First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As promised, I am writing this book as a sequel to the happy ending of my first book. I just started writing this book. I am currently of creative mind. I decided to share this with you. So, without delay here is Chapter 5 of my third book:
Chapter 5 – Superfortress and Iwo Jima
My dad included newspaper articles in his journal. I am not sure where he got the articles. They were from newspapers around the country. Here is one about the B- 29 Superfortress:
The Wright brothers first flight was in 1903 and lasted 12 seconds. Forty-three years later, my father’s Island Queen flew thousands of miles for 15 to 17 hours. The Superfortress was a marvel of engineering.
By comparison, the catapult was invented by the Greeks in about 750 BC. Essentially the same weapon was still being used in the Middle Ages 2000 years later.
My dad’s job on the Island Queen was Flight Engineer and this was a job enhanced specifically for the B-29:
My dad was excellent at math and his abilities were put to effective use on the Island Queen. He had no college education. He held one of the most important jobs on the plane. This would prove to be life saving for him and his fellow crew members.
My dad’s third and fourth mission was January 24 and 29. They bombed Iwo Jima:
Their mission was to soften resistance in Iwo Jima. My Dad’s comment at the end: “It isn’t too rough.” illustrated his bravery.
They lost three planes in the third mission. The Island Queen may have been an engineering marvel at the time, but I do not think I would have liked flying in a tin can for many hours and getting shot at.
The Navy and Marine Corps attacked Iwo Jima on February 19th. The official end of this battle was March 26th. However, the last Japanese combatant did not surrender until 1949, four years after the official Japanese surrender. I found the following in Wikipedia about the battle of Iwo Jima:
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945) was a major battle in which the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and United States Navy (USN) landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during World War II. The American invasion, designated Operation Detachment, had the purpose of capturing the island with its two airfields: South Field and Central Field.
The Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of tunnels.[e] The American ground forces were supported by extensive naval artillery and had complete air supremacy provided by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators throughout the battle. The five-week battle saw some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the Pacific War.
The Japanese combat deaths numbered three times the number of American deaths, but uniquely among Pacific War Marine battles, the American total casualties (dead and wounded) exceeded those of the Japanese. Of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured only because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled.[f] Most of the remainder were killed in action, but it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards until they eventually succumbed to their injuries or surrendered weeks later. Despite the fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the American victory was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in numbers and arms as well as air supremacy, coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement, sparse food, and supplies, permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Japanese could have won the battle.
The action was controversial, with retired Chief of Naval Operations William V. Pratt stating that the island was useless to the Army as a staging base and useless to the Navy as a fleet base. The Japanese continued to have early-warning radar from Rota island, which was never invaded, and the captured airfield was barely used. Experiences with previous Pacific island battles suggested that the island would be well defended and thus casualties would be significant. Joe Rosenthal‘s Associated Press photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag at the top of the 169 m (554 ft) Mount Suribachi by six U.S. Marines became a famous image of the battle and the American war effort in the Pacific.
When I first read the last part of the Wikipedia report, I thought why is Wikipedia dishonoring the 7,000 marines who died taking Iwo Jima? They even implied that Admiral Pratt agreed with them, but all that he said was the base was not a staging base. I think my dad would have taken exception to Wikipedia belittling the importance of taking Iwo Jima. His fifth and sixth mission illustrates this importance because they had to bomb Tokyo before the battle of Iwo Jima.
End Of Chapter 5
I just started writing my new book and I have a lot of research to do. I plan to share some of my work as time and resources permits. I am hoping by next Father’s Day, my new book will be completed and published. Next week in chapter 6, I will show you why Iwo Jima was critical to the war effort and why my dad was a bona fide hero.
Originally, I started this blog as an eclectic mix of what I was thinking during the week and book reviews. I will do some of that too. So, you do not want to miss what follows. Follow my blog to make sure you receive it.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also purchase it. Or you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5 of Homey’s Adventures Too. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. God bless you all.