U.S. Marines Invade Iwo Jima

Thousands of U.S. Marines head towards Iwo Jima, Japan, in their small landing craft on February 19, 1945, during the final year of World War II. Larger ships and air forces bombard the island to destroy defensive positions, evidenced by the rising smoke on the island. Among those in the first wave was Bibb County native Ross Franklin Gray whose actions two days later earned him the Medal of Honor. His unit landed on the island somewhere to the right in the photo or just off to the right, on Blue (beach) 1. To the left in the image is Mount Suribachi, the heavily defended hill upon which Marines bravely and famously raised the U.S. flag.

Photo courtesy of the United States Navy