Ghost ships of Iwo Jima

Hard for me to offer a presentable job of editing, assembling this post. Through my tears. I saw this film footage…actually a couple hours of this film footage…when I was seven years old. A warm night in early summer, my father and I were allowed in to a private showing for a couple dozen families who lost relatives in this final stage of the Pacific Theater of WW2. We lost my mother’s cousin at Iwo Jima. A terrible battle. An horrific island invasion where 16,000 Japanese soldiers held off 90,000 US Marines for five weeks until, finally, the few remaining survivors who didn’t commit suicide, surrendered.

My mother wouldn’t come to watch the film. My father and I represented her.

The article refers to the film as colorized which may be so. No mention of that at the time. Which was a few months after the assault in February and March, 1945. What we saw was in color.


Two dozen ships that sank during the Battle of Iwo Jima, one of World War II’s most epic battles and one of the bloodiest in U.S. Marines’ history, have been raised from the bottom of the ocean after tremors at one of Japan’s most dangerous volcanoes, Mount Suribachi.

Satellite photos from Japan’s All Nippon News show the leftover hulks of 24 Japanese transport vessels that were captured by the U.S. Navy in the latter part of the war.

They were moved to the western part of Iwo Jima to form a port, as the island had no such facilities at the time.

The seabed has started to rise due to the seismic activity from Mount Suribachi, in particular on the western part of the island…

The ships were used as a breakwater to protect other ships that were unloading soldiers and materials…

The iconic photo known as Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, showing U.S. Marines raising the American flag during the war, was taken at the mountain’s peak during early days of the battle.

3 thoughts on “Ghost ships of Iwo Jima

  1. Footnote says:

    Ira Hamilton Hayes (January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955) was an Akimel O’odham Native American and a United States Marine during World War II. Hayes was an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community, located in Pinal and Maricopa counties in Arizona. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on August 26, 1942, and, after recruit training, volunteered to become a Paramarine. He fought in the Bougainville and Iwo Jima campaigns in the Pacific War.
    Hayes was generally known as one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by photographer Joe Rosenthal.

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