U.S. Marines raising the American flag over Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, in February 1945.—Joe Rosenthal/AP
Island, the middle of the three Volcano Islands, Japan. Situated in the western Pacific, it is about 5 mi (8 km) long, 800 yards to 2.5 mi (730 m–4 km) wide, and has an area of 8 sq mi (20 sq km). It was under Japanese control until 1945, when it was the scene of one of the severest campaigns of World War II. After extensive bombing by U.S. planes (December 1944–February 1945), it was invaded by U.S. marines and was finally completely taken by mid-March; it became a strategic base for U.S. planes en route to Japan. In 1968 it was returned to Japan.