World Battlefronts: Beautiful Iwo

The marines who took Iwo Jima last March called the eight-square-mile volcanic island a beachhead in hell. Sulfur fumes belched from fissures in the steaming rocks. Rumbling noises echoed from the bowels of the harsh, scarred earth. Ugly Iwo cost 22,000 casualties, including 5,445 killed.*

But B-29 pilots returning from bombing Japan often call Iwo "the most beautiful place in the world." Reason: by last week 1,400 of the Superforts (carrying 15,400 airmen) had made emergency landings on Iwo's runways. Lieut. Alvin Beck of Fort Wayne had flown eleven missions and landed on Iwo five times. Said Lieut. Don Midlam of...

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