Iwo Jima Photo Album

1965 -- 1966

20 Years Later

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image of Iwo Jima Invasion Beach


"...and the beaches ran red with blood..."

...describes the scene of the beginning of the American invasion of this Japanese held island, Iwo Jima, in the Bonin islands chain 600 miles to the south of Tokyo. Up until this time most marines had never heard of this tiny island shaped like a "porkchop" which measured about a mile at its widest point and seven miles at its longest point.

They would soon find out a lot about this tiny hell hole in the Pacific. Over 6000 would never return home alive.

We have elected to display a selection of the slides that we took while stationed on Iwo Jima. Today the island is for all intents and purposes again closed to Amercian visits by the Japanese government after the island was returned to the Japanese a few years ago. It litterly takes an act of Congress to be allowed to now visit the island.

A few years ago, a marine visitor went to the island after obtaining permission and was appalled as to the conditions of the monuments to the fallen Amerians...they were in deplorable condition and overgrown by island vegetation. What a terrible way to remember the sacrifices of so many Americans who shed their blood on this small island.

This series of pages illustrate some thirty images from a private collection of approximately 500 slides taken during my tour on the island as a weather observer/ radiosonde operator. I was stationed on Iwo Jima during the latter half of 1965 and the first half of 1966 with a U. S. Air Force weather detachment.

Many hours were spent "boondocking" -- traveling around the island on foot along with friends to check out the historic landmarks and to see if we could discover new and hidden treasures. We had to be very careful during those trips for some areas still contained unexploded ordinance.

Following the battle for Iwo Jima, the highest praise possible was bestowed upon the men who endured -- with the simple but eloquent words:

image of Iwo Jima black sand


"Among the men who fought on Iwo island,
uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, March 1945


The memories that the following images invoke
are important ...to keep THEIR MEMORY ALIVE!

A sample of black Iwo Jima sand from the invasion beach designated as Green-1 which was the beach closest to Mt. Suribachi.




Thank you for viewing my collection.

Joe Richard
Det. 12, 20th Weather Squardon,
U. S. Air Force 1962 - 1966


Click on the following links to view each page separately
click on the first link and view each page in sequence.


1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.1

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.2

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.3

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.4

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.5

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.6

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.7

1965 Iwo Jima Photo Album pg.8


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Updated on 25 February...1407:05 CST



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