This Day in Military History
1945 - Iwo Jima is declared secured by the U.S. military after months of fiercely fighting its Japanese defenders. Beginning in February of 1944 the U.S. began applying pressure to the Japanese. 74 days of bombardment by B-24’s and 25’s. The longest pre invasion bombardment of the war. The Japanese defense, 21,000 strong, was dug in and fortified with fighting positions and elaborate cave systems. Frogmen were sent ashore prior to the invasion to clear mines and caves; we lost 170 UDT’s. Marine Amphibious Forces began landing in February, met with heavy resistance some 550 marines were killed and over 1800 wounded. The fight for Iwo Jima was slow, The US gained an average of 400yds per day advancing on their objective of Mount Suribachi. 40 marines eventually ascended the smoldering mountain (an active volcano) and raised the American Flag at its peak on February 23rd. The island was “secured” on March 16th, 1945
1988 – Saddam Hussein uses mustard gas to attack Kurds. In the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, nearly 5,000 people are killed.
2005 – Iraq’s first freely elected parliament in half a century.
2006 – Near the third anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, U.S. and Iraqi forces on Thursday launch an air assault known as Operation Swarmer into Salahuddin province in what was termed the largest air assault since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003
Source: This Day in military History