Tagged: Iwo jima

The Battle for Iwo Jima begins tomorrow – 71 years ago.

unnamedThe battle for Iwo Jima officially begins tomorrow!! That would be tomorrow – 71 years ago. Why did it happen at all?
From: Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: It was because of the technology of the time. With the conquest of the Marianna Islands 6 months earlier, B-29s were now within range of the Japanese homeland. However the 1,400 mile flight from the Marianas to Japan permitted only minutes over the targets until the planes had to leave for the return trip. Complicating this problem were the fighters on Iwo Jima that met the B-29s coming and going and the radars that warned the homeland of their numbers and arrival times.
Iwo Jima lay almost exactly halfway between the Marianas and Japan. The B-29s (without escort)  had to fly directly past Iwo Jima on both legs of their missions to have enough fuel to return to the Marianas. They paid heavily for being in this situation. Japanese fighter aircraft on Iwo would meet the heavy bombers as they flew over the island, and try to shoot them down. Sometimes they succeeded in doing just that. It was clear that the threat of Japanese fighters on Iwo Jima had to be eliminated. Read more »

The 70th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War.

This is the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

s212246From an article written by C. Peter Chen as seen in an internet search of Japan’s surrender:
“With the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by atomic weapons, the will of the Japanese leadership was tested. Then came the news that the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, with troops crossing into northeastern China an hour later. These three reasons led to Emperor Showa’s decision to break the deadlock at his council which debated fruitlessly whether or not to respond to the Allies’ call for unconditional surrender. The Emperor said at the Imperial conference:

“Continuation of the war does not promise successful conclusion no matter from what angle the situation is considered. Therefore I have decided, without suggestions from anyone, to order the conclusion of the war, as I cannot endure the thought of having to kill tens, evens hundreds of thousands of my subjects, and moreover to have to be called the disturber of world peace. Moreover, it is extremely difficult for me to have to turn over to the Allied authorities officers and men upon whom I have depended all this time as though they were part of my own body. But I have decided to endure what is unendurable and to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.” Read more »

KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE

USS MissouriKissFlagsKEEP THE SPIRIT OF 45 ALIVE IN 2015.
To do so is to preserve the legacy of the Greatest Generation, the men and women who served in WWII, including those on the home front. This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In 2010, Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 226, supporting a national day of remembrance. The day to remember is August 14th, 1945. “We want to recapture the spirit of that generation and give a reminder of the fact that people today share DNA with those who achieved so much in 1945. This is the last chance to celebrate this spirit while there are still surviving men and women of this generation;” said Warren C. Hegg, “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive’s” national supervisor.

Among the Spirit of ’45 Day activities are wreath-laying ceremonies, big-band swing dances, observances at professional sporting events, World War II aircraft flyovers, concerts, open houses at senior living communities, and “kiss-ins” to re-enact the famous victory kiss between a sailor and a nurse in New York City’s Times Square on Aug. 14,1945.

Jerry Yellin Fighter Pilot over Iwo JimaJerry Yellin vividly remembers Aug.14, 1945, the ¬ final day of World War II. While returning to Iwo Jima with fellow pilots after flying his P-51 Mustang on a strafing mission over Tokyo that day, Yellin said, “I found out that my wingman was killed.” Upon landing at Iwo Jima, he then learned that the war had ended just hours before, making his wingman, 1st Lt. Philip Schlamberg, one of the war’s ¬ final casualties.

Now, nearly 70 years later, Yellin wants the nation to remember Schlamberg and all those who sacrifi-ced so much to win the war. Yellin, an Air Force Association (AFA) member who turns 91 in February, has been travelling across the country as national spokesman for “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive.”
I was privileged to meet and interview Jerry Yellin on a trip to Guam and on to Iwo Jima with the “Military Historical Tours” of Woodbridge, Virginia in 2010. His story is featured in my book “Pain and Purpose in the Pacific.” Read more »