AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS

Capture of Iwo Jima
16 February to 16 March 1945

THIS PUBLICATION AND THE INFORMATION
CONTAINED HEREIN MUST NOT
FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY


[Formerly secret, subsequently declassified in accordance with OPNAVINST 5513.16.]

 

  UNITED STATES FLEET
Headquarters of the Commander in Chief


UNITED STATES FLEET


HEADQUARTERS OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF

NAVY DEPARTMENT


WASHINGTON 25, D.C.

17 July 1945.

This publication "Amphibious Operations--Capture of Iwo Jima--16 February to 16 March 1945" continues the series promulgating timely information drawn from action reports. It follows "Amphibious Operations--Invasion of the Philippines, CominCh P-008."

Material contained herein has not been subjected to exhaustive study and analysis, but is issued in this form to make comments, recommendations, and expressions of opinion concerning war experiences readily available to officers engaged or interested in amphibious operations. It should be widely circulated among commissioned personnel.

This publication is classified as secret, [Declassified in accordance with OPNAVINST 5513.161] nonregistered. It shall be handled as prescribed by Article 76, U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920. When no longer required it shall be destroyed by burning. No report of destruction need be submitted.

This publication is under the cognizance of, and is distributed by the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.

Transmission by Registered Guard Mail or U.S. registered mail is authorized in accordance with Article 76 (15) (e) and (f), U.S. Navy Regulations.

B.H. BIERI,
Acting Chief of Staff.

--I--

CONTENTS

Chapter I. Narrative: Page
  Covering Force 1-1
    Effect of Operations Preceding and Following Iwo Jima 1-1
  Supporting Forces 1-2
  Effect of Weather 1-2
  Aircraft Losses, Task Force Fifty-eight 1-3
  Joint Expeditionary Force 1-4
  Composition 1-4
  Summary of Ships 1-5
  Strategical Concept 1-6
  Narrative from 19 February to 26 March 1-7
  Amphibious Support Force 1-11
  Organization 1-11
  Narrative from 16 to 19 February 1-11
  Expeditionary Troops 1-15
  Enemy Defensive Tactics 1-15
  Limitations of Supporting Arms 1-15
  Map of Iwo Jima 1-16
Chapter II. Naval Gunfire:  
  Preliminary Bombardment Results 2-1
  Preliminary Bombardment Requested 2-1
  Preliminary Bombardment Plan 2-1
  Function of Amphibious Support Force 2-2
  Rolling Barrage 2-3
  Shore Fire Control Communications 2-3
  Air Spot Plan 2-4
  Call Fires 2-4
  Illumination 2-4
  Close Support for Landing 2-5
  Gunboats, LCI(G)'s 2-6
  Mortar LCI's 2-7
  Close Range Destructive Fires 2-8
  LCI Mortar Plan 2-10
  Effect of Bombardment 2-10
  Ammunition Expenditures 2-11
  Illustrations 2-13
Chapter III. Air Support:  
  Preliminary Air Bombardment 3-1
  Purpose 3-1
  Effects 3-1
  Coordination of Surface and Air Bombardment 3-1
  Effectiveness of Air Weapons 3-1
  Command Organization 3-2
  Air Support Operations 3-2
  CVE's Available 3-2
  Time to Execute Missions 3-2
  Landing Force Air Support Control Unit 3-3
  OY Observation Planes 3-3
  Coordination Between Air, Naval Gunfire and Artillery 3-3
  Brodie Device 3-3
  Night CAP 3-5
  Napalm Bombs, Functioning of 3-6
  Communications 3-6
Chapter IV. Intelligence:  
  Air Target Folders 4-1
  Mobile Hydrographic Unit 4-1
  Salient Features of Defense 4-2
  Surf Forecasting 4-3
  Magnetic Properties of Iwo Jima Sand 4-3
Chapter V. Ship to Shore Movement:  
  Underwater Demolition Team Beach Reconnaissance 5-1
  Effects of White Phosphorus Smoke 5-1
  Control Organization 5-2
  Radar Navigational Device 5-3
  Shore Parties 5-4
  Execution of Ship to Shore Movement 5-4
  Beach Parties 5-5
  Unloading Delays 5-6
  Operation of LSM's 5-6
  Illustrations 5-8
Chapter VI. Logistics:  
  Effects of Volcanic Sand 6-1
  Casualty Evacuation Ships 6-1
  Alongside Damage 6-3
  Resupply of Ammunition 6-4
  Pontoon Barges and Causeways 6-4
  Damage to LSM's 6-4
  Pallets 6-5
  Damage to LCT's 6-5
  Assault Loading 6-6
  Distribution of Troops and Material 6-6
  Standard LST Load Number One 6-7
  Casualties Screened by Hospital LST's 6-9
  Summary of Naval Battle Casualties 6-9
  Summary of Landing Force Casualties 6-10
  Illustrations 6-11
Chapter VII. Miscellaneous:  
  Landing Craft 7-1
  LSV 7-1
  LSD 7-1
  LST 7-1
  LSM 7-1
  LCM(3) 7-1
  LCVP 7-1
  LVT 7-2
  DUKWS 7-3
  Weasels 7-3
  Barges and Causeways 7-3
  LST(M) 7-4
  Alongside Damage 7-4
  Life Saving Devices 7-4
  DORON Armor for Exposed Personnel 7-4
  Smoke 7-5
  Heavier Ground Weapons 7-5
  Illustrations 7-6


List of Effective Pages

  Page
Letter of Promulgation I
Distribution List II
Table of Contents III to V inclusive
List of Effective Pages V
Frontispiece vi
Chapter I 1-1 to 1-16 incl.
Chapter II 2-1 to 2-22 incl.
Chapter III 301 to 3-6 incl.
Chapter IV 4-1 to 4-4 incl.
Chapter V 5-1 to 5-13 incl.
Chapter VI 6-1 to 6-23 incl.
Chapter VII 7-1 to 7-6 incl.


DISTRIBUTION LIST FOR COMINCH P-0012

Standard Navy Distribution List No. 29, 15 June 1945

List 1 a (1) less Cominch; ComPac (5), ComThird (3), ComFifth (3); b (1); c(1); less ComFairShipLant, ComFairShip Pac, ComGenAirFleetMarForce, DirAviation, MC; d (1); e (1); g-ComPhibPac (5), ComPhibPacAdmin (5), ComThirdPhib (3), ComFifthPhib (1), ComPhibGroups (2), ComLandCraftFlot (1), PhibTra7thPhib (2), 7thPhibAdmin (1), Com7thPhib (3), ComPhibTraPac (35); h (1) less ServLantSubCom; i (1) less ComSec #115, #117, ComNorthCalifSecWesSeaFron, ComNorWesSecWesSeaFron, ComSouthCalifSecWesSeaFron; j (1); k only to COTCLant (1) COTCPac (3), ComFltTraCom, 7thFlt (1), PreComTraCenCOTCPac (6), ComSanDiego, San Pedro Shakedown Group (1); 1-only to Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, Army & Navy (1).
List 2 a-3 (1); a-10 FiarWings only (1); a-18 only to Fleet Aircraft Recog Unit (1); a-19 only to ComUtWingServ (1); f (1); g (1); n (1) less LCT Groups, o (1) MinRons only; v (1).
List 3 b (1); c (1); d (1); f (1); m (1); p (1); t (1); u (1); v (1); x (1); kk (1) oo (1); rr (1); vv (1); zz (1); www (1); ffff (1); gggg (1); jjjj (1).
List B-3 Construction Brigades and 36th Constr. Regiment only (1).

Standard Navy Distribution List No. 32, 1 June 1945

List 6 a (1) less SevRivNavCom, Comdt PotRivNavCom, SamDefGrp; b only to CNAOpTra Jacksonville, Fla. (25)< CNATra Pensacola, Fla. (1).
List 7 a-1 (1) less NYdNavy #128; d-1 (1) only to NAB's 1st to 13th ND incl., and NavAirTrBases, Corpus Christi and Pensacola; e (1); f (5); g (3); h (5); i-3 (2) only to Newport, R.I.
List 11 SecNav (1); UnderSecNav (1); AsstSecNav (1); AsstSecNavAir (1); ChrmGenBd. 92); InspGen (1); BuAero (5); BuPers (10); CNO (1); BuOrd (5); BuShips (5); BuY&D (5); USMC (900); USCG (3).
List 14 q (2).
Plus Special Distribution.
Numbers in parentheses indicate number of copies sent ot each addressee.

Invasion Showing Initial Waves Moving Into Southeastern Landing Beaches, First, Second, Third Waves, D-Day (H-Hour-Minus-1).
Invasion Showing Initial Waves Moving Into Southeastern Landing Beaches, First, Second, Third Waves, D-Day (H-Hour-Minus-1).

Source: A photocopy of this document is in the Navy Department Library. The original document is located in the World War II Command File of the Operational Archives Branch, Naval History & Heritage Command.