

During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling asa result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country's battles on the land as on the sea."

It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates. Jefferson had been right. The"medium of war" was the only way to put an end to the Muslim problem. Mr.Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to readand learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The fall of Philippines to Japanese in 1942

America has been in many wars over more than 200 years and we have won most of them, however, we have not won all the battles. This is one that we lost at the beginning of World War II.

The George W. Bush Iraq War has been lost, and about 70 percent of Americans agree. The one that does not agree is the Commander in Chief of the American Armed Forces. He lied to use before he ordered the invasion of Iraq, and now he has no workable plan to get out of there. Iraq played no part of 911.

Bush said Iraq had (WMD) weapons of mass distructions, and he knew where they were located <> none were found. He then said that he wanted Iraq to have a government of democracy <> it did not and will not happen. After four years of fighting, Bush is responsible for over 3,000 young Americans to be killed and more than 25,000 wounded <> many with no legs, arms, eyes, etc. My plan is to impeach both Bush and Dick Cheney. Our nation cannot keep these insane people in Washington for another two years.
<><> <> <> <>

Bataan Death March

"With broken heart and with head bowed in sadness, but not in shame, I report that today I must arrange terms for the surrender of the fortifiedislands of Manila Bay, Corregidor, Fort Hughes, Fort Drum, and" (end of message)

~Lt.Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, USALast message from CorregidorMay 6, 1942

Just 10 short hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese planes again surprised US forces with an attack on Clark Field, the main U.S. air base on the Philippine island of Luzon. Subsequent Japanese landings on Luzon took place on December 10th and 12th, and on December 22nd, after two weeks of diversionary tactics, a large Japanese invasion force landed at Lingayen Gulf. Japanese General Masaharu Homma, with a contingent of 80 ships and 43,000 troops, waded ashore through both a typhoon and the resistance of U.S. trained Philippine reservists. Homma landed tanks and artillery later that day and began advancing south toward Manila despite the valiant resistance of Major General Jonathan Wainwright's Philippine Scouts.

On Christmas Eve 1941, more of Homma's forces landed to the east at Lamon Bay and began their advance toward Manila, preparing to crush the American-Philippine forces in a 'pincer' maneuver. General Douglas MacArthur put into effect plan 'Orange 3' the original plan for defense of the island. The Philippine Scouts heroically opposed the Japanese advance while the main forces complied with MacArthur's order to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula. The retreating units were forced into leaving behind the stockpiles of food and medical supplies which were needed to sustain them.

On December 26th, Manila was declared an open city by General MacArthur and he ordered all troops and anti-aircraft guns to be withdrawn in accordance with The Hague Convention of 1907.

On December 30,1941 President Manuel Quezon is inaugurated on Corregidor for his second term of office. Quezon pledges to "stand by America and fight with her until victory is won." The War Department receives a radiogram from MacArthur declaring that the Japanese raids on Manila are "completely violative of international law" and that "at the proper time I bespeak due retaliatory measures." The Japanese occupation force move into Manila on January 2 1942, and Japanese planes began daily attacks on Corregidor.

The Japanese assumed that overall victory was assured, and a small Japanese reserve force was tasked with clearing the Bataan Peninsula of remaining opposition forces. On January 10, these Japanese troops met upagainst an Allied stronghold just north of Abucay. Allied forces held off the Japanese advance at the Abucay line until their foes took advantage of a weakness at Mt. Natib on January 22nd. The American-Filipino fighters were forced to retreat further into the Bataan peninsula. The rugged terrain forced a slowdown in the Japanese pursuit, and the Allies were able to establish another stronghold further south on Mt. Samat.

On February 8th, Homma received reinforcements from Tokyo and began to regroup for another assault. The continued successful opposition of the American-Filipino fighters to the Japanese takeover of Bataan provided the much needed hope to the U.S. homeland that the battle in the Pacific was not yet lost. In March 1942, General MacArthur received orders to escape to Australia and take over as Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific Theater. He reluctantly left Bataan on March 11th with the proclamation "I shall return." General Jonathan M. Wainwright, U.S. Army, immediately assumed command of the forces on the island of Corregidor off the southern tip of the Bataan peninsula.

Major General Edward King commanded the remaining Allied forces on Bataan. While relatively well armed, these forces were living on one quarter the prescribed combat rations and had virtually no available medical supplies. Malnutrition and disease were becoming rampant. Hunger and sickness eventually accomplished what the Allies' Japanese enemies could not.
The odds against the American-Filipino troops remaining on Bataan became overwhelming and on April 9, 1942, with face in palm, Maj.Gen. King surrendered all forces on the peninsula.

Thousands of prisoners were taken almost immediately by the Japanese. With Allied fighters spread throughout Bataan, it would be days before the word of surrender could reach them all. Many refused to believe that the news of U.S. surrender was real, and some retreated further into the mountains and continued to fight.

When Japanese forces entered Mariveles, they had captured 76,000 prisoners, most of whom were sick, wounded or suffering from malnutrition. The Japanese supply line, barely sufficient to support their own troops, would be unable to transport these POWs. The prisoners were forced to march the 65 miles of treacherous terrain to the Japanese POW Camp, Camp O'Donnell, to the north. The infamous "Death March" had begun. Many members of the prisoner garrison were systematically executed, while the sick and weak were pushed to exhaustion before being bayoneted or beaten to death with the butt end of a Japanese rifle. Many of the 54,000 who survived the march across Bataan would later succumb to disease or torture while imprisoned. Those who survived the march faced starvation and disease aboard "hell ships" during transportation, and later in prison camps until Japan's formal surrender in 1945.

The Bataan "Death March" recognized as one of the greatest inhumanities of WWII, is also one of the greatest displays of heroism and human spirit on the part of those who did survive.

Two of every three Americans who defended Bataan and Corregidor never returned home. By May 6th, on the island of Corregidor, Japanese troops forced the surrender of Wainwright and all U.S. and Allied forces in the Philippines. It would be nearly two-and-a-half years before General MacArthur could fulfill his promise to return to, and retake from the Japanese, the Philippine Islands.

On 3 Sept. 45, Gen YAMASHITA signed surrender of Japanese Forces in the Philippines, in presence of Lt Gen Jonathan M. Wainwright and Lt Gen Sir Arthur Percival, at Baguio

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

US Marine Navajo Code Talkers

The US Marine Navajo code talkers played a big part in our success of winning in the Pacific theater during World War II. Many were assigned to my First Marine Division. Communication in those days were nothing to write home about and the Japanese had sharp ears when we spoke on the field radios. With the Navajo code talker, the Japs had no idea what was being said. The code talker took a big load off the runners where a message by mouth would be carried by a Marine who could run fast and get to the receiver of the message without being killed. I believe you will enjoy reading about the frequently asked questions of these American hero US Marines.

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Navajo Code Talkers <> World War II

Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Iwo Jima: the Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke.

The idea to use Navajo for secure communications came from Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary to the Navajos and one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently. Johnston, reared on the Navajo reservation, was a World War I veteran who knew of the military's search for a code that would withstand all attempts to decipher it. He also knew that Native American languages--notably Choctaw--had been used in World War I to encode messages.

Johnston believed Navajo answered the military requirement for an undecipherable code because Navajo is an unwritten language of extreme complexity. Its syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, make it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. It has no alphabet or symbols, and is spoken only on the Navajo lands of the American Southwest. One estimate indicates that less than 30 non-Navajos, none of them Japanese, could understand the language at the outbreak of World War II.

Early in 1942, Johnston met with Major General Clayton B. Vogel, the commanding general of Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, and his staff to convince them of the Navajo language's value as code. Johnston staged tests under simulated combat conditions, demonstrating that Navajos could encode, transmit, and decode a three-line English message in 20 seconds. Machines of the time required 30 minutes to perform the same job. Convinced, Vogel recommended to the Commandant of the Marine Corps that the Marines recruit 200 Navajos.

In May 1942, the first 29 Navajo recruits attended boot camp. Then, at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, this first group created the Navajo code. They developed a dictionary and numerous words for military terms. The dictionary and all code words had to be memorized during training.

Once a Navajo code talker completed his training, he was sent to a Marine unit deployed in the Pacific theater. The code talkers' primary job was to talk, transmitting information on tactics and troop movements, orders and other vital battlefield communications over telephones and radios. They also acted as messengers, and performed general Marine duties.

Praise for their skill, speed and accuracy accrued throughout the war. At Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, declared, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." Connor had six Navajo code talkers working around the clock during the first two days of the battle. Those six sent and received over 800 messages, all without error.

The Japanese, who were skilled code breakers, remained baffled by the Navajo language. The Japanese chief of intelligence, Lieutenant General Seizo Arisue, said that while they were able to decipher the codes used by the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps, they never cracked the code used by the Marines. The Navajo code talkers even stymied a Navajo soldier taken prisoner at Bataan. (About 20 Navajos served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines.) The Navajo soldier, forced to listen to the jumbled words of talker transmissions, said to a code talker after the war, "I never figured out what you guys who got me into all that trouble were saying."

In 1942, there were about 50,000 Navajo tribe members. As of 1945, about 540 Navajos served as Marines. From 375 to 420 of those trained as code talkers; the rest served in other capacities.
Navajo remained potentially valuable as code even after the war. For that reason, the code talkers, whose skill and courage saved both American lives and military engagements, only recently earned recognition from the Government and the public.

The Navajo Code Talker's Dictionary

When a Navajo code talker received a message, what he heard was a string of seemingly unrelated Navajo words. The code talker first had to translate each Navajo word into its English equivalent. Then he used only the first letter of the English equivalent in spelling an English word. Thus, the Navajo words "wol-la-chee" (ant), "be-la-sana" (apple) and "tse-nill" (axe) all stood for the letter "a." One way to say the word "Navy" in Navajo code would be "tsah (needle) wol-la-chee (ant) ah-keh-di- glini (victor) tsah-ah-dzoh (yucca)."

Most letters had more than one Navajo word representing them. Not all words had to be spelled out letter by letter. The developers of the original code assigned Navajo words to represent about 450 frequently used military terms that did not exist in the Navajo language. Several examples: "besh- lo" (iron fish) meant "submarine," "dah-he- tih-hi" (hummingbird) meant "fighter plane" and "debeh-li-zine" (black street) meant "squad."

Department of Defense Honors Navajo Veterans

Long unrecognized because of the continued value of their language as a security classified code, the Navajo code talkers of World War II were honored for their contributions to defense on Sept. 17, 1992, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Thirty-five code talkers, all veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps, attended the dedication of the Navajo code talker exhibit. The exhibit includes a display of photographs, equipment and the original code, along with an explanation of how the code worked.

Dedication ceremonies included speeches by the then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald Atwood, U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona and Navajo President Peterson Zah. The Navajo veterans and their families traveled to the ceremony from their homes on the Navajo Reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Navajo code talker exhibit is a regular stop on the Pentagon tour.

Monday, February 19, 2007

President's Day

It's President's Day. When I think of presidents, my mind goes back to Harry S. Truman. He ruled the roost with a stick, not a carrot. I feel that I am somewhat like him <> we say things like they are, with straight talk. If it's not liked, I offer my middle finger in the vertical position pointed toward Heaven.

I have met and shook hands with three presidents. Truman was the first in 1948. I met him at church in the city of New Burn, N.C. He was there running to be president against Republican Thomas Dewey for another four years. I was 21 years old and for the first time, I was eligible to vote. My first vote went to Harry. He was elected even though many folks didn't think he had a chance to win. During those times, all the votes were counted.

After World War II ended, Truman wanted to eliminate the United States Marine Corps. Since he served in the Army, he didn't like the guys who wore the beautiful blue uniforms. It might have also been because the Marines referred to US Army personnel, as dog-faces. Truman later made a remark about the Marines that he should not have made. Truman said, "The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." He later apologized for the first time in his life.

I hope you will enjoy reading a little history of this great American. With his great decision of ordering the Atomic Bomb to be dropped over Japan in August 1945, many American and Japanese lives were saved even though some Japanese lives were lost from the result of the bomb. My own life might have been saved because my First Marine Division had just wrapped up the fighting on the island of Okinawa, and our next engagement was scheduled to be homeland Japan.
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33rd President of the United States

Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884, the son of John Anderson Truman and Martha Ellen (Young) Truman. The family, which soon included another boy, Vivian, and a girl, Mary Jane moved several times during Truman's childhood and youth - first, in 1887, to a farm near Grandview, then, in 1890, to Independence, and finally, in 1902, to Kansas City. Young Harry attended public schools in Independence, graduating from high school in 1901. After leaving school, he worked briefly as a timekeeper for a railroad construction contractor, then as a clerk in two Kansas City banks. In 1906 he returned to Grandview to help his father run the family farm. He continued working as a farmer for more than ten years.

From 1905 to 1911, Truman served in the Missouri National Guard. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, he helped organize the 2nd Regiment of Missouri Field Artillery, which was quickly called into Federal service as the 129th Field Artillery and sent to France. Truman was promoted to Captain and given command of the regiment's Battery D. He and his unit saw action in the Vosges, Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. Truman joined the reserves after the war, rising eventually to the rank of colonel. He sought to return to active duty at the outbreak of World War II, but Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall declined his offer to serve.

On June 28, 1919, Truman married Bess Wallace, whom he had known since childhood. Their only child, Mary Margaret, was born on February 17, 1924. From 1919 to 1922 he ran a men's clothing store in Kansas City with his wartime friend, Eddie Jacobson. The store failed in the postwar recession. Truman narrowly avoided bankruptcy, and through determination and over many years he paid off his share of the store's debts.

Truman was elected in 1922, to be one of three judges of the Jackson County Court. Judge Truman whose duties were in fact administrative rather than judicial, built a reputation for honesty and efficiency in the management of county affairs. He was defeated for reelection in 1924, but won election as presiding judge in the Jackson County Court in 1926. He won reelection in 1930.

In 1934, Truman was elected to the United States Senate. He had significant roles in the passage into law of the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 and the Transportation Act of 1940. After being reelected in 1940, Truman gained national prominence as chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. This committee, which came to be called the Truman Committee, sought with considerable success to ensure that defense contractors delivered to the nation quality goods at fair prices.

In July 1944, Truman was nominated to run for Vice President with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On January 20, 1945, he took the vice-presidential oath, and after President Roosevelt's unexpected death only eighty-two days later on April 12, 1945, he was sworn in as the nations' thirty-third President.

During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt, and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman's to solve when, on April 12, 1945, he became President. He told reporters, "I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."

Truman later called his first year as President a "year of decisions." He oversaw during his first two months in office the ending of the war in Europe. He participated in a conference at Potsdam, Germany, governing defeated Germany, and to lay some groundwork for the final stage of the war against Japan. Truman approved the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945. Japan surrendered on August 14, and American forces of occupation began to land by the end of the month. This first year of Truman's presidency also saw the founding of the United Nations and the development of an increasingly strained and confrontational relationship with the Soviet Union.

Truman's presidency was marked throughout by important foreign policy initiatives. Central to almost everything Truman undertook in his foreign policy was the desire to prevent the expansion of the influence of the Soviet Union. The Truman Doctrine was an enunciation of American willingness to provide military aid to countries resisting communist insurgencies; the Marshall Plan sought to revive the economies of the nations of Europe in the hope that communism would not thrive in the midst of prosperity; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization built a military barrier confronting the Soviet-dominated part of Europe. The one time during his presidency when a communist nation invaded a non-communist one -- when North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950 -- Truman responded by waging undeclared war.

In his domestic policies, Truman sought to accomplish the difficult transition from a war to a peace economy without plunging the nation into recession, and he hoped to extend New Deal social programs to include more government protection and services and to reach more people. He was successful in achieving a healthy peacetime economy, but only a few of his social program proposals became law. The Congress, which was much more Republican in its membership during his presidency than it had been during Franklin Roosevelt's, did not usually share Truman's desire to build on the legacy of the New Deal.

The Truman administration went considerably beyond the New Deal in the area of civil rights. Although, the conservative Congress thwarted Truman's desire to achieve significant civil rights legislation, he was able to use his powers as President to achieve some important changes. He issued executive orders desegregating the armed forces and forbidding racial discrimination in Federal employment. He also established a Committee on Civil Rights and encouraged the Justice Department to argue before the Supreme Court on behalf of plaintiffs fighting against segregation.

In 1948, Truman won reelection. His defeat had been widely expected and often predicted, but Truman's energy in undertaking his campaign and his willingness to confront issues won a plurality of the electorate for him. His famous "Whistlestop" campaign tour through the country has passed into political folklore, as has the photograph of the beaming Truman holding up the newspaper whose headline proclaimed, "Dewey Defeats Truman."

Truman left the presidency and retired to Independence in January 1953. For the nearly two decades of his life remaining to him, he delighted in being "Mr. Citizen," as he called himself in a book of memoirs. He spent his days reading, writing, lecturing and taking long brisk walks. He took particular satisfaction in founding and supporting his Library, which made his papers available to scholars, and which opened its doors to everyone who wished to have a glimpse of his remarkable life and career.
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More about Harry S.Truman

President Harry Truman was often fond of a glass of bourbon. His favorite brand was I.W. Harper. His wife, Bess, never knew that he kept a hidden stash of it in his personal bathroom.

Harry S Truman was playing Poker when he learned he was to be president.

He was the first president to travel underwater in a modern submarine.

"Tell him to go to hell!" - Truman's first response to the messenger who told him that Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted him to be his running mate.

Truman watched from a window as guards had a gunfight with two men trying to break in and kill him. One of the men was
killed, the other was convicted of several crimes and sentenced to death, Truman changed the sentence to life in prison. Jimmy Carter freed the man in 1979.

His Secretary of State won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Truman loved to play the piano. In 1948, a piano leg went through the floor of the White House!

Harry S Truman was a great-nephew of John Tyler.

He was the first president to give a speech on television.

Truman was the first president to be paid a salary of $100,000.

Truman was left handed, but his parents made him write with his right hand.

He was a Captain in the field artillery in World War I.

Truman popularized the saying, "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."

Truman was named one of the 10 best-dressed senators.

Truman once said, "No man should be allowed to be president who doesn't understand hogs."

Harry S Truman was the first president to take office during wartime.
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President Harry S. Truman's quotes

A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.
Harry S. Truman

A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.
Harry S. Truman

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
Harry S. Truman

A politician is a man who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years.
Harry S. Truman

A President cannot always be popular.
Harry S. Truman

A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment.
Harry S. Truman

A President needs political understanding to run the government, but he may be elected without it.
Harry S. Truman

Actions are the seed of fate deeds grow into destiny.
Harry S. Truman

All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I make it and forget about it.
Harry S. Truman

All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.
Harry S. Truman

Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.
Harry S. Truman

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.
Harry S. Truman

Any man who has had the job I've had and didn't have a sense of humor wouldn't still be here.
Harry S. Truman

Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
Harry S. Truman

Being too good is apt to be uninteresting.
Harry S. Truman

Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything.
Harry S. Truman

Experience has shown how deeply the seeds of war are planted by economic rivalry and social injustice.
Harry S. Truman

He's one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides.
Harry S. Truman

I do not believe there is a problem in this country or the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount.
Harry S. Truman

I don't want it torn down. I think it's the greatest monstrosity in America.
Harry S. Truman

I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have in it now. I believe it has a glorious future before it - not just another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.
Harry S. Truman

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S. Truman

I have no desire to crow over anybody or to see anybody eating crow, figuratively or otherwise. We should all get together and make a country in which everybody can eat turkey whenever he pleases.
Harry S. Truman

I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
Harry S. Truman

I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
Harry S. Truman

I remember when I first came to Washington. For the first six months you wonder how the hell you ever got here. For the next six months you wonder how the hell the rest of them ever got here.
Harry S. Truman

I was the only calm one in the house. You see I've been shot at by experts.
Harry S. Truman

I would rather have peace in the world than be President.
Harry S. Truman

I've said many a time that I think the Un-American Activities Committee in the House of Representatives was the most un-American thing in America!
Harry S. Truman

If I hadn't been President of the United States, I probably would have ended up a piano player in a bawdy house.
Harry S. Truman

If I'd known how much packing I'd have to do, I'd have run again.
Harry S. Truman

If you can't convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. Truman

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Harry S. Truman

In my opinion eight years as president is enough and sometimes too much for any man to serve in that capacity.
Harry S. Truman

In my Sunday School class there was a beautiful little girl with golden curls. I was smitten at once and still am.
Harry S. Truman

In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first.
Harry S. Truman

Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.
Harry S. Truman

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S. Truman

It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences.
Harry S. Truman

It seems like there was always somebody for supper.
Harry S. Truman

It sure is hell to be president.
Harry S. Truman

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
Harry S. Truman

It's plain hokum. If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em. It's an old political trick. But this time it won't work.
Harry S. Truman

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
Harry S. Truman

Most of the problems a President has to face have their roots in the past.
Harry S. Truman

My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.
Harry S. Truman

My father was not a failure. After all, he was the father of a president of the United States.
Harry S. Truman

Nixon is one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides.
Harry S. Truman

Our conference in 1945 did much more than draft an international agreement among 50 nations. We set down on paper the only principles which will enable civilized human life to continue to survive on this globe.
Harry S. Truman

Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in.
Harry S. Truman

That precedent should continue-not by a Constitutional amendment but by custom based on the honor of the man in the office.
Harry S. Truman

The atom bomb was no "great decision." It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness.
Harry S. Truman

The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S. Truman

The buck stops here!
Harry S. Truman

The human animal cannot be trusted for anything good except en masse. The combined thought and action of the whole people of any race, creed or nationality, will always point in the right direction.
Harry S. Truman

The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's.
Harry S. Truman

The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all.
Harry S. Truman

The President is always abused. If he isn't, he isn't doing anything.
Harry S. Truman

The reward of suffering is experience.
Harry S. Truman

The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members.
Harry S. Truman

The White House is the finest prison in the world.
Harry S. Truman

Therefore to re-establish that custom, although by a quibble I could say I've only had one term, I am not a candidate and will not accept the nomination for another term.
Harry S. Truman

This administration is going to be cussed and discussed for years to come.
Harry S. Truman

Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination.
Harry S. Truman

To hell with them. When history is written they will be the sons of bitches - not I.
Harry S. Truman

Upon books the collective education of the race depends; they are the sole instruments of registering, perpetuating and transmitting thought.
Harry S. Truman

We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God.
Harry S. Truman

We must build a new world, a far better world - one in which the eternal dignity of man is respected.
Harry S. Truman

We must have strong minds, ready to accept facts as they are.
Harry S. Truman

We shall never be able to remove suspicion and fear as potential causes of war until communication is permitted to flow, free and open, across international boundaries.
Harry S. Truman

Well, I wouldn't say that I was in the great class, but I had a great time while I was trying to be great.
Harry S. Truman

When even one American - who has done nothing wrong - is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth - then all Americans are in peril.
Harry S. Truman

When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.
Harry S. Truman

Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.
Harry S. Truman

Whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court he ceases to be your friend.
Harry S. Truman

Why, this fellow don't know any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday.
Harry S. Truman

You and I are stuck with the necessity of taking the worst of two evils or none at all. So-I'm taking the immature Democrat as the best of the two. Nixon is impossible.
Harry S. Truman

You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don't believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can't possibly foresee now.
Harry S. Truman

You can never get all the facts from just one newspaper, and unless you have all the facts, you cannot make proper judgements about what is going on.
Harry S. Truman

You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.
Harry S. Truman

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.
Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman died on December 26, 1972. Bess Truman died on October 18, 1982. They are buried side by side in the Library's courtyard.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

US Marine Corps Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States. In judging men for receipt of the medal, each service has established its own regulations. The deed must be proved by incontestable evidence of at least two eyewitnesses; it must be so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes the recipient's gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery; it must involve the risk of his life; and it must be the type of deed which, if he had not done it, would not subject him to any justified criticism.

The idea for the Medal of Honor was born during the Civil War as men fought gallantly and oftentimes displayed great heroism. George Washington originated the Purple Heart in 1782 to honor brave soldiers, sailors and Marines. From that time until the Civil War, Certificates of Merit and a "brevet" system of promotions were used as military awards. The first military decoration formally authorized by the American Government as a badge of valor was the Medal of Honor for enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps. It was authorized by Congress, and approved by President Abraham Lincoln on 21 December 1861. The medal for the Army and Voluntary Forces was authorized on 12 July 1862.

The medal is awarded "in the name of the Congress of the United States" and for this reason, it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor. It is only on rare occasions, however, that Congress awards special Medals of Honor. An Executive Order, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on 20 September 1905, directed that ceremonies of award "will always be made with formal and impressive ceremonial" and that the recipient "will, when practicable, be ordered to Washington, D.C., and the presentation will be made by the President, as Commander in Chief, or by such representative as the President may designate."

Since 1862, 294 Marines have been awarded the Medal of Honor. The first recipient was Corporal John F. Mackie, who during the attack on Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, "fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits on shore,and when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage." Sixteen other enlisted Marines were awarded the medal during the Civil War. Another 63 Marines would receive the Medal of Honor in the 1871 Korean Campaign, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion. Marine and Navy officers were first declared eligible for the award in 1913, and in the next year nine medals were awarded to officers for the landing at Vera Cruz, Mexico. The "Banana Wars" saw a total of another 13 medals conferred on enlisted Marines and officers. Only two Marines, Major General Smedley D. Butler and Sergeant Major Daniel Daly were awarded Medals of Honor for two separate actions: Vera Cruz (1914) and Haiti (1915) for Butler, and Peking (1900) and Haiti (1915) for Daly. Although only 7 Marines received the medal for actions during World War I, 82 medals were given to Marines during World War II, and another 42 were awarded for the Korean War. During the Vietnam War a total of 57 Medal of Honor were awarded to Marines. In the Iraq War, Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous), for covering a grenade with his helmet to save his fellow Marines.
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U.S. Marine Corps Recipients of World War II
(Noah's note: Notice how many were awarded posthumous).

AGERHOLM, HAROLD CHRIST (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Saipan, Marianas Islands, 7 July 1944
ANDERSON, RICHARD BEATTY (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 4th Marine Division, Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944
BAILEY, KENNETH D. (posthumous), Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Marine Raider Battalion, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 12-13 September 1942
BASILONE, JOHN, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 24 and 25 October 1942
BAUER, HAROLD WILLIAM, (posthumous), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighting Squadron 212, Over Guadalcanal, 10 May 1942 - 14 November 1942
BAUSELL, LEWIS KENNETH (posthumous), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Peleliu Island, Palau Group, 15 September 1944
BERRY, CHARLES JOSEPH (posthumous), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945
BONNYMAN, ALEXANDER, JR. (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, 2d Battalion Shore Party, 8th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, 20-22 November 1943
BORDELON, WILLIAM JAMES (posthumous), Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, tactically attached to the 2d Marine Division, Tarawa, Gilbert Islands on 20 November 1943
BOYINGTON, GREGORY, Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214., Central Solomons area, from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944.
BUSH, RICHARD EARL, Corporal, U .S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division., Mount Yaetake on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 16 April 1945.
CADDY, WILLIAM ROBERT (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company 1, 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945
CANNON, GEORGE HAM (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, Battery H, 6th Defense Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, Sand Island, Midway Islands, 7 December 1941
CASAMENTO, ANTHONY, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division., Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 01 November 1942
CHAMBERS, JUSTICE M., Colonel. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3rd Assault Battalion Landing Team. 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 19 to 22 February 1945.
COLE, DARRELL SAMUEL (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company B, 1st Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945
COURTNEY, HENRY ALEXIUS, JR. (posthumous), Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 14 and 15 May 1945
DAY, JAMES L., Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 14-17 May 1945
DAMATO, ANTHONY PETER (posthumous), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps., Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, on the night of 19-20 February 1944
DEBLANC, JEFFERSON JOSEPH, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 112., Off Kolombangara Island in the Solomons group, 31 January 1943.
DUNLAP, ROBERT. HUGO, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division., On Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 20 and 21 February 1945.
DYESS, AQUILLA JAMES (posthumous), Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines (Rein), 4th Marine Division, Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 and 2 February 1944
EDSON, MERRITT AUSTIN, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Marine Raider Battalion, with Parachute Battalion attached, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 13-14 September 1942
ELROD, HENRY TALMAGE (posthumous), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighting Squadron 211, Wake Island, 8 to 23 December 1941
EPPERSON, HAROLD GLENN (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Saipan, Marianas Islands, 25 June 1944
FARDY, JOHN PETER (posthumous), Corporal, U.S Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 7 May 1945
FLEMING, RICHARD E. (posthumous), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 241, Battle of Midway on 4 and 5 June 1942
FOSS, JOSEPH JACOB, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing., Over Guadalcanal, 9 October to 19 November 1942, 15 and 23 January 1943.
FOSTER, WILLIAM ADELBERT (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain 2 May 1945
GALER, ROBERT EDWARD, Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighter Sqdn. 244, Solomon Islands Area
GONSALVES, HAROLD (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 4th Battalion, 15th Marines, 6th Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 15 April 1945
GRAY, ROSS FRANKLIN (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 21 February 1945
GURKE, HENRY (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Marine Raider Battalion, Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands area, 9 November 1943
HALYBURTON, WILLIAM DAVID, JR. (posthumous), Pharmacist's Mate Second Class, U.S. Naval Reserve, serving with 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 10 May 1945
HANSEN, DALE MERLIN (posthumous), Private, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 May 1945
HANSON, ROBERT MURRAY (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 215, Over Bougainville Island, 1 November 1943; and New Britain Island, 24 January 1944
HARRELL, WILLIAM GEORGE, Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945.
HAUGE, LOUIS JAMES, JR. (posthumous), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain on 14 May 1945
HAWKINS, WILLIAM DEAN (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, Scout Sniper Platoon, Tarawa, Gilbert Island, 20 and 21 November 1943
JACKSON, ARTHUR J., Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division., Island of Peleliu in the Palau group, 18 September 1944.
JACOBSON, DOUGLAS THOMAS, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 February 1945.
JULIAN, JOSEPH RODOLPH (posthumous), Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 9 March 1945
KINSER, ELBERT LUTHER (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company I, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 4 May 1945
KRAUS, RICHARD EDWARD (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 8th Amphibious Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force, Peleliu, Palau Islands, on 5 October 1944
LA BELLE, JAMES DENNIS (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 8 March 1945
LEIMS, JOHN HAROLD, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 7 March 1945.
LUCAS, JACKLYN HAROLD, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 20 February 1945.
LUMMUS, JACK (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 8 March 1945
MARTIN, HARRY LINN (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company C, 5th Pioneer Battalion, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 March 1945
MASON, LEONARD FOSTER (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, Guam, Marianas Islands, 22 July 1944
McCARD, ROBERT HOWARD (posthumous), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 16 June 1944
McCARTHY, JOSEPH JEREMIAH, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 21 February 1945.
McTUREOUS, ROBERT MILLER, JR. (posthumous), Private, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Battalion, 29th Marines, 6th Marine Division, Okinawa in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 June 1945
NEW, JOHN DURY (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Peleliu Island, Palau Group, 25 September 1944
OWENS, ROBERT ALLEN (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps., Cape Torokina, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, on 1 November 1943
OZBOURN, JOSEPH WILLIAM (posthumous), Private, U.S. Marine Corps, 1st Battalion, 23d Marines, 4th Marine Division, Tinian Island, Marianas Islands, 30 July 1944
PAIGE, MITCHELL, Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps., Solomon Islands, 26 October 1942.
PHELPS, WESLEY (posthumous), Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Peleliu Island, Palau Group, 4 October 1944
PHILLIPS, GEORGE (posthumous), Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 14 March 1945
POPE, EVERETT PARKER, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division., Peleliu Island, Palau group, 19-20 September 1944.
POWER, JOHN VINCENT (posthumous), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, 4th Marine Division, Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944
ROAN, CHARLES HOWARD (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Peleliu, Palau Islands, 18 September 1944
ROUH, CARLTON ROBERT, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division., Peleliu Island, Palau group, 15 September 1944.
RUHL, DONALD JACK (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company E, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 19 to 21 February 1945
SCHWAB, ALBERT EARNEST (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve., Okinawa Shima in the Rykuyu Islands, 7 May 1945
SHOUP, DAVID MONROE, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, and Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943., Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943
SIGLER, FRANKLIN EARL, Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 14 March 1945.
SKAGGS, LUTHER, JR., Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division., Asan-Adelup beachhead, Guam, Marianas Islands, 21 -22 July 1944.
SMITH, JOHN LUCIAN, Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighter Squadron 223,, In the Solomon Islands area, August-September 1942.
SORENSON, RICHARD KEITH, Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 4th Marine Division., Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll Marshall Islands, 1 -2 February 1944.
STEIN, TONY (posthumous), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 19 February 1945
SWETT, JAMES ELMS, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighter Squadron 221, with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing., Solomon Islands area, 7 April 1943.
THOMAS, HERBERT JOSEPH (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, Bougainville Islands, Solomon Islands, on 7 November 1943
THOMASON, CLYDE (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Raiders, Makin Island, 17-18 August 1942
TIMMERMAN, GRANT FREDERICK (posthumous), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 8 July 1944
VANDEGRIFT, ALEXANDER ARCHER, Major General, U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer of the 1st Marine Division., Solomon Islands, 7 August to 9 December 1942.
WALSH, KENNETH AMBROSE, First Lieutenant, pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron 124, U.S. Marine Corps., Solomon Islands area, 15 and 30 August 1943.
WALSH, WILLIAM GARY (posthumous), Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company G, 3d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 27 February 1945
WATSON, WILSON DOUGLAS, Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 and 27 February 1945.
WILLIAMS, HERSHEL WOODROW, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division., Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945.
WILSON, LOUIS HUGH, JR., Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding Rifle Company, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division., Fonte Hill, Guam, 25-26 July 1944.
WILSON, ROBERT LEE (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, Tinian Island, Marianas Group, 4 August 1944
WITEK, FRANK PETER (posthumous), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, Guam, Marianas, on 3 August 1944

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stanley (Stan) Edwin Hadden
We have lost another US Navy war hero, World War II and the Korean War <> member of the Greatest Generation. My friend, Stanley (Stan) Edwin Hadden, 88, of Gulf Breeze, Fla. died Friday, February 9, 2007. My deepest sympathy to his family. Stan founded his Web site two decades ago and updated it on Thursday of each week. Stan was instrumental in the design and construction of the Korean Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Stan was an accomplished artist of over 500 works of art distributed throughout the world, with his trademark dog, Buzzy, and the mysterious "Lady in Brown". Most notable is "The Reading of the Declaration of Independence", hanging at the headquarters of Colt Industries. Click on and read the last one he posted.

"Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh -- Falls the night.

"Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

"Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night."

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John H. Glenn, Jr.

John Herschel Glenn, Jr. was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, and LtCol. Glenn, USMC, became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, completing three orbits on February 20, 1962. (Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, the first person in space, made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961).

John joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 and flew 59 missions during World War II and 90 missions during the Korean War. He was a test pilot from 1954 and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1959. Of the seven U.S. military pilots selected in that year for Project
Mercury astronaut training, he was the oldest. Glenn served as a backup pilot for Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Virgil I. Grissom, who made the first two U.S. suborbital flights into space. Glenn was selected for the first orbital flight, and on February 20, 1962, his space capsule, Friendship 7 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its orbit ranged from approximately 99 to 162 miles (159 to 261 km) in altitude, and Glenn made three orbits, landing in the Atlantic Ocean near The Bahamas.

Glenn retired from the space program and the Marine Corps in 1964 to enter private business and to pursue his interest in politics. In 1970 he sought the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio but lost narrowly in the primary. He was elected U.S. senator from that state in 1974 and was reelected three times thereafter. Glenn was unsuccessful, however, in his bid to become the 1984 Democratic presidential candidate.

On October 29, 1998, Glenn returned to space as a payload specialist on a nine-day mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery. The oldest person ever to travel in space, Glenn at age 77 participated in experiments that studied similarities between the aging process and the body's response to weightlessness.
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George Washington

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. When he was born, America was not a nation yet. It belonged to England, a country across the ocean. People in America didn't want to belong to England so they fought a war to become a separate country. George Washington was an American general in the war. America won the war and picked a new name for itself: The United States of America. George Washington was elected to be its first President. A legend is told about George Washington as a boy. Young George had a new hatchet and with it he cut down a small cherry tree. When his father saw the tree, he was angry. "George," he said. "Did you do that?" George was afraid to admit that he did.Nevertheless, the boy decided to tell the truth. "Yes, Father," he said, "I cut down the cherry tree with my hatchet. I cannot tell a lie." George Washington's father was proud of George for telling the truth.
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Battle of Iwo Jima
Sixty-Two Years Ago

Part of
World War II, Pacific War

February 19, 1945March 26, 1945

United States
Empire of Japan
Holland Smith
Tadamichi Kuribayashi
4,197 killed19,189 wounded1401 died of wounds494 missing
20,703 killed216 captured
Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign
Iwo Jima – OkinawaTen-Go
Pacific Ocean theater
MidwaySolomon IslandsAleutian IslandsGilberts & Marshall IslandsMarianas & Palau IslandsVolcano & Ryukyu Islands

The Battle of Iwo Jima was fought by the United States of America and the Empire of Japan in February and March 1945, during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The U.S. invasion, known as Operation Detachment, was aimed at capturing the airfields on Iwo Jima.

The battle is famous for the image (see right) of five men from E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps, along with a U.S. Navy corpsman, raising the U.S. flag atop the 166 metre (546 ft) Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the island, during the battle. The Marines captured Suribachi in the first week of fighting. Three of the six flag-raisers were killed before Iwo Jima was secured. The fighting was intense; Japan suffered very heavy losses: of the 22,000 Japanese troops entrenched on the island, only 1,083 survived. The United States lost a total of 6,825 personnel in the battle for the island. The Allies were gaining ground in the Pacific Theater at this point in the war, and the victory at Iwo Jima was another step towards the Japanese Home Islands.
The Island
Iwo Jima, which means "Sulphur Island" in Japanese, is one of the Volcano Islands, part of the Ogasawara, a group of islands about 1,080 km (522 miles) south of Tokyo, 1,130 km (555 miles) north of Guam, and nearly halfway between Tokyo and Saipan (24.754°N, 141.290°E).
After the American seizure of the Marshall Islands and devastating air attacks against Truk in the Caroline Islands in February 1944, the Japanese military leadership reappraised the military situation. All indications pointed to an American drive towards the Marianas and Carolines. To counter such a move, they established an inner line of defense extending generally northward from the Carolines to the Marianas, and thence to the Ogasawara Islands. In March 1944, the Thirty-First Army, commanded by General Hideyoshi Obata was activated for the purpose of garrisoning this inner line. The commander of the Chichi Jima garrison was placed nominally in command of Army and Navy units in the Ogasawara Islands.

Following the American seizure of bases in the Marshalls in the battles of Kwajalein and Eniwetok in February 1944, both Army and Navy reinforcements were sent to Iwo Jima. Five hundred men from the naval base at Yokosuka and an additional 500 from Chichi Jima reached Iwo Jima during March and April 1944. At the same time, with the arrival of reinforcements from Chichi Jima and the home islands, the Army garrison on Iwo Jima had reached a strength of over 5,000 men, equipped with 13 artillery pieces, 200 light and heavy machine guns, and 4,552 rifles. In addition there were a number of 120 mm coastal artillery guns, twelve heavy anti-aircraft guns, and thirty 25 mm dual-mount anti-aircraft guns.

The loss of the Marianas during the summer of 1944 greatly increased the importance of the Ogasawaras for the Japanese, who were well aware that the loss of these islands would facilitate American air raids against the home islands, disrupting war manufacturing and severely damaging civilian morale.

Final Japanese plans for the defense of the Ogasawaras were overshadowed by the fact that the Imperial Japanese Navy had already lost most of its strength and could no longer prevent American landings. Moreover, aircraft losses throughout 1944 had been so heavy that, even if war production was not affected by American air attacks, combined Japanese air strength was not expected to increase to 3,000 aircraft until March or April of 1945. Even then, these planes could not be used from bases in the home islands against Iwo Jima because their range did not exceed 900 km (550 miles); besides, all available aircraft had to be hoarded for possible use on Taiwan and adjacent islands near land bases.

In a postwar study, Japanese staff officers described the strategy applied in the defense of Iwo Jima in the following terms:

In the light of the above situation, seeing that it was impossible to conduct our air, sea, and ground operations on Iwo Jima toward ultimate victory, it was decided that in order to gain time necessary for the preparation of the Homeland defense, our forces should rely solely upon the established defensive equipment in that area, checking the enemy by delaying tactics. Even the suicidal attacks by small groups of our Army and Navy airplanes, the surprise attacks by our submarines, and the actions of parachute units, although effective, could be regarded only as a strategical ruse on our part. It was a most depressing thought that we had no available means left for the exploitation of the strategical opportunities which might from time to time occur in the course of these operations.

In the opening days of 1945, Japan faced the prospect of invasion by the American forces. Daily bomber raids from the Marianas hit the mainland as part of Operation Scavenger. Iwo Jima served as an early warning station which radioed reports of incoming bombers back to mainland Japan, allowing Japanese air defenses to be prepared for the arrival of American bombers.

At the end of the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines, the Allies were left with a two month lull in their operations prior to the planned invasion of Okinawa. Iwo Jima was strategically important: it provided an airbase for Japanese aircraft to intercept long-range B-29 bombers and provided a haven for Japanese naval units in dire need of any support available. The capture of Iwo Jima would eliminate these problems and provide a staging area for the eventual invasion of the Japanese mainland. The distance of B-29 raids would be nearly halved, and a base would be available for P-51 Mustang fighters to escort and protect the devastating bomber raids. Intelligence sources were confident that Iwo Jima would fall in five days, unaware that the Japanese were preparing a quintessentially defensive posture, radically departing from any of their previous tactics. So successful was the Japanese preparation that it was discovered after the battle that the hundreds of tons of allied bombs and thousands of rounds of heavy naval gunfire left the Japanese defenders almost unscathed, and ready to wreak losses on the U.S. Marines unparalleled at that point in the Pacific War. In the light of the optimistic intelligence reports the decision was made to invade Iwo Jima: the landing was designated Operation Detachment.
Early preparations
Even before the fall of Saipan in June 1944, Japanese planners knew that Iwo Jima would have to be reinforced significantly if it were to be held for any length of time, and preparations were made to send sizable numbers of men and quantities of materiel to that island. In late May, Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was summoned to the office of the Prime Minister, General Hideki Tojo, and told that he had been chosen to defend Iwo Jima to the last.
Kuribayashi was further apprised of the importance of this assignment when Tojo pointed out that the eyes of the entire nation were focused on the defense of Iwo Jima. Fully aware of the implications of the task, the general accepted, and by 8 June 1944, Kuribayashi was on his way to convert Iwo Jima into an impregnable fortress.

When he arrived, some 80 fighter aircraft were stationed on Iwo Jima, but by early July only four remained. A United States Navy force then came within sight of the island and bombarded it for two days, destroying every building and the four remaining aircraft.

Much to the surprise of the Japanese garrison on Iwo Jima, there was no American attempt to invade the island during the summer of 1944. There was little doubt that in time the Americans would attack, and General Kuribayashi was more determined than ever to exact the heaviest possible price for Iwo Jima, although the lack of naval and air support meant that Iwo Jima could not hold out indefinitely against an invader with sea and air supremacy.

By late July Kuribayashi had evacuated all civilians from the island. Lieutenant General Hideyoshi Obata, commanding general of the 31st Army, early in 1944 had been responsible for the defense of Iwo Jima prior to his return to the Marianas. Following the doctrine that an invasion had to be met practically at the water's edge, Obata had ordered the emplacement of artillery and the construction of pillboxes near the beaches. General Kuribayashi had a different strategy. Instead of attempting to hold the beaches, he planned to defend them with a sprinkling of automatic weapons and infantry. Artillery, mortars, and rockets would be emplaced on the foot and slopes of Mount Suribachi, as well as in the high ground to the north of Chidori airfield.
Caves and tunnels
A prolonged defense of the island required the preparation of an extensive system of caves and tunnels, for the naval bombardment had clearly shown that surface installations could not withstand extensive shelling. To this end, mining engineers were dispatched from Japan to draw blueprints for projected underground fortifications that would consist of elaborate tunnels at varying levels to assure good ventilation and minimize the effect of bombs or shells exploding near the entrances or exits.

At the same time, reinforcements were gradually beginning to reach the island. As commander of the 109th Infantry Division, General Kuribayashi decided first of all to shift the 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade, consisting of about 5,000 men under Major General Kotau Osuga, from Chichi to Iwo. With the fall of Saipan, 2,700 men of the 145th Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Masuo Ikeda, were diverted to Iwo Jima. These reinforcements, who reached the island during July and August 1944, brought the strength of the garrison up to approximately 12,700 men. Next came 1,233 members of the 204th Naval Construction Battalion, who quickly set to work constructing concrete pillboxes and other fortifications.
On 10 August 1944, Rear Admiral Rinosuke Ichimaru reached Iwo Jima, shortly followed by 2,216 naval personnel, including naval aviators and ground crews. The admiral, a renowned Japanese aviator, had been crippled in an airplane crash in the mid-twenties and, ever since the outbreak of the war, had chafed under repeated rear echelon assignments.
Next to arrive on Iwo Jima were artillery units and five antitank battalions. Even though numerous supply ships on route to Iwo Jima were sunk by American submarines and aircraft, substantial quantities of materiel did reach Iwo Jima during the summer and autumn of 1944. By the end of the year, General Kuribayashi had available to him 361 artillery pieces of 75 mm or larger caliber, a dozen 320 mm mortars, 65 medium (150 mm) and light (81 mm) mortars, 33 naval guns 80 mm or larger, and 94 anti-aircraft guns 75 mm or larger. In addition to this formidable array of large caliber guns, the Iwo Jima defenses could boast of more than 200 20 mm and 25 mm antiaircraft guns and 69 37 mm and 47 mm antitank guns. The fire power of the artillery was further supplemented with a variety of rockets varying from an eight-inch type that weighed 90 kg and could travel 2–3 km, to a giant 250 kg projectile that had a range of more than 7 km. Altogether, 70 rocket guns and their crews reached Iwo Jima.

In order to further strengthen the Iwo defenses, the 26th Tank Regiment, which had been stationed at Pusan, Korea after extended service in Manchuria, received orders for Iwo Jima. The officer commanding this regiment was Lieutenant Colonel Baron Takeichi Nishi. The regiment, consisting of 600 men and 28 tanks, sailed from Japan in mid-July on board the Nisshu Maru. As the ship, sailing in a convoy, approached Chichi Jima on 18 July 1944, it was torpedoed by an American submarine, USS Cobia . Even though only two members of the 26th Tank Regiment were killed, all of the regiment's 28 tanks went to the bottom of the sea. It would be December before these tanks could be replaced, 22 of which finally reached Iwo Jima.

Initially, Colonel Nishi had planned to employ his armor as a type of "roving fire brigade", to be committed at focal points of combat. The rugged terrain precluded such employment and in the end, under the colonel's watchful eyes, the tanks were deployed in static positions. They were either buried or their turrets were dismounted and so skillfully emplaced in the rocky ground that they were practically invisible from the air or from the ground.
Underground defenses
For the remainder of 1944, the construction of fortifications on Iwo also went into high gear. The Japanese were quick to discover that the black volcanic ash that existed in abundance all over the island could be converted into concrete of superior quality when mixed with cement. Pillboxes near the beaches north of Mount Suribachi were constructed of reinforced concrete, many of them with walls four feet thick. At the same time, an elaborate system of caves, concrete blockhouses, and pillboxes was established. One of the results of American air attacks and naval bombardment in the early summer of 1944 had been to drive the Japanese so deep underground that eventually their defenses became virtually immune to air or naval bombardment.

While the Japanese on Peleliu Island in the Western Carolines, also awaiting American invasion, had turned the improvement of natural caves into an art, the defenders of Iwo developed it into a science. Because of the importance of the underground positions, 25% of the garrison was detailed to tunneling. Positions constructed underground ranged in size from small caves for a few men to several underground chambers capable of holding 300 or 400 men. In order to prevent personnel from becoming trapped in any one excavation, the subterranean installations were provided with multiple entrances and exits, as well as stairways and interconnecting passageways. Special attention had to be paid to providing adequate ventilation, since sulphur fumes were present in many of the underground installations. Fortunately for the Japanese, most of the volcanic stone on Iwo was so soft that it could be cut with hand tools.

General Kuribayashi established his command post in the northern part of the island, about 500 m northeast of Kita village and south of Kitano Point. This installation, 20 m underground, consisted of caves of varying sizes, connected by 150 m of tunnels. Here the island commander had his own war room in one of three small concrete enclosed chambers; the two similar rooms were used by the staff. Farther south on Hill 382, the second highest elevation on the island, the Japanese constructed a radio and weather station. Nearby, on an elevation just southeast of the station, an enormously large blockhouse was constructed which served as the headquarters of Colonel Chosaku Kaido, who commanded all artillery on Iwo Jima. Other hills in the northern portion of the island were tunnelled out. All of these major excavations featured multiple entrances and exits and were virtually invulnerable to damage from artillery or aerial bombardment. Typical of the thoroughness employed in the construction of subterranean defenses was the main communications center south of Kita village, which was so spacious that it contained a chamber 50 m long and 20 m wide. This giant structure was similar in construction and thickness of walls and ceilings to General Kuribayashi's command post. A 150 m tunnel 20 m below the ground led into this vast subterranean chamber.

Perhaps the most ambitious construction project to get under way was the creation of an underground passageway designed to link all major defense installations on the island. As projected, this passageway was to have attained a total length of almost 27 km (17 miles). Had it been completed, it would have linked the formidable underground installations in the northern portion of Iwo Jima with the southern part of the island, where the northern slope of Mount Suribachi alone harbored several thousand yards of tunnels. By the time the Marines landed on Iwo Jima, more than 18 km (11 miles) of tunnels had been completed.

A supreme effort was required of the Japanese personnel engaged in the underground construction work. Aside from the heavy physical labor, the men were exposed to heat from 30–50 °C (90–130 °F), as well as sulphur fumes that forced them to wear gas masks. In numerous instances a work detail had to be relieved after only five minutes. Renewed American air attacks struck the island on 8 December 1944 and became a daily occurrence until the actual invasion of the island. Subsequently, a large number of men had to be diverted to repairing the damaged airfields.
Defense planning
While Iwo Jima was being converted into a major fortress with all possible speed, General Kuribayashi formulated his final plans for the defense of the island. This plan, which constituted a radical departure from the defensive tactics used by the Japanese earlier in the war, provided for the following major points:

In order to prevent disclosing their positions to the Americans, Japanese artillery was to remain silent during the expected prelanding bombardment. No fire would be directed against the American naval vessels.

Upon landing on Iwo Jima, the Americans were not to encounter any opposition on the beaches.

Once the Americans had advanced about 500 m inland, they were to be taken under the concentrated fire of automatic weapons stationed in the vicinity of Motoyama airfield to the north, as well as automatic weapons and artillery emplaced both on the high ground to the north of the landing beaches and Mount Suribachi to the south.

After inflicting maximum possible casualties and damage on the landing force, the artillery was to displace northward from the high ground near the Chidori airfield.

In this connection, Kuribayashi stressed once again that he planned to conduct an elastic defense designed to wear down the invasion force. Such prolonged resistance naturally required the defending force to stockpile rations and ammunition. To this end the island commander accumulated a food reserve to last for two and a half months, ever mindful of the fact that the trickle of supplies that was reaching Iwo Jima during the latter part of 1944 would cease altogether once the island was surrounded by a hostile naval force.

During the final months of preparing Iwo Jima for the defense, General Kuribayashi saw to it that the strenuous work of building fortifications did not interfere with the training of units. As an initial step towards obtaining more time for training, he ordered work on the northernmost airfield on the island halted. In an operations order issued in early December, the island commander set 11 February 1945 as the target date for completion of defensive preparations and specified that personnel were to spend 70% of their time in training and 30% in construction work.

Despite intermittent harassment by American submarines and aircraft, additional personnel continued to arrive on Iwo until February 1945. By that time General Kuribayashi had under his command a force totalling between 21,000 and 23,000 men, including both Army and Navy units.
Lines of defense
General Kuribayashi made several changes in his basic defense plan in the months preceding the American invasion of Iwo Jima. The final strategy, which became effective in January 1945, called for the creation of strong, mutually supporting positions which were to be defended to the death. Neither large scale counterattacks, withdrawals, nor banzai charges were contemplated. The southern portion of Iwo in the proximity of Mount Suribachi was organized into a semi-independent defense sector. Fortifications included casemated coast artillery and automatic weapons in mutually supporting pillboxes. The narrow isthmus to the north of Suribachi was to be defended by a small infantry force. On the other hand this entire area was exposed to the fire of artillery, rocket launchers, and mortars emplaced on Suribachi to the south and the high ground to the north.

A main line of defense, consisting of mutually supporting positions in depth, extended from the northwestern part of the island to the southeast, along a general line from the cliffs to the northwest, across Motoyama Airfield No. 2 to Minami village. From there it continued eastward to the shoreline just south of Tachiiwa Point. The entire line of defense was dotted with pillboxes, bunkers, and blockhouses. Colonel Nishi's immobilized tanks, carefully dug in and camouflaged, further reinforced this fortified area, whose strength was supplemented by the broken terrain. A second line of defense extended from a few hundred yards south of Kitano Point at the very northern tip of Iwo across the still uncompleted Airfield No. 3, to Motoyama village, and then to the area between Tachiiwa Point and the East Boat Basin. This second line contained fewer man-made fortifications, but the Japanese took maximum advantage of natural caves and other terrain features.

As an additional means of protecting the two completed airfields on Iwo from direct assault, the Japanese constructed a number of antitank ditches near the fields and mined all natural routes of approach. When, on 2 January, more than a dozen B-24 Liberator bombers raided Airfield No. 1 and inflicted heavy damage, Kuribayashi diverted more than 600 men, 11 trucks, and 2 bulldozers for immediate repairs, rendering the airfield operational within only 12 hours. Eventually, 2,000 men were assigned the job of filling the bomb craters, with as many as 50 men detailed to one crater. By the end of 1944 American B-24 bombers were over Iwo Jima almost every night, and U.S. Navy carriers and cruisers frequently sortied into the Ogasawaras. On 8 December 1944, American aircraft dropped more than 800 tons of bombs on Iwo Jima, which did very little real damage to the island defenses. Even though frequent air raids interfered with the Japanese defensive preparations and robbed the garrison of badly-needed sleep, work was not materially slowed.

As early as 5 January 1945, Admiral Ichimaru conducted a briefing of naval personnel at his command post in which he informed them of the destruction of the Japanese Fleet at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the loss of the Philippines, and the expectation that Iwo would shortly be invaded. Exactly one month later, Japanese radio operators on Iwo reported to the island commander that code signals of American aircraft had undergone an ominous change. On 13 February, a Japanese naval patrol plane spotted 170 American ships moving northwestward from Saipan. All Japanese troops in the Ogasawaras were alerted and occupied their battle positions. On Iwo Jima, preparations for the pending battle had been completed, and the defenders were ready.
American planning
The origins of the battle lie in the complex politics of the Pacific theater, in which operational control was divided between the South West Pacific Area (command) of General Douglas MacArthur and the Pacific Ocean Areas (command) led by Admiral Chester Nimitz. The potential for interservice rivalry between the Army and Navy created by this partition of responsibility was exacerbated by similar divisions within the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Washington. By September 1944 the two services could not come to an agreement about the main direction of advance towards the Japanese home islands in the coming year. The Army was pressing for the chief effort to be an invasion of Formosa (Taiwan), in which MacArthur would be in overall command and in which it would predominate. The Navy however preferred the idea of an operation against Okinawa, which would be a mainly seaborne effort. Seeking to gain leverage and so break the impasse, on September 29 Nimitz suggested to Admiral Ernest King that as a preliminary to the Okinawa offensive the island of Iwo Jima could be taken. The tiny island lacked harbors and so was of no direct interest to the Navy, but for some time General Henry Harley Arnold of the U.S. Army Air Force had been lobbying to take Iwo Jima. He argued that an airbase there would provide useful fighter escort cover for the B-29 Superfortresses of his XX Bomber Command, then beginning its strategic bombing campaign against the Japanese home islands (the later role of Iwo Jima as a refueling station for B-29s played no part in the original decision-making process). Arnold's support in the JCS enabled the Navy to get Okinawa rather than Formosa approved as the main target on October 2. At this time the Iwo Jima invasion was expected to be a brief prologue to the main campaign, with relatively light casualties; King assumed that Nimitz would be able to reuse three of the Marine Corps divisions assigned to Iwo Jima for the attack on Okinawa, which was originally scheduled to take place just forty days later.

On 7 October 1944 Admiral Chester Nimitz and his staff issued a staff study for preliminary planning, which clearly listed the objectives of Operation Detachment. The overriding purpose of the operation was to maintain unremitting military pressure against Japan and to extend American control over the Western Pacific. Three tasks specifically envisioned in the study were the reduction of enemy naval and air strength and industrial facilities in the home islands; the destruction of Japanese naval and air strength in the Bonin Islands, and the capture, occupation, and subsequent defense of Iwo Jima, which was to be developed into an air base. Nimitz's directive declared that "long range bombers should be provided with fighter support at the earliest practicable time", and as such Iwo Jima was "admirably situated as a fighter base for supporting long range bombers."

On 9 October, General Holland Smith received the staff study, accompanied by a directive from Admiral Nimitz ordering the seizure of Iwo Jima. This directive designated specific commanders for the operation. Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, Commander, Fifth Fleet, was placed in charge as Operation Commander, Task Force 50. Under Spruance, Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, Commander, Amphibious Forces, Pacific, was to command the Joint Expeditionary Force, Task Force 51. Second in command of the Joint Expeditionary Force was Rear Admiral Harry W. Hill. General Holland Smith was designated Commanding General, Expeditionary Troops, Task Force 56.
It was not accidental that these men were selected to command an operation of such vital importance that it has since become known as "the most classical amphibious assault of recorded history." All of them had shown their mettle in previous engagements. One chronicler of the Iwo Jima operation put it in the following words:

"The team assigned to Iwo Jima was superb: the very men who had perfected the amphibious techniques from the Battle of Guadalcanal to the Battle of Guam. Nearly every problem, it was believed, had been met and mastered along the way, from the jungles of Guadalcanal up through the Solomons, and across the Central Pacific from the bloody reefs of Battle of Tarawa to the mountains of the Marianas."
Primary plan
The U.S. V Amphibious Corps scheme of maneuver for the landings was relatively simple. The 4th and 5th Marine Divisions were to land abreast on the eastern beaches, the 4th on the right and the 5th on the left. When released to VAC, the 3rd Marine Division, as Expeditionary Troops Reserve, was to land over the same beaches to take part in the attack or play a defensive role, whichever was called for. The plan called for a rapid exploitation of the beachhead with an advance in a northeasterly direction to capture the entire island. A regiment of the 5th Marine Division was designated to capture Mount Suribachi in the south.
The detailed scheme of maneuver for the landings provided for the 28th Marine Regiment of the 5th Marine Division, commanded by Colonel Harry B. Liversedge, to land on the extreme left of the corps on Green 1. On the right of the 28th Marines, the 27th Marine Regiment, under Colonel Thomas A. Wornham, was to attack towards the west coast of the island, then wheel northeastward and seize the O-1 Line. Action by the 27th and 28th Marines was designed to drive the enemy from the commanding heights along the southern portion of Iwo, simultaneously securing the flanks and rear of VAC. As far as the 4th Marine Division was concerned, the 23rd Marine Regiment, commanded by Colonel Walter W. Wensinger, was to go ashore on Yellow 1 and 2 beaches, seize Motoyama Airfield No. 1, then turn to the northeast and seize that part of Motoyama Airfield No. 2 and the O-1 Line within its zone of action. After landing on Blue Beach 1, the 25th Marine Regiment, under Colonel John R. Lanigan, was to assist in the capture of Airfield No. 1, the capture of Blue Beach 2, and the O-1 Line within its zone of action. The 24th Marine Regiment, under Colonel Walter I. Jordan, was to be held in 4th Marine Division reserve during the initial landings. The U.S. 26th Marine Regiment, led by Colonel Chester B. Graham, was to be released from corps reserve on D-Day and prepared to support the 5th Marine Division.

Division artillery was to go ashore on order from the respective division commanders. The 4th Marine Division was to be supported by the 14th Marine Regiment, commanded by Colonel Louis G. DeHaven; Colonel James D. Wailer's 13th Marine Regiment was to furnish similar support for the 5th Marine Division.
The operation was to be timed so that at H-Hour 68 Landing Vehicle Tracked, comprising the first wave, were to hit the beach. These vehicles were to advance inland until they reached the first terrace beyond the high-water mark. The armored amphibians would use their 75 mm howitzers and machine guns to the utmost in an attempt to keep the enemy down, thus giving some measure of protection to succeeding waves of Marines who were most vulnerable to enemy fire at the time they debarked from their LVTs. Though early versions of the VAC operations plan had called for tanks of the 4th and 5th Tank Battalions to be landed at H plus 30, subsequent studies of the beaches made it necessary to adopt a more flexible schedule. The possibility of congestion at the water's edge also contributed to this change in plans. In the end, the time for bringing the tanks ashore was left to the discretion of the regimental commanders.
Alternate plan
Since there was a possibility of unfavorable surf conditions along the eastern beaches, VAC issued an alternative plan on 8 January 1945, which provided for a landing on the western beaches. However, since predominant northerly or northwesterly winds caused hazardous swells almost continuously along the southwest side of the island, it appeared unlikely that this alternate plan would be put into effect.
The Actual Battle
Ground fighting on the island took place over approximately 35 days, from the landings of February 19th to a final Japanese charge lasting until the morning of March 26th, 1945.
Initial Landings
Marines landing on Iwo Jima

At 02:00 on February 19, battleship guns signaled the commencement of D-Day. Soon 100 bombers attacked the island, followed by another volley from the naval guns. At 08:59, one minute ahead of schedule, the first of an eventual 30,000 Marines of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions, under V Amphibious Corps, landed on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima and a battle for the island commenced.

The Marines faced heavy fire from Mount Suribachi at the south of the island, and fought over inhospitable terrain: rough volcanic ash which allowed neither secure footing nor the digging of foxholes. Nevertheless, by that evening the mountain had been surrounded and 30,000 Marines had landed. About 40,000 more would follow.
Taking Mt. Suribachi
By the morning of the fourth day of the battle, Mount Suribachi was effectively cut off from the rest of the island—above ground. By that point, the Marines knew that the Japanese defenders had an extensive network of below-ground defenses, and knew that in spite of its isolation above ground, the volcano was still connected to Japanese defenders via the tunnel network. They expected a fierce fight for the summit.

Two four-man patrols were sent up the volcano to reconnoiter routes on the mountain's north face. Popular legend embroidered by the press in the aftermath of the release of the now-famous photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" has it that the Marines fought tooth and nail all the way up to the summit. But although the riflemen were tensed for an ambush, none materialized. They made it to the summit and scrambled down again, reporting the lack of enemy contact to Colonel Chandler Johnson.

Johnson then called for a platoon of Marines to climb Suribachi. With them, he sent a small American flag to fly if they reached the summit. Again, Marines began the ascent, expecting to be ambushed at any moment. And again, the Marines reached the top of Suribachi without incident. Using a length of pipe they found among the wreckage atop the mountain, the Marines hoisted the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi, the first foreign flag to fly on Japanese soil in centuries.
As the flag went up, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal had just landed on the beach at the foot of Mt. Suribachi. He decided that he wanted the flag as a souvenir. Popular legend has it that Colonel Johnson wanted the flag for himself; in fact, he believed that the flag belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, who had captured that section of the island. He scrounged up a second flag, and sent that one up the volcano to replace the first. As the first flag came down, the second went up, and it was then that Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" of the replacement flag being planted on the mountain's summit.
After Mt. Suribachi
Despite the loss of Mt. Suribachi, the Japanese still held a strong position. Kuribayashi still had the equivalent of eight infantry battalions, a tank regiment, two artillery and three heavy mortar battalions, plus the 5,000 gunners and naval infantry. The struggle to take the Motoyama Plateau, including "Turkey Knob" was to take the better part of three weeks. The Japanese actually had the Marines outgunned in this area, and the extensive tunnels allowed the Japanese to reappear in areas thought "safe". It was with weapons like the 8 Sherman M4A3 medium tanks equipped with the Navy Mark I flame thrower ("Ronson" or Zippo Tanks) that the Marines would force the Japanese to leave their caves.

Close air support was initially provided by fighters from escort carriers off the coast. This shifted over to the 15th Fighter Group (flying P-51 Mustangs) after they arrived on the island on D+15. Similarly illumination rounds (flares) to light up the battlefield at night was initially provided by ships, shifting over later to landing force artillery. Navajo code talkers were a key part of the American ground communications, along with walkie-talkies and SCR-610 backpack radio sets.
Final days of the Battle
With the landing area secure, more troops and heavy equipment came ashore and the invasion proceeded north to capture the airfields and the remainder of the island. Most Japanese soldiers fought to the death. On the night of 25 March, a 300-man Japanese force launched a final counterattack in the vicinity of Airfield Number 2. Army pilots, Seabees and Marines of the 5th Pioneer Battalion and 28th Marines fought the Japanese force until morning but suffered heavy casualties—more than 100 killed and another 200 American wounded. Nearly all of the Japanese force was killed in the battle. The island was officially declared "secure" the following day.

"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue"—Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

Of the over 20,000 Japanese troops, 18,000 died, and 216 were captured. The Allied forces suffered 26,000 casualties, with nearly 7,000 dead (nearly one-third of all the Marine deaths in World War II). This was the only large engagement of WWII in which the Allied forces suffered more casualties (dead plus injured) than their Japanese opponents.

Over a quarter of the Medals of Honor awarded to Marines in World War II were given for conduct in the invasion of Iwo Jima. The Marines, both active duty and reservists, were commended with 22 Medals of Honor. An additional five Medals of Honor were bestowed upon five Navy servicemen and reservists. This total of 27 is the most ever given in a single battle to date.

Given this bloody sacrifice, the necessity and long-term significance of the island's capture to the outcome of the war was a contentious issue from the beginning, and remains disputed. As early as April 1945 retired Chief of Naval Operations William V. Pratt asked in Newsweek magazine about the "expenditure of manpower to acquire a small, God-forsaken island, useless to the Army as a staging base and useless to the Navy as a fleet base ... [one] wonders if the same sort of airbase could not have been reached by acquiring other strategic localities at lower cost." The Japanese on Iwo Jima had radar with which they notified their comrades at home of incoming B-29s flying from the Marianas. Fighter aircraft based on Iwo Jima sometimes attacked these planes, which were especially vulnerable on their way to Japan because they were heavily laden with bombs and fuel. The island was also used as an air-sea rescue base after its seizure. However, the traditional justification for Iwo Jima's strategic importance to the United States' war effort has been that it provided a landing and refueling site for American bombers on missions to and from Japan. As early as March 4, 1945, while fighting was still taking place, the B-29 bomber Dinah Might of the USAAF 9th Bomb Group reported it was low on fuel near the island and requested an emergency landing. Despite enemy fire, the airplane landed on the Allied-controlled section of the island, without incident, and was serviced, refueled and departed. In all, 2,251 B-29 Superfortresses landed on Iwo Jima during the war.
The Bottom Line
None of these calculations played much if any of a role in the original decision to invade, however, which was almost entirely based on the Army Air Force's belief that the island would be a useful base for long-range fighter escorts. For a number of technical reasons these escorts proved both impractical and unnecessary, and only ten such missions were ever flown from Iwo Jima.. Other justifications are also debatable. Although some Japanese interceptors were based on Iwo Jima, their impact on the American bombing effort was marginal; in the three months before the invasion only 11 B-29s were lost as a result . The Superfortresses found it unnecessary to make any major detour around the island. The capture of Iwo Jima did not affect the Japanese early-warning radar system, which continued to receive information on incoming B-29s from the island of Rota (which was never attacked). Some downed B-29 crewmen were saved by air-sea rescue aircraft and vessels operating from the island, but Iwo Jima was only one of many islands that could have been used for such a purpose. As for the importance of the island as a landing and refueling site for bombers, USMC Captain Robert Burrell of the US Naval Academy has suggested that only a small proportion of the 2,251 landings were for genuine emergencies, the great majority being for minor technical checkups, training, or refueling. According to Burrell, "this justification became prominent only after the Marines seized the island and incurred high casualties. The tragic cost of Operation Detachment pressured veterans, journalists, and commanders to fixate on the most visible rationalization for the battle. The sight of the enormous, costly, and technologically sophisticated B-29 landing on the island's small airfield most clearly linked Iwo Jima to the strategic bombing campaign. As the myths about the flag raisings on Mount Suribachi reached legendary proportions, so did the emergency landing theory in order to justify the need to raise that flag."

The United States Navy has commissioned several ships of the name USS Iwo Jima.

The USMC War Memorial outside Washington, D.C. memorializes all U.S. Marines with a statue of the famous picture.