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March 21, 2015 - Iwo Jima, Japan) The island of Iwo Jima where US Marines stormed ashore in 1945 is now a peaceful and serene locale. Officially called "Iwo To" or sulfur island, the volcanic Island is part of the Japan's Bonin Island chain, located 750 miles (1,200 km) south of Tokyo and administered by the Tokyo government. At it's highest point is Mount Suribachi, a 554 feet (169 m) high cinder cone volcano. The U.S. occupied Iwo Jima until 1968 when it was returned to Japan. Now the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force operates a naval base and with a garrison of about 400 military personal. The island's airstrip is used by the Japanese for drills and rescue operations, and the US Navy for aircraft carrier landing drills. Civilian access to the island is restricted to those attending special memorial services, war dead repatriators, construction workers and meteorological agency officials. The Battle of Iwo Jima took place from February 19 to March 26, 1945. The five week battle code named "Operation Detachment" was one of the fiercest and bloodiest campaigns in the Pacific during World War II. Of the 70,000 US soldier who fought in the battle, mostly US Marines, 6,821 were killed and 19,217 were wounded. On the Japanese side who numbered 20,060 soldiers and officers, 18,844 were killed, 216 were taken prisoner and 3,000 went missing. (Torin Boyd/Polaris).

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March 21, 2015 - Iwo Jima, Japan) The island of Iwo Jima where US Marines stormed ashore in 1945 is now a peaceful and serene locale. Officially called "Iwo To" or sulfur island, the volcanic Island is part of the Japan's Bonin Island chain, located 750 miles (1,200 km) south of Tokyo and administered by the Tokyo government. At it's highest point is Mount Suribachi, a 554 feet (169 m) high cinder cone volcano. The U.S. occupied Iwo Jima until 1968 when it was returned to Japan. Now the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force operates a naval base and with a garrison of about 400 military personal. The island's airstrip is used by the Japanese for drills and rescue operations, and the US Navy for aircraft carrier landing drills. Civilian access to the island is restricted to those attending special memorial services, war dead repatriators, construction workers and meteorological agency officials. The Battle of Iwo Jima took place from February 19 to March 26, 1945. The five week battle code named "Operation Detachment" was one of the fiercest and bloodiest campaigns in the Pacific during World War II. Of the 70,000 US soldier who fought in the battle, mostly US Marines, 6,821 were killed and 19,217 were wounded. On the Japanese side who numbered 20,060 soldiers and officers, 18,844 were killed, 216 were taken prisoner and 3,000 went missing. (Torin Boyd/Polaris).<br />
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