Red Beach at 75

Men of U.S. Marine Corp’s 5th Division advancing through the black volcanic ash hills of Red Beach No. 1 at Iwo Jima, Japan, 19 February 1945. They are inching toward Suribachi Yama as the smoke of the battle drifts about them.

National Archives, # 127-N-110249. USMC photo by Dreyfuss

Notably, Marines of the 5th Division’s 28th Regiment would raise the iconic national ensign on Suribachi, twice, just four days after the above image was taken.

The Fighting Fifth, formed 21 January 1944 at Camp Pendleton, would see its first combat as a unit on Red Beach and of the three other Marine divisions of V Corps would suffer the highest number of casualties. In all, the “Spearhead” would enumerate 2,482 killed, 19 missing, and 6,218 wounded in action by 26 March, forcing the battered division to sail for Hawaii to re-form.

“The ghastly price of freedom….”

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