Parker Ranch & Camp Tarawa

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 This stone honors the heroic Marines and Sailors of the 5th Marine Division, who trained at Camp Tarawa in preparation for the February 19, 1945 assault on the island of Iwo Jima.  They arrived at the camp though-out the summer and fall of 1944.  The division conducted rehearsals for the assault using the steep volcanic hills located on Parker Ranch, which simulated Iwo Jima's most significant military feature Mt. Suribachi.  By January 1945, the 5th Marine Division had departed Camp Tarawa for Iwo Jima.  The defining moment of that historic 36 - day battle occurred February 23rd, when "Old Glory" was raised atop Mt. Suribachi by men of the 28th Regiment.  This flag raising was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph, and later by Felix DeWeldon's Marine Corps War Memorial statue adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery.  After Iwo Jima was secured on March 26, 1945, the 5th Marine Division returned to Camp Tarawa in April for additional training while awaiting further orders.  They departed Camp Tarawa for Kyushu to serve as an occupation force following Japan's surrender.