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Archive for May 3rd, 2007

The Return to Hell – Iwo Jima (A Travelogue Special)

Posted by intellisg on May 3, 2007

iwojima1.jpgIwo Jima is a volcanic island 1,804 km south of the Japanese coastline, 1,130 km north of Guam, nearly halfway between Tokyo and Saipan. It’s approximately 20.3 square kilometers, with Mount Suribachi forming the most prominent feature, at its southern tip.

As the military transport lurches side ways for the final descend through the clouds. The pilot breaks out excitedly through the intercom,

“Look over to your left side folks! There she is, the big I.”

I strain to make out the island through the tiny porthole. A few Japanese begin their hushed chatters, one of them an old Japanese man begins to stir. His eyes well up with tears as he peers intently. The plane banks again, descending lower this time bopping against the thermals. Finally, the island shaped like a pork chop emerges through the clouds – it’s Iwo Jima.

iwojima2.jpgNearly 60 years ago on the 19th February 1945, 70,000 Americans landed on the Southern stretch of the island. For 22,000 Japanese defenders, Iwo Jima was the defense of their very hearths and homes as it was beginning of the Allied invasion into Japan soil. There for slightly more than a month the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions of the Fifth Marine Amphibious Corps fought hand to hand with the109th Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese army under the command of General Tadamichi Kuribayashi. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in B'hood, Travelogue Series | 3 Comments »