MON 19 FEB 1945
Preceded by intense naval and air bombardment, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions (Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, USMC) land on Iwo Jima in Operation DETACHMENT. The operation is under the overall command of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, Commander Fifth Fleet; Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner is the Joint Expeditionary Force Commander. Naval gunfire and aircraft will support the troops ashore during this difficult campaign. Offshore, collisions account for damage of varying degrees to heavy cruiser Chester (CA-27) and amphibious force flagship Estes (AGC-12), 24°13'N, 141°25'E; heavy cruiser Indianapolis (CA-35) and ammunition ship Shasta (AE-6) (during replenishment operations); destroyer escort Finnegan (DE-307) and infantry landing craft LCI-627, 22°46'N, 141°19'E; and attack cargo ship Starr (AKA-67) and heavy cruiser Salt Lake City (CA-25), 24°46'N, 141°19'E. Destroyer John W. Weeks (DD-701) is damaged by shore battery, 25°32'N, 141°01'E; hospital ship Samaritan (AH-10) by friendly fire, 24°46'N, 141°19'E. Japanese mortar fire damages medium landing ships LSM-74, LSM-145, LSM-245 and LSM-323.
Army troops covered by USMC aircraft are landed on the northwest coast of Samar and on Capul Island P.I., to insure control of San Bernardino Strait.
Japanese merchant ship Zuiho Maru is sunk by aircraft in Yangzte River near Kiukiang, China.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Heavy Traffic Off Iwo
by M. Bouffant at 19:45