This is a marine's account of the human aspects of combat. The small island of Iwo Jima lies 660 miles south of Tokyo. As US forces moved north toward the Japanese home islands in World War II, Iwo stood out as a desirable location for capture, as it would afford a much needed airbase for attacks on Japan. US military leaders underestimated the size and quality of the Japanese defense force and overestimated the effectiveness of an intense naval bombardment; artillery shells often exploded harmlessly in the island's blanket of black volcanic sand. On the morning of February 19, 1945, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions stormed ashore from a naval support force. Among them was green young lieutenant Pat Caruso. Within hours Caruso became de facto company commander when the five officers ranking him were killed or wounded. He led his rapidly diminishing force steadily forward for the next few days, when a day's gains were measured in yards. Caruso was eventually wounded himself and was evacuated to an offshore hospital ship. Realizing that the actions and heroism of so many of his comrades would be lost forever by the decimation of his unit, Caruso latched onto any paper he could find and filled every blank space with his memory of the fighting. This book consists of those records, fleshed out by the stories of other survivors who Caruso searched out years later. This enhanced edition has been augmented by a new introduction and index, errors in the first edition have been corrected, and boasts nine new photographs and a map of the action. It resumes its place as a classic account of the experience of being in close, direct, and constant contact with a determined enemy at close quarters. Many did not survive; those who did were changed forever.