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Thursday, July 17, 2003
return to the Flag Burning Page
Robert K. Dornan (R - CA)
James M. Talent (R - MO)
Winner of a SpinnWebe
Note from Warren:
The Following is the unchanged transcript of the 2-23-95 discussion on the floor of the House of Representatives, as reported in the Congressional Record. It took Representative Dornan until about Midnight to say everything you see here. The general theme of the discussion was the necessity of changing the Constitution of the United States in order to allow laws against flag desecration, especially in light of the anniversary of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.
It is a very large and unwieldy document, so I have included links to the most interesting sections. These sections have also been highlighted in Bold Text for your viewing ease.
Not one word has been changed
An Index to the most "interesting" parts of this document:
* Rep. Dornan's plane goes down over the Pacific
* Relative heights of New York's landmark buildings
* Shark Attacks
* Davy Crockett dies at the Alamo
* Meet Rep. Dornan's uncle: the Tinman from the Wizard of Oz
* The Official Marine Corp Coffee Mug in Rep. Dornan's Bronco
* Rep. Talent asks: The Tinman?
* 1939 - a great year for American Cinema
* Japanese attack Santa Barbara
* Rep Dornan finds out he's not actually related to show-biz celeb Fred Allen
* But he was raised with the children of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby
* John Wayne's best-known movie role?
* C-SPAN's Arbitron ratings during tort reform debates
* Not just a coffee mug - he also has a calendar and poster
* Anyone here know where Jerry Horrick is?
* John Wayne learned his style from Pvt. W. Watson
* Volcanic formations on Mt. Suribachi
* One more shameless pitch for increased C-SPAN ratings
* Purple Heart trivia - did you know...?
* Finally! The point! We should have laws against burning flags in front of wheelchair-bound Veterans
* Rep. Dornan plans to get larger flags in front of both of his houses
* Midnight- time to submit newspaper articles to the Congressional Record
* Killing Robots of the Future - Less Marine deaths?
Feb-23-95 (HOUSE) TIME: 2310
Note: This document is the unofficial version of the Congressional Record. The printed Congressional Record produced by the Government Printing Office is the only official version.
PART CONGRESSIONAL RECORD (HOUSE)
DATE February 23, 1995
PAGE PAGE H2168
TIME: 2310 MORE ON IWO JIMA
TEXT The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Largent). Under the Speaker`s announced policy of January 4, 1995, the gentleman from California (Mr. Dornan) is recognized for 50 minutes.
Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Speaker, it is awfully difficult to capture in a few minutes the essence of the history of the United States through its United States Marine Corps on such a day as this 23d of February 1995. I consider this day a second birthday for me. Before my colleagues leave the floor, I will show them why. PAGE H2168 I will address it directly to you, Mr. Speaker, because I believe you are a role model for young people around this country as are the four gentlemen that spoke a little while ago, African Americans, all proud citizens, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, discussing things from their hearts as they see it. And my second term colleague, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Hoke) and the two other freshman Members, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Bryant) and the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Christensen), who spoke, also role models.
But the reason today is special for me and why I began on the 15th anniversary of Iwo Jima to begin to research it is on February 23, 1960, I was ferrying, as a National Guard pilot, my 6 years of active duty were behind me, an Air Force F-86 Sabrejet to be retired to the boneyard in Davis-Mothon in Arizona. So I had no water survival equipment. The plane flamed out over the San Fernando Valley. I took it out over the water to try and air-start, got it started and it flamed out again. And then I wanted to punch off these long-range refueling tanks that were to get me to Arizona.
When I punched them off, only one came off so I had a 200-gallon tank at 6 1/2 pounds each gallon. That was a 1300-pound anvil under one wing. I tried to get in Point Magu. And in those days, you were supposed to punch off your canopy. Now you keep it on for a helicopter to foam you in case of fire. I punched off the canopy. I had not flown in 73 days. The plane had not flown in 5 months. It was the hangar queen, last one off the field. PAGE H2168 I was available, because I was what was called a `Guard bum` going from job to job, dreaming about going to Congress, dreaming about doing lots of things in life and doing lots of different jobs with 4 kids and hopefully more to come.
And I saw that field. And as the dirt and dust came up off the floor of the aircraft when the canopy went off and a pop stickle went flying by. Both my eyes were closed from grit. I got one open and I could see the headline: `Pilot on Last Flight Dies with Last Jet out of San Francisco-Van Nuys.` So I turned out toward the water. I was going to punch out along the beach. I decided the plane would jerk from the ejection and of course go inland and hit an orphanage and kill children and nuns. So I turned it out to sea. I intended still to come down in the surf, and I landed 6 miles out in the ocean. No Mae West, no raft, no survival equipment, and began to instantly drown.
I did not get this helmet off. I had scratches on my face trying to unsnap a simple snap that comes off that easily tonight. But I could not get the helmet off. Got my gloves, jacket off. That was it. Could not get my boots off and began to roll under the water every time I tried to get my knotted laces off. And I had called on Guard emergency channel communication with no Navy or Air Force at Oxnard Air Force Base. And the helicopter was scrambled that had been assigned to duty that very morning for the first time in history, 1 hour before my ejection. It is still there today, 35 years later on the 23rd of February. And the helicopter came out, coldest day of the year, wind, high waves, whitecaps everywhere. And he saw this 2-inch white stripe on this red helmet, a whitecap that would not go away. And he told the one enlisted man in the back, keep your eye on it. Circling down, this little 2-man helicopter, and this ensign saw the whitecap disappear. That was me drowning.
PAGE H2168 I slipped below the water. And all of my colleagues here tonight are Christian gentleman and they will understand that I am not being corny. This is true.
I said goodbye to my wife and four kids. I prepared to meet God. I was so nervous and embarrassed that I was flippant, because I literally said in my mind, Jesus, here I come, ready or not, and slipped beneath the water. I remembered a story I had read on drowning on someone that had been plunked out of the bottom of a pool. I said, the water is warmer than I am. I am taking in gulps. It is painless, and I thought about my wife hanging up the laundry. Again, corny but true, that is just what she was doing because that is what she did that time in the morning in the backyard. I pictured her being alone with four kids, and I said, I cannot give up. I have to try one more time.
It seemed hopeless, but I kicked to the surface and I came up. Here was this Navy helicopter, and he dropped a harness. PAGE H2168 I was begging the guy, yelling, I could taste blood from scratching my throat to jump in. I put my arm in the harness, and he jerked me about 10 feet up in the air, and I fell back under the water down, 5, 6, 8 feet. I figured I was gone again.
I came up and I said, well, this is ridiculous. I grabbed the harness, pushed it away from me and told him to level off, waited a few moments. And then I put my two arms into it and he, never having rescued anybody, immediately took off for the base and went up to 1,500 feet, traffic pattern altitude. Of course, that is the World Trade Tower, the Empire State Building is only 1250. And I cannot even feel my muscles. I am in early hyperthermia holding it just against me like this.
I did not want to go under the water and come up and hang on the harness. PAGE H2168 Slowly he brings me up inside. And when this enlisted man grabbed my arm, I begged him not to touch me until he closed this little trap door in the belly of the helicopter. When we got back to the base, he said, corny but true, that I was being circled by two or three huge sharks. They had lost four men to sharks in a Navy boat the week before.
That is one of the reasons they put the helicopter on rescue duty. `I didn`t think we would beat the sharks to you.`
February 23 became my birthday. It was the 15th anniversary of Iwo Jima, and I went to the history book to see what happened on that day. It is interesting how God lets history be attracted to some days.
PAGE H2168 And this is the day the siege began at the Alamo. I like that. It was the day that Zachary Taylor, to be President someday, although very briefly, died in office at the beginning of his second year, defeated General Santa Ana at the battle of Buena Vista in Mexico. That was 11 years after Santa Ana had tortured and killed every survivor at the Alamo, including men who served in this Chamber like Davy Crockett.
And then I saw that it was the day that President-elect Lincoln snuck into town because he had secretly avoided an assassination plot that had been foiled in Baltimore by Pinkerton Guards. He was getting ready to be sworn in. It was March 5 in those days, right up till Roosevelt`s third term.
Then I saw that it was the date that the Japanese shelled the oil refineries in Santa Barbara, 1942, three years before Iwo Jima. And how my mother had panicked in Manhattan and called her sister and my uncle, the Tinman on the Wizard of Oz, because all L.A. was H 2169 under a big alert from the Japanese attacking us. How things changed in two years.
PAGE H2168 And then I saw Iwo Jima. And it jumped at me, and I began to research this battle and the death toll for the United States Marine Corps, their worst battle ever.
The Marine Corps had a little reception down in the bottom of the Rayburn Building. They give us these little cups. It will be in my Bronco for a long time with that `Semper Fi` staring at me.
The Marine Corps is one of our beloved, the smallest of our services, but a beloved service because they have had some of our toughest conflicts.
PAGE H2168 What is not known is that next month in Okinawa, where more Marines died but basically in an Army battle, we lost more men than we lost in Iwo Jima.
Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from St. Louis, MO (Mr. Talent).
PAGE H2169 Mr. TALENT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. I have always been fascinated by the story, and really, the hair on the back of my neck went up when you told that story. I am certainly very glad, and I think the country has been very well-served, that a sovereign who has always guided this Nation`s fortunes chose to pull you out of that water at that point. PAGE H2169 The gentleman said something. I have been listening to the whole story. I just had to ask the gentleman, did you say that your uncle was the Tinman on the Wizard of Oz?
Mr. DORNAN. Born and bred in Roxsbury, Massachusetts, Boston Democrat, who in the 1940`s, with George Murphy and Ronald Reagan, changed his loyalty to the Republican Party and died in 1979 in St. John`s Hospital, same floor as John Wayne, who died 4 days later. They were good Republicans, you bet.
TIME: 2320 PAGE H2169 Mr. TALENT. I thank the gentleman, for that is one of my favorite movies from certainly my favorite year of motion pictures.
Mr. DORNAN. It was the best year.
Mr. TALENT. It really was. I do not mean to interrupt the gentleman`s story, but I really had to ask. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
PAGE H2169 Mr. DORNAN. He told me a story about how the Japanese this night 53 years ago shelled those oil refineries in Santa Barbara, how they hid under the dining room table in their house on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills and how it really was a massive alert and a lot of people were hurt, I think a couple killed, by falling anti-aircraft fire because there were no Japanese planes over Los Angeles.
Mr. TALENT. I was not aware that the Japanese had ever shelled the mainland.
Mr. DORNAN. They had. They had struck our mainland on this very day 53 years ago. And Jack Haley like his friend Fred Allen who I used to call `Uncle` until I found out later there was no blood, but all of that show business community then all started to go overseas. My uncle went to Italy and North Africa. Wayne`s case, the `Sands of Iwo Jima,` as Sergeant Striker. That is probably his best known role.
Yes, it is fun to have an uncle who has become a legend.
Mr. TALENT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
PAGE H2169 Mr. DORNAN. The Marine Corps picture at Iwo Jima has also become a legend. It is an icon for the Corps.
I am going to see in just a few brief short minutes for those people, Mr. Speaker, who are channel surfing tonight, sometimes we say 1,300,000 watching, but after an excellent discussion on tort reform and it was fascinating, but you have to pay attention, because we are changing history here these first 50 some days of 100, and before that, a discussion that had its points on affirmative action and level playing field, but good men of conscience and women of different conscience coming to different solutions.
This is something that I do because President Reagan ordered me to do it, personally, on several occasions, once when I was in a room with him, alone with Nancy and Ronald Reagan when he was declared the winner in the New Hampshire primary. I was the only one there with the Reagans. I thought, what a moment of history, flashing, I think it was ABC, Ronald Reagan the winner. He had beaten a terrific World War II hero, boby mangled 50 years ago on April 14 of this year, Bob Dole, and it was in that race he had beaten, really George Bush was the finalist going into New Hampshire, he had beaten Ronald Reagan big time in Ohio with the help of a state coordinator friend of mine Floyd Brown.
PAGE H2169 I looked at President Reagan, he said, I can`t believe this, it`s like a dream, that I`m going to maybe go on to win and be part of American history. In Reagan`s good-bye speech on January 11, and I meant to have that here and put it in the Record, his verbatim words, he said words to the effect in his good-bye 9 days before George Bush was inaugurated, our 40th President said, in sort of putting down his text, although it was the way he was using the teleprompters, he said, I want to talk to the children of America. I want you to study the history of this country. And he mentioned D-Day. I believe, I am not sure, he mentioned Iwo Jima. He mentioned a World War I battle. He mentioned battles in our revolutionary period.
I just visited Lexington Green on the 19th of this month, a few days ago, a stirring place. I was shocked to see that an African-American, Crispus Attucks, who died on Lexington Green, the 9th, killed in action, this man is not on the memorial with the other great names, John Brown and Robert Monroe. I remember Reagan saying in his good-buy speech, `Young people, if your parents at the kitchen table don`t teach you about those who have gone before you and gave their blood to build this great country of ours, I give you permission to get angry at your parents.` And by extension I am sure he meant the teachers. We are not teaching the history of this Nation.
And how many college campuses today? This is a school day, spring semester. How many high school campuses in America? How many grade schools? This happened when I was in the seventh grade, and we were hungry to get the news reports to learn about young men just a few years older then us dying, and not just men. At this reception tonight where I got this cup and this beautiful calendar, two-sided poster, Paul McHale, a Desert Storm marine veteran, one of our colleagues, had brought in the best film, black and white and color I had ever seen, on Iwo Jima, and here were nurses on the bloody beaches, Yellow Beach, Red Beach, Green Beach, on the beaches holding these dying men in their arms. They had been flown in from Guam on C-47 `Cooney Birds` and were flying these terribly wounded men on a long plane flight back to Guam for hours. Many of the men died on planes or died in the hospitals in Guam, and here is this nurse on film saying that she never felt an affection for these young men, like they were her children, or young brothers, until she had children of her own. I found out tonight we lost 93 doctors. Doctors. That is how many doctors. Imagine how many we must have had mixed among the men to have 23 killed. We lost over 100, I think 127 paramedics. I did not learn that until this evening, at this Marine reception in the Rayburn Building. In every category, the death toll was tremendous. It said that most of the people died a violent death.
PAGE H2169 I asked my West Pointer, Bill Fallon, who is my legislative assistant for defense affairs, I said, Bill, for obvious reasons, get me someone from Arkansas who won the Medal of Honor on that sulfuric, death-smelling, cordite-smelling hell on earth, and he picks one out from Arkansas, representative of all the other 27, 14 of the 27 Medal of Honor winners died. One of them was H 2170 sitting up in that gallery who was only 17 years and 6 days when he threw himself on a grenade and pulled another one under him on February 20, day 2. The flag went on up day 5 of a 36-day battle and all the records that I am reading say they expected it to be a cakewalk and over in 4 days. But not General `Howlin` Smith. He said this is going to be the worst battle in Marine Corps history, and he was right. `Howlin` Smith.
Here is Wilson D. Watson, Wilson Douglas Watson. Private. Just a private. But 24 years old. And these men looked like they were 30 at 24, in every theater of the world, because they were men in those days at 18 and 19.
Here I recall Clinton on Ted Koppel on Lincoln`s birthday 1992 telling Koppel, I was only a boy of 23 when I was in London trying to avoid serving. A boy at 23? How come Lucas up there was a man 6 days past his 17th birthday?
PAGE H2169 But here is what Wilson Watson did. Joined in Arkansas, born 18 February 1921. Actually he was born, I see here, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as an automatic rifleman, serving with the Second Battalion, 9th Marines, and this stunned me when I read this sitting here because I went out in the field for 3 days with the Marine Corps in Vietnam, May 20 through 23, 1966, with the Second Battalion of the 9th Marines, Echo Company, I recall.
It does not say his company here. And the young commander that allowed me to go in on a Sparrow Hawk designed by a colleague of ours who I served with here for 8 years. He is watching. I called him in Virginia and told him to watch, Ben Blaz, one of the most distinguished people I have ever served with in this Chamber. Brigadier General Benjamin Blaz was the commander of the 9th Marines and we did not discover that until we were sitting back here about 3 rows talking one day and I told him about my days of combat with the Marines as a volunteer reporter from a small Santa Monica newspaper, and he said, Bob, in that distinguished way of his, I was the commander of the 9th Marines. This young Medal of Honor winner was with the 9th Marines in a different time.
By the way, Mr. Speaker, sometimes the reach of this House is amazing. The young captain who took me out with his unit and let me on that H-34 Sparrow Hawk helicopter to go into a village that was surrounded, designed, I repeat, by Ben Blaz, his name was something like Jerry Horrick, Horricks, he lost his legs. Two months later, by chance, I saw it in the Saturday Evening Post, and I asked him, because I saw his wings, or we got to talking about his flying, what was an F-8 Crusader pilot doing as a ground Marine company commander?
And he said, `I want to be Commandant someday and I want to go all the way in my career.` He said, `Flying is important, giving air cover to these kids is important, but I figured if you`re going to make it to the top, you better be a ground Marine and see what the gunfire`s like at the grass level.`
TIME: 2330 There he was, and 2 months later he lost his legs. I believe he was from Glendale. If anybody, Mr. Speaker, knows Jerry Horrick, something like that, please write me. I would love to see how he is doing.
PAGE H2170 Anyway, young Wilson Watson, second battalion 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, the same division in Vietnam, during action against the enemy forces on Iwo Jima. By the way, all of those islands are volcanic islands. For action over 2 days, the 26th and 27th of February 1945.
With his squad abruptly halted by intense fire from enemy fortifications in the high rocky ridges and crags commanding the line of advance, Pvt. Watson boldly rushed 1 pillbox and fired into the embrasure with his weapon, keeping the enemy pinned down singlehandedly until he was in a position to hurl in a grenade, and then running to the rear of the emplacement to destroy the retreating Japanese and enable his platoon to take its objective. Again pinned down at the foot of a small hill, he dauntlessly scaled the jagged incline under fierce mortar and machinegun barrages and, with his assistant BAR man, charged the crest of the hill, firing from his hip.
This is where John Wayne learned his style. PAGE H2170 Fighting ferociously against Japanese troops attacking with grenades and knee mortars from the reverse slope, he stood fearlessly erect in his exposed position to cover the hostile entrenchments and held the hill under savage fire for 15 minutes, killing 60 Japanese before his ammunition was exhausted and his platoon was able to join him. His courageous initiative and valiant fighting spirit against devastating odds were directly responsible for the continued advance of his platoon, and his inspiring leadership throughout this bitterly fought action reflects the highest credit upon Pvt. Watson and the U.S. Naval Service.
I do not know who wrote this, Mr. Speaker, but I believe it should say the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Naval services does not sound impactful enough at the end.
Wilson Watson lived. I do not know if he is still alive 50 years later. Someone will probably write and tell me. PAGE H2170 This seems so far way, 50 years, and yet it is not, Mr. Speaker. Last year I met Joe Rosenthal, the only survivor of the scene that day who took that picture. He was in the Rayburn Building in room 2117, the anteroom of the Armed Services room, and I called the photographer over and any Member lucky enough to be passing through the anteroom at that moment got a picture with Joe Rosenthal against a big, beautiful oil painting that is the prominent feature, along with the capstand taken up from the harbor of Havana that literally came off of the U.S.S. Maine that was sunk in that harbor in 1898, those are the two main objects of yes, military art, and posed with Joe. He is healthy, and all of the other six men at that second flag-raising, because there was a smaller flag raised first. What a touch in history to hold Joe`s hand in front of that magnificent picture. As some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when Sonny Montgomery began a series of very touching 5-minute speeches pointed out, if you want to go to your library, this book, `Iwo Jima: Legacy of Valor,` by Bill Ross, who I learned tonight passed on, which was published in 1983, and this is a dog-eared copy from one of our majors in the liaison office. This book I hope he will let me use when I fly to Iwo Jima at the end of next month for the commemorative of this 6-day battle. I flew around this island in an old seaplane flying to Vietnam, I have looked at it from the air at high altitude, and I do not believe we should have ever given it back to the Japanese. It is not used for anything now. It is 8-1/2 square miles of junk real estate is the way one hero described it.
I would like to read, Mr. Speaker, a letter written by a veteran just a few years ago in 1987 sitting on top of the edge of Mount Suribachi, writing it to a friend. And it is Col. John W. Ripley, one of the young officers in that horrendous battle, and he made his way back, his solo pilgrimage to this bloody site of so much American heroism, and he writes to his friend, Ross McKenzie, I repeat, from the top of Mount Suribachi, 556-foot mountain, the only high ground really on this volcanic rock. This is an actual extinct volcano, and all of the lava from centuries of erupting that poured in a northwesterly direction giving it a big pork chop shape, and as I said, 8 1/2 miles.
Colonel Ripley says:
PAGE H2170 Dear Ross, From this most unlikely spot I am inspired to write you for reasons I can`t fully explain. Certainly you have received no other letters from here I would wager, and you may find this interesting. It`s the middle of the night - cold, windy, uncomfortable & profoundly moving.
He is writing by flashlight. `I`m looking down on a tiny island 3 miles wide and 5 miles long. Down there, and here where I`m writing by flashlight,` a lot of these figures are a little off, so I corrected them, and I hope he does not mind if he is listening, where 5,951 marines died. There were another 870-some Navy men, Air Force men, air crews, 220-some men died on the U.S.S. Bismark Sea which was sunk by a Japanese kamikaze, Coast Guard men bringing the landing craft in earlier, Navy men of all types. Six thousand eight hundred twenty-one is the precise figure of everyone.
The mountain is Suribachi, the island, Iwo Jima. Of the hundreds of thousands of words written about this place, nothing comes close to describing its starkness, its inestimable cost and now, sadly, the poverty of its abandonment.
The entire island is a shrine, mostly Japanese, but a few American - only a few. Americans don`t seem to care about such things when, as is the case here, it`s inconvenient. H 2171 And yet this island, its name and most especially this very spot where I sit - where the flag was raised - is immortalized in our national consciousness for as long as there is an America.
`The debris and detritus of war remain even after nearly 43 years. Rusty vehicle hulks, wrecked boats, sunken ships, canteens, mess kits, thousands of rounds of corroded ammunition, blockhouses, pillboxes, trenches, abandoned airfields, large naval shore guns, artillery, etc. And beneath my feet remains of - ` he says 22. It is actually 19,000 dead Japanese. We did take 1,083 POW`s out of a garrison of over 20. He says, `We hated them then. There is more respect now, defenders, brave men who die at their post.
`Rupert Brooke,` an English poet, `said it perfectly; `Here, in some small corner of a forgotten field, will be forever England.` And this brutally stinking sulfuric rock depressing to see, demoralizing as it has lost its once vital importance and our nation`s once great concern, will be forever America. It will be forever in the memory of those 75,000 Marines who fought here.`
PAGE H2170 I learned yesterday from Commandant Mundy, addressing at the beginning of the year, as is the tradition in the Armed Services Committee where he said that of the 27 Marine battalion commanders, and we only have 24 now, Mr. Speaker, 24 in the whole Marine Corps battalions, 27 fought in combat there, and 18 of those battalion commanders fell. Some of them did survive, but were taken off the island badly wounded, and more than a third died.
PAGE H2171 Of the 75,000 Marines who fought here suffered wounds here and the 5800 who gave their blood and lives to its black soil. Again Rupert Brooke. `In that rich earth, a richer dust concealed. Their hopes, their happiness, their dreams ended here. And if we fail to honor them in our memory and our prayers, we should be damned to hell for such failure.`
TIME: 2340 PAGE H2171
``I brought a small team here, Ross, to survey the island for future exercise use. The Japanese would prefer that we did not exercise here, but that will be over my dead body.` I do not know, Mr. Speaker, who won this debate 7 years ago.
I find it hard to believe and impossible to accept that our Government gave this island back to the Japanese. It is as if we gave them Gettysburg or Arlington National Cemetery. Americans died here in such numbers that in 9 1/2 months the toll here would have equaled, if it had lasted 9 1/2 months, would have equaled the entire 10-11 years of the Vietnam struggle. The Marine Corps should never lose its right to exercise here, and I am proud of having something to do with assuring that it will be so. Yours, I, John, John Ripley, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired.
Mr. Speaker, it is amazing how we will pass people on the street and not know what they have done for their country, just a senior gentleman or lady walking by, we say hello or nod. We do not know that they laid their life on the altar of liberty, of freedom, sometimes in foreign countries far away, and went on with their lives with the memories of all the friends of their youth who did not make it.
PAGE H2171 Gene Rider in Navy Times wrote a column a few days ago, well, actually it is dated a few days from now, February 27, so it is the current Navy Times, and I think it sums it up better than anything I have read. I would like to read a few paragraphs from it, Mr. Speaker. This is Gene Ryder. I hope he is listening.
He is a CBS Radio correspondent who lives in San Diego, and if he has a friend listening, call Gene to hear his words going out to Guam where our day begins, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands and all 50 States, thanks to the wonder of C-SPAN.
PAGE H2171 Iwo Jima, valor, death, and a raised flag. The high command expected Iwo Jima to be a 4-day piece of cake for the 42,000 Marines of the 4th and 5th Divisions. But Lieutenant General Howland M. `Howling Mad` Smith warned it would be the most grueling battle in the Corps` history. He was the senior Marine officer in the entire Pacific, but he was outranked. In the first 18 hours alone, 2,312 men had fallen.
That is double D-Day, Mr. Speaker. `The 3d Division, brought along as a floating reserve,` that is our division that fought for a decade in Vietnam in the I Corps around Da Nang, `wasn`t expected to be needed. It was committed February 20, day 2,` and the first unit landed on day 3, the 21st. `As planned, 30,000 men landed on day 1. Most massed on the beachhead area.` I do look forward to walking these beaches next month, Mr. Speaker.
`Defense perimeters had not been fully formed, because the tanks lost traction in the volcanic ash. Heavy artillery landing was delayed by heavy surf.` I witnessed that surf in these films this evening, Mr. Speaker, waves coming over giant Amtraks and landing vehicles, and they completely disappeared under as heavy a surf as I have ever seen along the California coast.
PAGE H2171 He said, `The congestion on the beach had grown into a monumental snarl of damaged tanks, landing crafts, smashed equipment. The Japanese are holding their fire. They had their fields of fire perfectly worked out.` One of our Marine colonels told me tonight they had drilled holes in the volcanic rock where they inserted mortar tubes so you could come along and drop a tube, and it was perfectly positioned to pick out certain people on the beach. You could move on after you dropped the mortar shell into its barrel.
Things started to improve on the beach, false feeling of security. The heavy artillery landed. Twenty-five miles offshore, 60 Japanese kamikaze planes in several waves swooped in to hit the smaller escort carriers. Detected early on, many were shot down. Two slammed into one of our big supercarriers, the Saratoga that had been battling since 1942 all across the Pacific, killing 128 on the Saratoga, wounding another almost 200. Another kamikaze crashed midship on the Bismarck Sea. Bombs went off, and engulfed in great flames, the carrier sank quickly, 812 sailors into the icy water, 218 dying.
PAGE H2171 Iwo Jima, `Sulfur Island,` gateway to Japan, populated by 21,000 subterranean troops, and I saw an eyewitness soldier tonight who said they were not on the island, they were in the island.
There were caves all the way through and tunnels. `The almost invisible smog of smoky drizzle that smelled of cordite and death and sulfur; the Japanese commander, Lt. Tadamichi Kuribayashi, he knew he could not win, but he and his troops were dedicated to death.`
Mr. Speaker, think, as I read these words, of this inane, stupid argument of how we were going to present the B-29 fuselage of the Enola Gay that dropped the first atom bomb on August 6 at though we were in some kind of racist crusade against the Japanese islands. This battle, and the battle 50 years ago next month in Okinawa, just give a tiny feeling of the major death toll that we would have suffered.
I learned last week that we are awarding Purple Hearts today in Somalia, Grenada, Panama, Purple Hearts have gone to several men putting their lives on the line in Haiti to restore order to the pathetic little island, and these Purple Hearts were struck in 1945, this year 50 years ago, and we are still drawing from that supply, because these were from a lot ordered in thousands that we thought we would be giving out in the invasion of Japan and the major islands, and the death toll and wounding toll that we would take there. It is one of the amazing pieces of small information about current Purple Hearts and how many are still stored away.
General Kuribayashi, graduated from their military college, their West Point, in 1914, and he knew that his victory would be in showing Marines what lay in store for them when they invaded Japan and in denying them the emergency airfield they needed for crippled B-29 bombers at the halfway point of the Guam-Saipan to Tokyo air express.
At this point, let me add something, Mr. Speaker. There should have been somebody here tonight whose life was saved by these sacrifices, a chairman, a brand-new chairman, after being here over 22 years, Ben Gilman of New York, who was a B-29 crewman, told me that his life was saved after Japanese fighters shot up his B-29 over the mainland of Honshu Island. He could not make it back to his base further south, Saipan, Tinian, or Guam. He recovered on Iwo Jima. He would have gone in the water like so many crewmen from his bomb wing there that died at sea, shark attacks, some of the worst shark-infested waters in the world.
Witness what happened to the crew of the Indianapolis that delivered the first H 2172 atom bomb to Tinian. They sunk. They were not accounted for for 3 days, a terrible military `Snafu`, and 500 of the 800 or 900 that died in the water were torn apart by sharks.
Ben Gilman told me he owes his life to taking Iwo Jima, which makes a good point. Did we have to take Iwo Jima? Would the Japanese or Germans, if their roles had been reversed, have taken Iwo Jima? They might not have. They would have told their pilots, `Press on. If you do not make it, that is OK, we have got teenagers to take your place.`
These thousands, these 6,821 marines and sailors and Army Air force men, Coast Guardsmen who died, they gave their lives in a direct trade at about four or five to one for the 27,000 men in the air crews and fighters and mostly B-29`s that made it back to Iwo Jima, coming back shot up from all of those raids in March and April and May and June and July and through August 15, 1945 when the cessation of shooting came about looking forward to the treaty of surrender on the deck of the Missouri on September 2.
PAGE H2171 So Ben Gilman is a living testament of somebody who would not be in this House if it had not been for this sacrifice and the atom bombs would not have brought an end to this horrible death toll on both sides. A million Japanese survived the war to have children and grandchildren that are alive in a dynamic nation and its economy today because we dropped those two bombs.
I am happy to say, under the lead of Joe McDade from Pennsylvania here, and my hero in this House, our Gary Cooper, Sam Johnson of Texas, who I watched take on the head of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and say, `Would you have dropped the bomb, Doctor?` And he says, `I would have obeyed orders.` He said, `No; would you have dropped the bomb if you were Harry Truman?` `No; I would not.` Sam held up that hand that has seen so much torture in Vietnam, he holds up the hand and looks at him and says, `That is the difference between you and me. I would have dropped the bomb.`
PAGE H2172 TIME: 1150 That is our Texan, Sam Johnson of Dallas. We won that battle. I continue reading from Gene Rider`s Navy Times story.
PAGE H2172 Big guns silent, tanks mired in mud, no spotting airplanes on day four, but it seemed eerily quiet. Perfect day for infantry. Leaning into near gale force gusts and driving sheets of rain, Marines begin probing the steep bouldered slopes of Suribachi, flame throwers, demolition charges, grenades, and men winning the Medal of Honor, destroyed pill boxes and bunkers as our patrols drove upward. There were sporadic nasty skirmishes and casualties. By nightfall it was apparent that only a few of the 2,000 Japanese packed into the caves on that mountain on the southwest corner of the island in all those labyrinths at several levels, they remained alive in there.
The weather on day 5, different. Greatly improved. Lt. Colonel Chandler Johnson, I don`t know if he is still alive, commander of the Second Battalion, 28th Regiment, had seen the totals through day three. 4,574 of his men killed or wounded. In the 5th Division, 2,057 men killed or wounded. A great many were from his own battalion. He decided they needed a topping out party, a flag on top of Suribachi. He called together Lt. Harold Schrier, a route to follow up the steep slopes he said. Take this folded flag, a smaller one, and put this on top of the hill.
See how men will die for a flag? And we debated all night a few years ago in this well, Duncan Hunter led the debate, all night long to pass a simple law that you cannot burn Old Glory in front of veterans like these, some of them in wheelchairs. And we lost that debate. When we are through with our 100 days, maybe, just maybe, we will revisit whether or not you have a right to burn a flag in front of courageous men and those Army nurses and Marine nurses and Navy nurses, excuse me, that went in to help the Marine Corps.
PAGE H2172 So he says put this flag, his simple order, put this on top of the hill. Preceded by a patrol that met no opposition, E Platoon, 40 men plus litter bearers, notice everywhere they went, they have litter bearers or doctors with them. I repeat, 820-some paramedics died with all the Marines fighting. How many times must the word `medic` have pierced the din of artillery and machine gun and flame thrower fire there.
He said with their litter bearers they go up. Slowly they make it up single file the steep slope to the crest. Rifles and grenades ready. Some of the men scour the crater`s debris, and there is a huge crater there. They found a pipe. They lashed the colors to it, and at 10:31 a.m. the Stars and Stripes went up and whipped in the blustery wind.
Sergeant Lou Lowery took pictures for `Leatherneck,` a great magazine 50 years later. And a Japanese suddenly leapt up from a cave, fired, and just barely missed Low Lowery. A Marine gunned him down.
PAGE H2172 Marines handily won a skirmish that developed using rifles and grenades. It wasn`t planned. James Forrestal, the Secretary of the Navy, and what a handsome guy, he turned out to be 2 years later our first Secretary of Defense. I thought looking at the film today, they had pictures of him on the deck of the command ship, the El Dorado, but he was actually on the beach already, on Green Beach, and he is standing beside Gen. Howling Smith, where 23 Marines were killed right in that area within that very hour, and they watched that flag unfurl. It was a very emotional moment. Our Marines that were in our liaison department particularly asked me to point out what James V. Forrestal said. He set that handsome square jaw of his and he said `General Howling,` pointing up to the flag on Suribachi, the earlier smaller flag, `this means a Marine Corps for 500 years.` Howling Mad then choked up.
They soon returned to the El Dorado command ship two miles offshore. CBS asked for recorded interviews. And General Smith ordered Sgt. Ernest Thomas, one of the flag raisers, to come on board for the interview. He was the very senior sergeant. Afterwards Thomas had one of the thrills of his life. A hot bath, his first in days, and a hot meal, and he couldn`t wait yet to get back to his outfit.
A few days later he died on Iwo Jima. He gave up his life. That was his last hot shower, his last hot meal. The banner atop Suribachi was a lift for the Marines in the foxholes down in all the lower part of the island. The sailors on the beach and on the ships, they saw it.
PAGE H2172 This is captured on film, I just saw it a few hours ago, Mr. Speaker, exuberant yells, ships blasting whistles, ships` bells ringing, horns rang out. Lt. Col. Chandler Johnson was jubilant. He had to have that flag as a souvenir for his battalion which had paid such a price for its role in taking the mountain. He sent a runner to scrounge up another flag.
The officer on one of the landing ship tanks at the beach broke out the ship`s ceremonial flag. It was twice as large and delivered to the summit about an hour later. About then, a five foot five bespectacled 33-year-old civilian in Marine dungarees reached the top with a pack full of photographic gear.
He was joined by two Marine combat photographers. They were feeling put out by having missed the flag raising. Of course, that five foot five, 33-year-old, now 83, was none other than Joe Rosenthal, San Francisco Associated Press.
PAGE H2172 He saw the just delivered 4 by 8, a pretty big flag, that is the size I think I will replace my 5 by 7 with in front of my house here in Virginia, and that is what I will use in my house in Garden Grove. I am going to like that size the rest of my life, 4 by 8. He saw them tying the banner`s lanyards around a long pipe about to be positioned for hoisting.
Joe told me he had his back turned at this moment. He and sergeant Bill Genaust scurried 25 feet up. He is just loading, and just then six Marines struggled the unwieldy pipe upward, with that big flag starting to whip out in the stiff breeze. Joe told me he whipped around. Gene Rider has it here that he clicked his speedgraphic loaded with black and white film at the midpoint just at the right millisecond for this incredible, now an icon, historic photograph.
Then Bob Campbell, another Marine photographer, shooting from a different angle, and in these wonderful commemorative books that the Marine Corps published, you see Bob Campbell`s picture capturing the original H 2173 smaller flag being brought down by Marines, still ducking from sniper fire, and the big one going up. What an incredible moment that symbolizes to all the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen fighting all around the world. What a tribute to our beautiful Old Glory.
PAGE H2172 The Marines stood under the flag, looked across Iwo Jima, the view from 556 feet was much different from that scene from the foxholes and the caves and the Marines below. Keep in mind, there is 31 days of hellish fighting to continue. Five days of carnage and they owned a third of this 8 1/2 square miles of junk.
Rosenthal came down slowly from the top, made the rounds of the command posts and aid stations, and caught a ride on a press boat back out to the El Dorado. He wrote captions for his day`s pictures and made sure they were in the press pouch for the courier seaplane, probably a Catalina, back to Guam. There they would be developed, checked by censors, radioed stateside by CINCPAC`s high powered transmitters. He wasn`t sure of what he made up there at the top, he didn`t even get to see his work, and a day or so later the Associated Press radioed congratulations. And that turned out to be the defining event of his life.
Casualties mounted as the carnage erupted into a new fury, and as the 4th division on the eastern front, 3d division in the center and 5th division on the west hammered ahead with tanks, flame throwers, mortars, rockets, each day was heartbreak and it went on for 31 more days.
PAGE H2172 I ask permission to put the rest of this in the Record and close with this in the final minute or so, Mr. Speaker. This battle is not over, keeping our country strong. And here is another article after Gene Rider`s in the same Navy Times, if it had to be done all over again, how future Marines would take Iwo Jima in another way. They project their thinking, Chris Lawson, the Times staff writer, to 2010, and the star of this event is none other than the V-22 `Osprey.` On the ground it is the advanced armored amphibious vehicle, AAAU. These two systems are in doubt whether or not we are going to fully develop them for our great Corps. And it shows how this 36-day battle would have been shortened by vertical envelopment and putting our troops behind all of the Japanese forces and how much loss of life could have been prevented in this terrible conflict.
PAGE H2173 TIME: 0000 I would like to submit this for the Record and close again with those words that have been said 10 times at least tonight, that uncommon valor was a common virtue that day, 27 Medals of Honor and the debt that Americans born ever since, were too young to serve, will never, ever be able to repay except by studying this history and passing it onto the young men and women of our country, as Ronald Reagan requested.
PAGE H2173 (FROM THE NAVY TIMES, FEBRUARY 27, 1995) IWO JIMA: VALOR, DEATH AND A RAISED FLAG (BY GENE RIDER) The high command expected Iwo Jima to be a four-day piece of cake for the 42,000 Marines of the 4th and 5th divisions. But Lt. Gen. Holland M. `Howling Mad` Smith warned it would be the most grueling battle in the Corps` history. He was the senior Marine officer in the Pacific, but was outranked.
In the first 18 hours, 2,312 men had fallen. The 3rd division, brought along as floating reserve, wasn`t expected to be needed. It was committed on Feb. 20 and first unit landed on Day Three, Feb. 21.
PAGE H2173 As planned, 30,000 men landed on Day One, most massed in the beachhead area. Defense perimeters had not been fully formed because tanks lost traction in volcanic ash. The heavy artillery landing was delayed by a high surf and beach congestion, which had grown into a monumental snarl, of damaged tanks, landing craft and smashed equipment.
Much of the enemy`s firepower came from caves and labyrinths of Mount Suribachi, the 556-foot-high dead volcano overlooking our beachhead at the island`s southern tip. Much of our bombardment and air strikes were concentrated on Suribachi and by Day Three it had been jolted to its core.
Things were improving on the beach. Heavy artillery landed. But 25 miles offshore, 60 planes in several waves of a kamikaze mission swooped in to attack our escort carriers. Detected early on, many were shot down. Two slammed into the carrier Saratoga, killing 128 and wounding 192. Another crashed amidship on the Bismarck Sea. Engulfed by great flames, the carrier sank quickly and 812 sailors took to the icy waters, 218 dying.
PAGE H2173 Iwo Jima - Sulphur Island - gateway to Japan, populated by 21,000 subterranean troops, was almost invisible in a smog of smoky drizzle that smelled of death, sulphur and cordite. The Japanese commander, Lt. Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi, knew he couldn`t win. But he and his troops were dedicated to death. Their victory would be in showing Marines what lay in store when they invaded Japan and in denying them the emergency airfield they needed for crippled B-29 bombers at the halfway point of the Guam-Saipan-to-Tokyo air expressway.
Big guns silent, tanks mired in mud, no spotting planes, dawn on Day Four seemed eerily quiet. It was a perfect day for infantry. Leaning into near-gale-force gusts that drove sheets of rain, Marines began probing the steep, bouldered slopes of Suribachi. Flame throwers, demolition charges and grenades destroyed pill boxes and bunkers as our patrols drove upward. There were sporadic nasty skirmishes and casualties. By nightfall, it was apparent that only a few of the 2,000 Japanese packed into caves and labyrinths at several levels remained.
The weather on Day Five was greatly improved. Lt. Col. Chandler Johnson, commander of the 2d Battalion, 28th Regiment, had seen the totals through Day Three - 4,574 men killed or wounded. Of the 2,057 5th Division men killed or wounded, a great many were from his battalion.
A `TOPPING-OUT` PARTY
Johnson thought it was time for a `topping-out` party. After giving Lt. Harold Schrier a route to follow up the steep slopes, he handed him a folded flag and said: `Put this on the top of the hill.`
Preceded by a patrol that met no opposition, E platoon - 40 men plus litter bearers - slowly made its way in single file up the steep slopes to the crest. Rifles and grenades ready, some of the men scouted the crater`s debris and found a pipe, lashed the colors to it and at 10:31 a.m. the Stars and Stripes whipped in the blustery wind.
PAGE H2173 Sgt. Lou Lowrey took pictures for Leatherneck magazine until a Japanese leaped up from a cave, fired and missed Lowery. A Marine gunned down the Japanese. Marines handily won a skirmish with rifles and grenades.
It wasn`t planned. James Forrestal, the secretary of the Navy, who had boarded the command ship Eldorado at Guam with Gen. Smith beside him, stood on Green Beach, where 23 Marines had been killed within the hour, and watched the flag unfurled. It was an emotional moment. Forrestal said, `Holland, this means a Marine Corps for 500 years.` `Howling Mad` choked up. They soon returned to the Eldorado two miles offshore, where SBC recorded interviews for later broadcast. Smith ordered Sgt. Ernest Thomas, one of the flag raisers, to come for an interview. Afterward, Thomas had a bath and a hot meal and couldn`t wait to get back to his outfit. He gave his life a few days later.
PAGE H2173 The banner atop Suribachi was a lift for Marines in foxholes, and sailors on the beach and on ships. Exuberant yells, whistles, ships` bells and horns rang out.
Lt. Col. Johnson was jubilant. He had to have that flag as a souvenir for his battalion, which had paid such a price for its role in taking Suribachi. He sent a runner to scrounge for another flag. An officer on the tank landing ship at the beach broke out the ship`s ceremonial flag. It was twice as large and was delivered to the summit about an hour later.
About then, a 5-foot-5 bespectacled 33-year-old civilian in Marine dungarees reached the top with a full pack of photo gear. He was joined by two Marine combat photographers. They were feeling put out by having missed the flag raising. Joe Rosenthal, Associated Press out of San Francisco, saw the just-delivered 4x8 banner`s lanyards being put around a long pipe about to be positioned for hoisting.
PAGE H2173 He and Sgt. Bill Genault scurried out 25 feet just as six Marines struggled the unwieldy pipe upward with the big flag whipping in the stiff breeze. Joe clicked his Speed Graphic loaded with black and white film at just the right millisecond for an historic picture. Genault shot the same scene in color movies until his film ran out. Pvt. Bob Campbell, the other Marine photographer, was shooting from another location and got a shot of the small flag being lowered with the new flag going up.
Marines stood under the flag and looked across Iwo Jima. The view from 556 feet was much different from that seen from foxholes, caves and ravines below. After five days of carnage, they owned one-third of this 8 1/2 square miles of junk real estate and had yet to reach Day One`s objective.
Rosenthal came down slowly from the top, made the rounds of command posts and aid stations and caught a ride on a press boat to the Eldorado. He wrote captions for his day`s pictures and made sure they were in the press pouch for the courier seaplane to Guam, where they`d be developed, checked by censors and radioed stateside by CincPac`s high-power transmitters. He wasn`t sure of what he`d made at the top. A day or so later the Association Press radioed congratulations.
Casualties mounted as the carnage erupted into new fury as the 4th Division on the eastern front, 3rd Division in the center and 5th Division on the west hammered ahead with H 2174 tanks, flame throwers, heavy artillery and offshore mortar and rocket boats. Each yard was heartbreak.
By Day 14, the battle line was at Day Two`s objective. PAGE H2173 That day, crippled over Tokyo, the B-29 Dinah Might, was the first Superfort bomber to land on Iwo Jima while trying to return to Guam. With the short, shell-shocked runway under sporadic fire, the 65-ton bomber flopped down for a wild but safe landing.
A Doberman pinscher war dog led his handler`s patrol to a huge cave on the eastern coast where scores of Japanese had lain dead for days in an overpowering stench. Seven Japanese came out of a catacomb and surrendered.
Day 24, March 14 at 9:30 a.m., as CincPac ordered, there was a short ceremony near the base of Suribachi. Gen. Smith`s personnel officer, Col. David Stafford, read a proclamation issued by Adm. Chester Nimitz from headquarters on Guam that officially claimed victory and proclaimed Iwo Jima a U.S. territory. A bugler sounded colors, our flag was hoisted, and a color guard, Adm. Richmond K. Turner and Gen. Smith joined each division commander - Maj. Gens. Graves B. Erskine, Clifton B. Cates and Keller E. Rockey of the 3rd, 4th and 5th divisions, respectively - in salutes.
PAGE H2173 Dedications of three separate cemeteries followed. Bill Ross, Marine correspondent wrote that as Rockey spoke at the 5th`s cemetery, a bulldozer dug more burial trenches for poncho-shrouded Marines laid out in long lines awaiting burial and that a jeep drove up with several more bodies.
Gen. Erskine spoke at the 3rd`s cemetery. `Victory was never in doubt. Its cost was. What was in doubt was whether there would be any of us left to dedicate our cemetery . . . let the world count our crosses, over and over . . . let us do away with ranks and ratings and designations . . . old timers . . . replacements - here lie only Marines.`
(In the mid-1950s the bodies of all Marines buried on Iwo Jima were exhumed and returned to American soil.) PAGE H2173 Day 35, March 25, remnants of regiments 26, 27 and 28 wearily and warily slogged into Bloody Gorge on the northwest tip of Iwo Jima. There was no resistance: There were no more Japanese.
Official figures are testimony to the valor of Americans who served in the Iwo Jima battle. Total casualties 28,686. Of the 6,821 dead or missing, 5,931 were Marines, 195 were Navy corpsmen attached to Marine units. Of the 27 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines and corpsmen for valor at Iwo, more than half were awarded posthumously.
An estimate of Japanese killed: 20,000. Just 1,083 were taken prisoner - many from the Korean labor battalion. PAGE H2173 On March 14, Adm. Nimitz issued a press release that ended with `Among the Americans who served at Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue.`
The same day, Gen. Cates, dedicating his 4th Division`s cemetery, said, `No words of mine can express the homage due these fallen heroes. But I can assure you, and also their loved ones, that we will carry their banner forward.`
(FROM THE NAVY TIMES, FEBRUARY 27, 1995)
IF IT HAD TO BE DONE ALL OVER AGAIN - FUTURE MARINES WOULD TAKE IWO
IN ANOTHER WAY
(BY CHRIS LAWSON)
Washington. - If the Marines were tasked with taking Iwo Jima island tomorrow, chances are the assault would look pretty much the same as 50 years ago. It would be a massive amphibious landing.
PAGE H2174 But in 2010, if all goes as planned, the Corps will have the tools in hand to tackle the mission in an entirely new way. From the V-22 Osprey troop carrier to the high-speed advanced amphibious assault vehicle the Corps will be generations ahead of the technology available both in 1945 and today. Indeed, its arsenal might even include robot-controlled vehicles.
While today`s Marines are highly skilled at fighting in the desert and other open terrain with fast-moving tanks and light armored vehicles - as well as fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft not available in 1945 - experts say modern Marines would face many of the same difficulties the 75,000 others did when they came ashore Feb. 19, 1945, and faced down a well-dug-in enemy force of 20,000 Japanese defenders.
TOUGH ROW TO HOE PAGE H2174 Some examples:
The current amphibious tractor travels only 5 mph, a mere 2 mph advantage over World War II models.
Helicopters would be rendered ineffective because nearly every square inch of the small island would be covered with defensive fire.
PAGE H2174 Troop mobility would not be significantly improved, since most of today`s radios and other equipment are the same size and weight as they were in Vietnam.
Fancy technology, like global positioning systems, would not have much value on an island with a total area of just eight square miles.
But today`s Marines would have one distinct advantage. They would likely fight at night. `We could fight in the dark pretty well, but to take a place like Iwo, we`d do it pretty much the same way,` said Col. Gary Anderson, the director of the Corps` Experimental Unit, a futuristic warfighting think tank at Quantico, Va.
PAGE H2174 `It would probably still take individual Marines to root the enemy out. I don`t think that today we have got the capability to force them up out of their (fighting) holes.`
A DIFFERENT FUTURE
But in 2010, if the Marines get the weapons platforms they`re currently vying for and take advantage of burgeoning commercial technologies, bloody Iwo might not be so bloody.
PAGE H2174 The best part: America might not even have to take such an island - just simply go around it. But if they did need to seize Iwo, future Marines would have several distinct advantages. For starters, the attack could come from over-the-horizon at breakneck speeds and top maneuverability. The V-22 Osprey people mover could help ferry Marines inland to high ground and Iwo airstrips, instead of simply dropping them at the soggy, ash-sand beaches and forcing Marines to slog their way ashore.
PAGE H2174 The AAAV could maneuver around any mines in the off-shore waters, and roar from ship to shore at speeds of more than 30 mph, thereby reducing their vulnerability to enemy fire.
Thank again to the legs and speed of the V-22, the logistics trains would likely be based at sea - not on the beach, where in World War II it fell victim to a continuous bombardment by enemy forces.
The Marines would also have the capability to land infestation teams on the critical high ground and take that advantage away from the enemy. Marines would likely land atop Mount Suribachi and fight their way down to the bottom, instead of working their way up under deadly attack.
Anderson said robotic technology could have a dramatic effect as well, and possible save the lives of thousands of Marines. Remote-controlled AAAVs, for example, could roar ashore and act as a magnet for enemy fire. Sophisticated sensing systems could then acquire the targets.
`You shoot at us, you die,` Anderson said. `Every time they fire, they would become a target.`
PAGE H2174 The best part: advanced Marine weaponry will likely allow shooters to engage their targets from the line of sight.
`If you can get eyes on target, you can kill them,` Anderson said. `You wouldn`t do away totally with rifle-to-rifle and hand-to-hand combat, but you`d cut it way down. In 1945, 85 percent of the fighting was done that way. We think we could get that down to 20 percent.`
SOFTENING THE TARGET
PAGE H2174 The Marines, Navy and Air Force would also pound the daylights out of the islands with bomb after sophisticated bomb in an effort to prep the battlefield for maximum effectiveness.
Here again, robots could play a vital role. But just how vital will be determined as much by culture as technology.
`Would you see a robot platoon raise the flag on Mount Suribachi? I don`t think so,` Anderson said with a laugh. `But one of the raisers might be a robot.`
OUTLINE 1. TIME: 2310 H2168
MORE ON IWO JIMA H2168
2. TIME: 2320 H2169
3. TIME: 2330 H2170
4. TIME: 2340 H2171
5. TIME: 1150 H2172
6. TIME: 0000 H2173
7. (FROM THE NAVY TIMES, FEBRUARY 27, 1995) H2173
IWO JIMA: VALOR, DEATH AND A RAISED FLAG H2173
(BY GENE RIDER) H2173
8. A `TOPPING-OUT` PARTY H2173
9. THE ADVANCE H2173
10. (FROM THE NAVY TIMES, FEBRUARY 27, 1995) H2174
IF IT HAD TO BE DONE ALL OVER AGAIN - FUTURE
MARINES WOULD TAKE IWO IN ANOTHER WAY H2174
(BY CHRIS LAWSON) H2174
11. TOUGH ROW TO HOE H2174
12. A DIFFERENT FUTURE H2174
13. ROBOTS TOO H2174
14. SOFTENING THE TARGET H2174
Warren S. Apel email@example.com
Posted by Gunny G at Thursday, July 17, 2003