Feb 19, 1945
Operation Detachment - US Marines invaded Iwo Jima. The island was known as the "unsinkable airfield," 775 miles from the main Japanese home island of Honshu. It was used by the Japanese fighters to intercept US bombers attacking the home islands. The 30,000-man invasion force was not sure what to expect because Iwo had been pounded by ships and planes for 72 days before the amphibious assault. Despite the merciless preinvasion raids, the Japanese were stubborn defenders, and the next month of fighting was to exact one of the highest casualty tolls of the Pacific war.
Theater: Pacific Theater
Source: World War II Almanac: 1931-1945