SERIAL 0120   10 MARCH 1945
  IN TASK UNITS 54.1.2
AND 54.1.8

Serial (0120)
U.S.S. West Virginia (BB48)
c/o Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California.
  10 March 1945.  

From: Commanding Officer.
To: Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet.
Via: (1) Commander Battleship Division FOUR (Rear Admiral I. Sowell, U.S. Navy, USS West Virginia, Flagship).
(2) Commander Task Force 54, and Commander Task Unit 54.1.8 (Rear Admiral B.J. Rodgers, U.S. Navy, Commander Amphibious Group Eleven, USS Nevada, Flagship).
(3) Commander Task Force 51 (Vice Admiral R.K. Turner, U.S. Navy, Commander Amphibious Forces, Pacific Fleet, USS Eldorado, Flagship).
(4) Commander FIFTH Fleet.
(5) Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean A.
Subject: Action Report, Bombardment of and Fire Support for Landings, Iwo Jima Island, 19 February 1945 to 1 March 1945, inclusive.
References: (a) Article 712 U.S. Navy Regulations, 1920.
(b) CincPac Conf. Ltr. 1CL-45.
Enclosures: (A) Extracts from TBS Log 19 Feb. to 1 March 1945, inclusive.
(B) Statistical Record of Fire.
(C) Antiaircraft Action Report.

  1. Subject action report, with enclosures (A) to (C), inclusive, is forwarded herewith in compliance with references (a) and (b).


cc: (1) Adv. to Cominch
     (3) Adv. to Cincpac
     (1) Adv. to Com5thFlt.

U.S.S. West Virginia (BB48)


Bombardment of Iwo Jima -- 19 February to 1 March 1945.


  1. General Narrative.

    1. The West Virginia participated in the bombardment of Iwo Jima during the period 19 February to 1 March 1945.

    2. This vessel arrived in Ulithi on 16 February after 35 days in the Lingayen Gulf area. A message from CinCPac directed Comseron 10 to proceed immediately with logistic replenishment and report when the ship could proceed to Iwo Jima if required. Seron Ten representative was informed we could proceed at sunset as the only replenishment absolutely necessary was fuel. Order were received at 0300 the next morning for West Virginia to proceed immediately to Iwo Jima at best speed of advance, with a caution not to arrive during darkness or before 1000 because of ship in night retirement areas.

    3. The ship got underway shortly after sunrise having loaded supplies and provisions all night. During the day a message from CinCPac Advance Headquarters to West Virginia, "WELL DONE", 170647, was received. This was for the quick departure for combat service and being the only heavy ship from the Lingayen Gulf operation in condition and ready for the mission. The OBB made the 900 miles run to Iwo Jima in 50 hours, arriving about 1030 on February 19, the day of the landing.

      Upon obtaining some grid charts the ship proceeded to the assigned firing station and commenced firing at 1247. For eleven days, target area, counter battery, and call fire were delivered. On two night harassing fire was conducted. On 1 March, having used a few 16" AP projectiles, all of the 16" Hicap ammunition, and expended 80% of the 5" AA, orders were received to return to Ulithi, and departure was made at 1700.

PART II. Preliminaries.

  1. Command Echelon.

    Upon arrival at Iwo Jima the West Virginia reported to Commander Task Force 51 for duty. During night retirements the ship joined Commander Task Force 54. Commander Task Force 52 directed some of our daylight employment. Commander Battleship Division FOUR in this vessel had no operational assignment.

  2. Operations Enroute.

    As escorts, the McCall (DD400) and Izard (DD589) were assigned about two hours before getting underway. After clearing port one of the escorts reported she had not fueled and she was given 50,000 gallons by this vessel. The only operation order or plan aboard was CTF 51 Operation Order which was received from Comseron 10 Representative, Ulithi, a few minutes before departure. This was immediately routed for study. The second day such information as was available was disseminated at conferences and at quarters, and the crew was drilled at General Quarters and bombardment procedure.

  3. Missions and assumptions.

    In the absence of any but a general operation order the following assumptions were made:

    1. Mission: The general mission of the operation was to occupy and secure the island of Iwo Jima. The mission of the ship was shore bombardment in support of the landing force which had started to land about 2 hours before we arrived.

    2. Doctrine: Our doctrine was to use the usual methods for shore bombardments in which we were experienced.

    3. Tactical aspects: The island was occupied by about 20,000 of the enemy in the worst possible terrain from our point of view, plentifully armed with large and small weapons, well concealed and protected. The picture confronting us was a volcano crater, a half-size Gibraltar at the south end of the island -- then a mile of fairly low land where our landing beaches were located. Then higher land of the roughest contour -- the badlands worse than seen in any movie. Enemy air and submarine attacks were expected. Enemy surface attack was unlikely because of the overwhelming force of our fleet.

  4. Own forces.

    We found a number of ships present, BB's, OBB's, CA's, CL's, and DD's, encircling the island and firing upon it. The usual transports and amphibious craft on the scene. The Third Fleet had been hitting the Japan homeland and was in the vicinity.

  5. Enemy Forces Encountered.

    Other than the enemy garrison estimated at about 20,000 troops with all sorts of heavy and light guns, mortars, and rockets, the only enemy forces encountered were a few enemy planes which approached in scattered attacks. Only one came close enough for us to open fire, but we saw two other shot down.

PART III Chronological account of the action.

PART IV. Ordnance.

  1. Performance of the ordnance material and equipment.

    Performance of the ordnance material and equipment during this action was excellent. There were no casualties or personnel errors in the main battery. The 5 inch mounts again developed slight leaks in hydraulic lines due to continues shock from main battery fire. none of those leaks was serious and they were readily repaired during lulls in the firing. Mount 5, left gun had a jammed cartridge case on the night AA action due to deformity of the case. It was forced home and the gun unloaded. This was the first instance of this trouble in the last 8,000 rounds fired. Both batteries continued to be quite accurate which indicates excellent solution and alignments.

    1. Detailed information on ship's gunnery.

      1. Ammunition expended:

        16"/45 Cal -- 46 AP Projectiles
          46 Service Charges
          463 H.C. Projectiles
          463 Reduced Charges.


        5"/38 Cal -- 4726 AA Com. Mk 18 Fuze
          415 Common
          27 Illuminating
          98 White Phosphorus


        40 MM 579 HET

      2. Fire Discipline, Gunnery Communications, Radar Fire Control Methods.

        As fire support plans, grid charts, targets positions, area assignment and etc. were not received until after arrival at Iwo, no prearranged schedule of fire could be prepared. Fire support sectors, areas of responsibility, known targets, and ammunition allowances were received daily by despatch. High priority targets and instructions were received during the day be despatch as they occurred. Some times these orders came so rapidly we could execute only a few f them. The majority of the firing was indirect in both main secondary batteries. Direct fire was used on gun flashes seen from the ship. Both main and secondary plot maintained their own ship's track by use of Mk 8 Mod 2 radar. Both plotting rooms controlled plane spotting communications on a common frequency. On two occasions a VOF spotting plane was utilized. The ship was slow in shifting to this planes spotting frequency but once established, there was no difficulty. Fire discipline, interior and exterior communications were considered excellent.

      3. Effectiveness:

        The effectiveness of the gun fire is as outlined under the statistical record of fire, enclosure "A". There was very little area coverage for neutralization except as directed by CTF 52 as pro - H Hour preparation. Fire at all other times was slow, deliberate, and destructive. it was thoroughly impressed on all hands that each projectile fired must count, therefore it is believed that very few were wasted.

      4. Material and training deficiencies.

        There were no material deficiencies. no special preparation or training was performed for this operation.

  2. Performance of Enemy Ordnance Material and Equipment.

    There was considerable shore battery fire on D day and D plus 1 day but the majority of it was directed at our landing beach and party. There were numerous splashes around the ship, some within 300 yards, of 5 to 8 inch in size but it could not be determined if they were from enemy guns or ricochets from our own ships. If from enemy it was sporadic and inaccurate.

PART V. Damage.

  1. Battle Damage to Own Unit.

    1. Own ships -- none from enemy. Minor damage to light sheet metal installations topside from blast effect of own main battery firing.

  2. Battle Damage to Enemy Units.

    1. Damage to shore targets as stated in the statistical record of fire, enclosure "A".

PART VI. Special Comments and Information.

  1. Surface Gunnery Operations.

  2. Air Operations.

    1. The two OS2U-3 planes were used extensively during the 11 days of the fire support bombardment. Due to heavy seas the majority of launchings were by catapult. When after turrets were to be fired both planes were launched. At other times only one plane was kept in the air unless it was definitely known that both batteries would be firing at the same time. This ship had the air-sea-rescue duty two days, during which time one plane remained on board at all times in a ready condition. A VOF plane from a CVE was utilized as spotter part of the time during the above days.

    2. Considerable AA fire was encountered by the planes and the air over the island was quite congested due to the numerous spotting planes and air strikes. This combination necessitated a greater altitude than ordinarily used by spotting planes but did not decrease the effectiveness of the spotting. The planes were forced to return to the ship on two occasions due to poor visibility.

  3. Amphibious Action.

    1. Combat Information Center.

      1. General.

        1. C.I.C. served as an intelligence and communication clearing house throughout the operation. This was particularly necessary as the Captain had little time to look at the operation order and much less to study the many messages received. The lack of plans and charts pertinent to the operation precluded C.I.C.'s preparing complete intelligence summaries, together with catalogs of code names involved, tracks, etc., as is ways done before going into an operation. C.I.C. guarded two important frequencies, 3845 KC and 3905 KC, the information from which was disseminated promptly to the departments concerned, and copies sent to Radio 1 for complete routing. In addition radar telling circuits of 2096 KC and 142.02 MC were guarded, and listening watches were maintained on 37.6, 3500, and 3465 KC, in addition to TBS The gunnery problem was handled entirely by the plotting room using the Mark 8 Mod 2 fire control radars, but C.I.C. provided checks with its SG-1 radars, and stood ready to take over is such should become necessary. All stations on the Evaluator's sound power circuit (XJA -- Flag Plot, ridge, Air Defense Forward and Aft, Main and Secondary plotting rooms, Main Battery Fire Control, and Central Station and Main Control) were kept constantly informed of all pertinent data reaching the ship from outside sources via the various frequencies cited above. All unidentified surface contacts were tracked and solutions obtained for course and speed; in every instance, however, surface contacts turned out to be friendly. Air contacts were also plotted and courses and speeds obtained. Generally only short plots were obtained on enemy aircraft, but the Radio warning net functioned well, and immediately a "bogey" contact was reported by radio, the plane would be picked up by our own equipment, if not already on its scopes. Generally speaking, much better performance at Iwo Jima in the case of the SK Radar was noted than at Leyte, Mindoro, or Lingayen, due to the absence of restrictive land echoes. C.I.C. assisted the Navigator to a great extent, obtaining radar fixes for him at night during retirement.

        2. Employment and performance of radars in:

          1. Tracking.

            Air contacts were tracked on both air and surface search gear; the results were well above average and very satisfactory. The performance of the SK (with the CG-AFR antenna) was notably improved over previous operations, due to technical information received from a General Electric Company representative concerning the antenna and its optimum operating frequency. Results of surface tracking by the SG-1's were uniformly excellent. Surface plotting procedure is to throw the SG-1 presentation on the V-D RPPI, and track from the latter instrument using the cursor line to such an advantage that it is not necessary to stop the sweep of the antenna. This has proved a most satisfactory procedure, as the stopping of the sweep often interrupts the picture for those using other RPPI's. The Mark 8 Mod 2 radar was used for maintaining the ship's track in both Main and Secondary Plot. It performed with its usual high standard of accuracy and efficiency.

          2. Air and Surface search.

            Except when having a definite guard assignment when no choice was offered, the following surface search was conducted: Radar 2 (forward high-antenna SG-1) was set on the 75,000 yard scale with medium gain; Radar 3 (After, low-antenna SG-1_ was set on the 15,000 yard scale with low gain. Radar 2 was used for long range search, and Radar 3 for station keeping. However, the recent installation of a "sea-return eliminator" on Radar 2 made it possible to keep station extremely well on that unit. Constant rotation of antennae was emphasized on all search radars. In air search, Radar 1 (SK) was set on the 75 miles scale, both "A" scope and PPI. In addition to the foregoing, there are two VC-1 and one BD RPPI's in C.I.C. which were set as follows:

              1. Radar 3 (  mile scale)
              2. Radar 2 (50 miles scale)
              3. Radar 1 (200 miles scale)

            Only momentary pauses for identification purposes were permitted; otherwise antennae were kept rotating. Surface tracking was done, as previously explained, from the VD RPPI. Exceptions were made when targets appeared only on "A" scopes, and momentary stops of the sweep were then permitted.

          3. Fire control.

            C.I.C. with its SG-1's furnished all possible data to the Mark 8's and Mark 12's for the purpose of coaching them on to targets.

            During shore bombardment, the ship's position was accurately kept by one of the two Mark 8's in Main Battery Plot, the Mark 8 bearings and ranges were passed simultaneously to C.I.C. as a check on the ship's position as established by the SG-1's. The Mark 27's were not used.

          4. Shore bombardment.

            As stated above, one of the two Mark 8 Radars was "beamed" on a reference point usually obtained from the SG-1's, and the ship accurately position. Indirect fire was used almost entirely during this operation.

          5. Navigation.

            C.I.C. proved of great assistance to the Navigator in positioning the ship in the hours of darkness, and for obtaining radar ranges for use with visual (alidade) bearings.

          6. Station keeping.

            The RPPI in the Pilot House was kept set on the short (four mile) scale of either Radar 2 or Radar 3, and manned by a Junior Officer of the Deck or one of the Assistant Navigators during hours of darkness. In addition, up-to-the-minute plot of immediate and adjacent formations was kept by CIC on its short range summary plot, so that the positions of all units were known at all times.

          7. Composition of targets.

            C.I.C. estimates as to the nature and size of targets with respect to air contacts were very gratifying. The improved performance of the air search gear (SK) was in a large part responsible for this. The same long ranges were obtained from Radar 2 as in previous operations, excellent range and bearing resolutions being obtained on targets over 40 miles distant (on the RPPI).

        3. Special radar operational techniques.

          Constant rotation of the antennae of all the search gear was emphasized, stops being made only momentarily for the following reasons:

          1. For IFF challenging.

          2. When contact appeared only on the "A" scope, the operator would be allowed to pause beefy for a bearing and range.

          3. For estimate of target composition (made from "A" presentation) otherwise all plotting was done from the VD RPPI.

        4. IFF Performance.


        5. Maintenance of radar:

          The excellent performance of all radar equipment bears testimony to the constant vigilance of this vessel's technical staff. In addition, the installation of the VD RPPI in C.I.C., and the sea-return eliminator in Radar 2 were excellent additions, and many times during the operation proved themselves worthy of the hard work of installation. The SK had been re-tuned many times, and set on various operating bands in an effort to find the optimum operating set-up, and its is believed that this now has been achieved; performance was excellent. There was no noticeable effect of weather on radar performance.

        6. CIC Communications, internal and external.

          1. Internal.

            1. Sound powered telephones were manned as follows:

                XJA Evaluators
                JA Captain's
                JC Gunnery Control
                41-2-3-4 JS Secondary Battery Directors.
                5 JP Secondary Battery Control.
                5 JW Secondary Battery Plot
                1JV Maneuvering circuit.
                21JS Radar 1
                22JS Radar 2
                23JS Radar 3
                31-32JS Main Battery Plot
                JL Lookouts.

            2. MC units:

                20MC Captain's
                21MC Radar
                24MC Flag's

            3. Ship's service phones:

                Two (2) ship's service telephones.

          2. External.

              TBS (1) 72.1 MC R&T Tactical
              TBS (2) 72.1 MC R&T Tactical (Standby)
              142.02 MC Radar telling during hours of darkness.
              2096 KC Radar telling during hours of daylight.
              3945 KC R&T Gunfire Coordinator's circuit.
              3905 KC R&T Gunfire Reporting circuit.
              37.6 MC (R.only) Local Air Warning.
              3400 KC (R.only) General Warning.
              3465 KC General Warning set.
              6270 KC (R.only) Airplane spotting circuit.

            Interior communications were completely satisfactory, and external communications were good, some interference being experienced on 3845 KC and 3905 KC.

      2. Fighter direction.

        This vessel did no fighter direction.

      3. Radar Countermeasures.

        1. No enemy signals were intercepted.

        2. No enemy jamming was experienced, and this vessel did no jamming of enemy equipment.

        3. Deception, own and enemy:

          1. On the night of February 24 and 25, enemy window was seen bearing 350 degrees, 20 miles from Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. Characteristics: persistency of about 25 minutes; seen only on SK; "fuzzy" pip. This occurred during a general air attack. No attack subsequently developed from the direction of the window, and it is presumed that the enemy did not intend to attack from that quarter; the window was apparently introduced to lure away our night fighters from the formation. All units present however, seemed to recognize the deception for what it was.

        4. Scope photographs: none.

    2. Communications, own and enemy, general.

      1. Radio.

        In general, communications were very good during this operation. No enemy interference or jamming was noted. Most voice circuits were crowded because of needless transmissions and numerous repeats.

      2. Visual.

        No comments.

      3. Intercepts.

        No comment.

      4. TBS.

        The TBS continues to improve but this circuit is still over-used. During air alerts the circuit was cleared except for contact and bogey reports. This is a decided improvement over conditions experienced by this vessel in previous bombardments. This command enforced rigid discipline over the circuit, using visual whenever possible, and even replied to many TBS messages from other ships by visual.

  4. Special Features

    At least two places on the island constantly emitted volcanic steam. The steam looked like smoke and was taken under fire repeatedly by ships and planes. One fissure in Target Area 219 seemed to attract plane strafing and bombing day after day.


    This vessel utilized the VOF spotting planes that were available on two occasions. It is unknown what experience the Spotters have had but the results were very satisfactory. There were no difficulties in spotting procedure or communications and the spotters were quite confident. As their planes were faster and more maneuverable than our OS2U-3's they were able to fly at a lower altitude which gave them better observation. In order for the spotter to be in a position to see the fall of shot, he was allowed to give the order to "Fire" for the Main Battery. This worked fine and did not cause undue delay.

PART VII Personnel performance.

PART VIII Lessons learned, conclusions, and recommendations.

  1. Indirect fire.

    It was demonstrated in this bombardment that the Main Battery of this vessel is more effective using indirect fire than direct fire for ranges greater than 3000 yards. It is also much more effective than direct fire when air spotting is available. It is very seldom that the top spotters are able to identify targets and their spotting is inaccurate unless on a fairly level surface.

  2. Air spotters choice of targets.

    Considerable reliance was again placed on the air spotters to locate and direct the gunfire to destroy targets. In an operation of this kind when ammunition is low, spotters must be briefed and instructed prior to launching as to the kind of targets to search for in order that maximum benefit may be derived from the ammunition.

  3. Secrecy of ship movement.

    Due to sudden movements of this vessel and other reasons, the mail service to this ship has been practically non-existent. No mail was received between 24 December and 10 February. To 8 March the last airmail received was dated about 12 January in the United States. Non-receipt of mail made us enter upon the operation with no intelligence reports, knowledge of organization of the 5th Fleet, charts, maps and grid charts, etc. Also, officers and men ordered to the ship have traveled for months and many miles, without being able to locate the ship. It is suggested that the reasons for this situation are:

    1. Ship movements are sent on a secret channel and the knowledge is not disseminated to those who should know.

    2. Someone trying to do a job guesses where a ship might be and misdirects men and mail sometimes sending them to ports which the ship has no possibility of visiting.

    3. Lack of proper organization and facilities at bases.

      It is believed that the strategic situation now permits a reduction in the security classification of ships movements. This would expedite much official business now severely handicapped.

  4. Need for voluminous operation orders, instructions, etc.

    Due to previous experience and indoctrination this command was able to function efficiently without the usual volumes of operation orders, instructions, etc. The only operation order received was that of CTF 51. Except for the day of arrival when we asked for the night rendezvous, we got along very well. however, the arrival of only one grid chart in the first delivery of Officer Messenger mail delayed our taking station for bombardment until sufficient copies could be obtained.

16"/45 Cal. Main Battery
19 February 1945.

From - To
Description and Damage
(Dir or
No of
No rds

1345-1348 184GH Gun emplacement --- Explosions 3150 Indirect   3 H.C.
1351-1359 184W A.A. Gun -- Silenced 2620 Indirect   10 25%
1402-1415 184RS AA Gun emplacement -- Neutralized. 2700 Indirect   13 Plug
1647-1657 184M Gun, Revetments, Trenches -- Neutralized 2800 Indirect   5 75%
1705-1707 184Y Concrete Artillery Emplacement -- Demolished 2700 Direct   3 Inst
  20 February 1945
0816-0831 184M Guns, Revetments & Trenches -- Large explosion in area. 3300 Indirect   13 H.C.
0833-0845 184M Underground emplacements & Supply dump -- Well Covered. 3500 Indirect   10 50%
1012-1021 234J AA Empl. (RdoSta) -- Well Covered. 5725 Indirect   10 Plug
1025-1115 218O Gun Empl. -- Destroyed 5550 Indirect   27 50%
1205-1227 218O Gun Empl. & AA Guns in valley. -- Neutralized except AA guns in valley could not be reached due to reverse slope. 7700 Indirect   21 50%
1340-1351 219K Road intersection & Gun emplacements -- Well covered. 8320 Indirect   10 Inst.
  21 February 1945
0814-0817 235L Gun Firing. Gun emplacement hit. Area well covered. 8000 Indirect 1 6 H.C.
0818-0820 235G Enemy activity, cross road 8000 Indirect   3 H.C.
0824-0830 218J Heavy AA Fire & Caves. -- Direct hit. 7800 Indirect 1 6 H.C.
0831-0839 218E Caves and Possible gun empl. -- Area well covered 7800 Indirect   6 50%
0856-0901 251X Artillery, Caves and possible revetments. -- Direct hit on caves. 7450 Indirect 1 9 Plug
0905-0909 251Q Underground Emplacements -- Well covered. 7730 Indirect   7 Plug
0910-0919 251P Troop concentration. -- Dispersed with casualties. 7750 Indirect   9 Plug
0920-0942 251K Underground Empl. & Enemy Activity. -- Dispersed with casualties. 7750 Indirect   25 Plug
1010-1022 218I Concrete Emplacement. -- Direct hit, target disappeared. 8300 Direct 1 5 Plug
1105-1118 251QR Caves and covered emplacements. -- Numerous hits. Area well covered. 10,300 Indirect   15 Plug
1126-1147 235J Gun Position -- Good hits. 10,400 Indirect 2 14 Plug
1529-1559 235G Caves & Shacks -- Direct hits on caves, shacks knocked down. 10,310 Indirect 2 9 50%
1607-1611 218E Caves & AA -- Unknown 11,200 Indirect   5
1617-1637 235Y Artillery -- Area well covered. 11,200 Indirect   6 Inst.
  22 February 1945
0852-0902 235P Large caliber gun firing. -- Area well covered and gun silenced. 10,700 Indirect   12 H.C.
0905-0912 234O Guns firing -- Area well covered and gun silenced. 10,900 Indirect   7 50%
  24 February 1945
1230-1401 199C
Gun Post., emplacement and command post in cliffs. -- 2 guns & CP destroyed. Rest of area neutralized. 7280 Indirect 3 28 Plug
1307-1317 216R Gun posts. and possib. command post in cliffs. -- Area well covered. 7500 Indirect   10 50%
1433-1605 216UVQK Fortified cliff area with mortars, guns, rocket launchers and caves. -- Two revetments destroyed. Numerous cave entrances uncovered and blocked or destroyed causing many troops to be flushed. Spots of as little as 10-25 yds were used to obtain accuracy in demolishing caves. Near end of firing plane reported Japs were leaving area. The plane (from a carrier) described the firing as the most accurate he had observed in this operation. 6800 Indirect   46 Inst.
  25 February 1945
0840-0855 216XY King hour preparation fire. -- Two direct hits in cave entrance. Several good hits on area. Entire area well covered. 9475 Indirect 2 30 Inst.
0855-0930 216QRS King hour preparation fire. -- Emplacements, caves and trenches destroyed by direct hits. Area covered. 9600 Indirect   55 25 AP
30 HC
1632-1646 200I Two heavy emplacements destroyed by direct hits. Firing was tried with AP but ricochet resulted. 7300 Indirect 2 11 1 AP
10 HC
1654-1656 198D Blockhouses set flush with ground reported by HQ Landing Force. -- Two revetments observed and destroyed by 2 direct hits and 2 near hits. 5500 Indirect 2 5 AP
1721-1725 217G Two rocket launchers in large round open emplacements. -- Destroyed by 2 direct hits.

NOTE: All HC fired with 15% inst. fuzes and 85% steel nose plugs.

7400 Indirect 2 5 HC
  26 February 1945
0730-0740 216L Gun firing from area of canyons and caves. -- Area neutralized. No activity apparent after firing. 7600 Indirect   6 HC
0743-0750 215T Firing (possibly Mortars) silenced, Personnel flushed in area were then fired on with 5" air bursts. 6960 Indirect   7 HC
0800-0816 233XY Pillbox-King hour preparation fire. -- Area completely covered by own and two batteries firing into area. All of own salvos landed in area. 10,250     25 HC
0910-0920 233T One hit on small blockhouse and two on a large blockhouse. Smoke and fire started in latter. 10550   3 12 HC

5"/38 Cal. Secondary Battery
19 February 1945.

From - To
Description and Damage
(Dir or
No of
No rds

1240-1246 --- Enemy gun firing -- silenced 2820 Direct   68 Mk 18
1247-1252 184F Enemy installations -- No observation 2820 Indirect   72 Mk 18
1253-1259 183H Guns firing -- Destroyed. 2820 Direct   64 Mk 18
1308-1455 183 &
Gun Positions -- No Obser. 2850 Indirect   216 Mk 18
1440-1445 183H Guns firing -- Silenced. 2660 Direct   40 Mk 18
1506-1533 184R Enemy Installations -- No Obser. 3400 Indirect   100 Mk 18
1529-1532 184E Guns firing -- Silenced. 3000 Direct   10 Mk 18
1608-1611 184M AA Gun Positions -- Silenced. 4050 Indirect   20 Mk 18
1620-1648 184F Install., Mortar Posit. -- Damaged. 3720 Indirect   82 Mk 18
1750-1755 --- Guns firing -- Silenced. 4250 Direct   8 Mk 18
  20 February 1945
0738-0742 184I Enemy Installations. -- No Obser. 2650 Indirect   8 Mk 18
0747-0754 184F Pillbox or Blockhouse. -- No Obser. 2900 Indirect   22 Mk 18
0807-0921 184P Enemy emplacements. -- Well covered. 3500 Indirect   186 Mk 18
0817-0825 184M Installations and tanks. -- Several direct hits. 3400 Direct   54 Mk 18
0827-0844 184P Installations. -- No Obser. 3250 Direct   30 Mk 18
0905-0916 184P Blockhouse. Destroyed. 2560 Direct   24 Mk 18
1017-1025 235F Caves filled with Japs. Well covered. 5800 Indirect   52 Mk 18
1031-1038 202M Gun emplacement -- Destroyed. 5900 Indirect   75 Mk 18
1040-1047 202M Caves -- Many salvos into mouth. 5860 Indirect   28 Mk 18
1059-1113 202M caves & Gun emplacements. Damaged. 6550 Indirect   92 Mk 18
1358-1419 219L Caves and Guns -- Damaged. 8550 Indirect   99 Mk 18
1807-1825 218AD
Gun emplacements -- Several hits, 1 wiped out. 8500 Indirect   68 Mk 18
  21 February 1945
0812-1009 218AD
5-10 gun emplacements -- 1 knocked out, silenced. Troops -- Well covered. Supplies & buildings set afire. 8500 Indirect   580 Mk 18
1015-1029 234M Caves -- Damaged. 9450 Indirect   6 Mk 18
1047-1112 210X AA Gun position -- Silenced. 8300 Direct   80 Mk 18
1119-1144 234K Enemy Installations -- Damaged. 11,000 Indirect   98 Mk 18
1425-1444 218O AA Guns -- Silenced. Underground entrance covered. 8100 Indirect   110 Mk 18
1445-1510 218X Enemy installation -- No Obser. 9500 Indirect   44 Mk 18
1637-1653 251Q Houses & Caves entrances 12,200 Indirect   34 Mk 18
  22 February 1945
1001-1013 235B Stone blockhouse -- Many near misses. 9850 Indirect   6
Mk 18
1059-1121 218G Brick building -- Damaged. 9900 Indirect   42
Mk 18
  23 February 1945
0836-0901 219L Camouflaged pits and gun positions -- Destroyed. 7900 Indirect   129 Mk 18
0933-1008 235F Buildings -- Damaged. 10,300 Indirect   52
Mk 18
1031-1042 235G Buildings & Vehicles -- Two good fires started. 9900 Indirect   52
Mk 18
1108-1121 219K Vehicles -- Destroyed truck 4 large guns -- area well covered 8600 Indirect   62
Mk 18
1125-1136 235G Mobile equipment -- 2 truck destroyed. Buildings -- 4 fires started. 9800 Indirect   28
Mk 18
1141-1152 201Y Troops -- dispersed 8400 Direct   4 Mk 18
1316-1326 219H Battery in cave position and covered area. -- Hit. 8350 Indirect   46 Mk 18
1347-1357 236U Pillboxes & Gun emplacements -- Pillboxes hit and gun destroyed. 8400 Indirect   28
Mk 18
1422-1435 235I Large camouflaged blockhouse -- Many direct hits, damaged. 8750 Indirect   8
Mk 18
1504-1520 236U Houses and blockhouse -- Buildings hit and set afire, 3 hits on blockhouses. 7620 Indirect  
Mk 18
  23-24 February 1945 (Night)
2030-0700 218CDE
Harassing and interdiction fire at road junctions. 8000(AV) Indirect   250 Mk 18
  24 February 1945
1116-1125 233X Guns firing -- Silenced. 8400 Indirect   20 Mk 18
1151-1221 234U Trucks, houses -- Truck and half-track destroyed. 7750 Indirect   82
Mk 18
1259-1316 233RS Gun emplacement, house -- 12 direct hits, destroyed 6000 Direct 12 82 Mk 18
1441-1456 217X Gun emplacement -- Destroyed. 6550 Direct 72 Mk 18
1603-1616 217P Gun emplacement, troops -- No observation. 7700 Direct 8 Mk 18
1643-1736 234E Buildings, pillboxes, revetments. 2 houses holed and fired, 6 direct hits on pillboxes, revet. covered. 8350 Indirect 6 117 Mk 18
25 February 1945
0959-1045 233T Emplacements, truck, houses -- hit 2 trucks, houses set afire, emplacements hit, direct hit with WP 10,000 Indirect  
Mk 18
1047-1114 234D Wooded area, houses -- Small houses set afire, big ones hit and fired with WP, many hits in area. 7000 Indirect 24
Mk 18
1121-1135 234D Caves -- Well covered 7720 Indirect 46 Mk 18
1322-1330 217R Gun position -- Gun Silenced and area covered nicely. 6860 Indirect 64 Mk 18
1340-1349 216S Gun firing -- direct hits -- Silenced. 6400 Indirect 80 Mk 18
1358-1414 233J Troop concentration and enemy installations -- Installations fired, Troops shot and burned. 7000 Indirect 15
Mk 18
1428-1443 233J Buildings and trucks -- Many direct hits on buildings, near misses on truck. 7200 Indirect 78 Mk 18
1453-1507 216G Reinforced gun emplacement on cliff, nearby gun position. 3 direct hits on emplacements, 2 hits on positions. 6400 Indirect 5 80 Mk 18
1533-1603 200I Reinforced blockhouse, pillbox -- 2 direct hits on blockhouse, many on pillbox. 7400 Indirect  
Mk 18
1652-1719 216K Gun emplacement, pillboxes. -- Direct hit on emplacement, 2 hits on 1 pillbox, several on another. 5910 Indirect  
Mk 18
1730-1754 217G 2 rocket launchers, 3 gun emplacements -- 2 direct hits on R.L.'s 3 con guns, many near misses. 7450 Indirect 5 102 Mk 18
26 February 1945
0754-0803 215T Troop sin slit trenches. -- Destroyed with air bursts. 6900 Indirect   22 Mk 18
0939-1022 215T Installations, gun emplacements, trenches. -- Emplacements "chewed up" and trenches opened up. 6870 Indirect   114 Mk 18
27 February 1945
1114-1140 219
Gun flashes observed. Believed to be guns that were firing at USS Bryant (DD665) if 6 inch caliber. Guns were silenced and area kept under observation for several hours. 7900 Direct   94 Mk 18
28 February 1945 (Night)
1930-0700 234
Harassing interdiction at road intersection. -- Area illuminated intermittently. Gun firing at front line positions taken under fire at request of SFCP and destroyed. Some air burst used. 6500(AV) Indirect   277
Mk 18
1 March 1945
0801-0830 233UVXY Pre-king hour area neutralization . -- Area thoroughly covered. 10,000 Indirect   80 Mk 18
0904-0935 233Y Blockhouses, vehicle bivouac area, trenches -- all targets hit repeatedly and damaged, direct hit on stores. 6-7 vehicles destroyed. 10,450 Indirect   72 Mk 18
1040-1045 216GH Assisted in silencing battery firing at AK. 8850     6 Mk 18

40 MM Battery
19 February 1945.

From - To
Description and Damage
(Dir or
No of
No rds

1315-1325 167A Gun firing -- Silenced 2000 Direct   411 HET
20 February 1945
1800-1815 Higashi
Appeared to be a gun emplacement -- Well covered. 2550 Direct   168 HET/td>


Location of ship (area) Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, U.S.S. West Virginia.

Zone Time 1922, Z.D., (-)10             Date 21 February 1945.

1. Surprise attack (yes or no)       No            Day or Night       Night     

2. Method picking plane up (Radar, binoculars, naked eye)       Radar       

3. Range plane was picked up (50, 30, 10, less than 5 miles)       32,000 yards     

4. Total number of planes observed   one radar pip     Type       - - -      

5. Number of planes attacking own ship       One            Type       - - -      

6. Number of planes taken under fire by own ship     One          

   (a) Of those attacking own ship       one            Type       - - -      

   (b) Others                     Type       -- - -      

7. Speed and altitude of approach in knots and feet     4500 feet       165 knots      

8. Number of guns firing -- by caliber     4 - 5"/38 cal. guns       

9. Ammunition expended -- by caliber       16 rounds 5"     

10. Percent service allowance expended       .26%     

11. Method of control     Mk 37 director            Method of Spotting     no spots made     

12. Approximate time-tracking to first shot       90 seconds     

13. Approximate time of first hits       No hits observed     

14. Approximate time first shot to last shot       25 seconds     

15. Approximate position angel open fire       9°     

16. Approximate position angel cease fire      8 °     

17. Approximate bearing first shot       020°     

18. Approximate bearing last shot       000°     

19. Approximate range first shot    9500 yards            Altitude of plane    4500 feet     

20. Approximate minimum range aircraft approached       9000 yards        Altitude 4500 feet 

21. Approximate range last shot     11,000 yards            Altitude of plane   4500 feet   

22. Approximate altitude of bomb release     - - -             Size of bomb     - - -      

23. Approximate range torpedo release     - - -             Size of torpedo     - - -      

24. Number hits on ship by bombs     - - -     by torpedoes     - - -    
Was ship strafed?       - - -             Size gun       - - -      

25. Number of near bomb misses damaging ship                 

26. Planes shot down:

27. Best estimate of size gun or guns responsible for each "SURE"       - - -      

28. Performance of ammunition (excellent, good, bad, poor)       Good     

29. What failures in material occurred in this action?   The breech block of the left gun of 5" mount 3 failed to close completely on the 6th round, because of an oversize cartridge case.

30. Sketch: (a) Indicate direction of attack relative ship's head.
                   (b)Show relative position of sun.
                   (c) Indicate own maneuvers.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation