.The is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The took place in February and March 1945 during and was marked by some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
The American invasion, known as, was charged with capturing the airfields on Iwo Jima.The positions on the island were heavily fortified, with vast bunkers, hidden artillery, and 18 kilometers (11 mi) of tunnels. The battle was the first American attack on the Japanese, and the Imperial soldiers defended their positions to the death; of the 21,000 Japanese soldiers present at the beginning of the battle, over 20,000 were killed and only 216 taken prisoner.During the 2-month-long battle, 27 U.S. Military personnel were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions. Of the 27 medals awarded, 22 were presented to and five were presented to sailors, four of whom were, a rank identified in the table by the WWII-era rating title Pharmacist's Mate. This represents over 25% of the 82 Medals of Honor awarded to Marines, and Medals of Honor awarded to Hospital Corpsmen, in the entirety of World War II.
The 27 recipients held a wide range of ranks, from to.
The Purple Heart award is a heart-shaped medal within a gold border, 1 3 ⁄ 8 inches (35 mm) wide, containing a profile of General George Washington. Above the heart appears a shield of the coat of arms of George Washington (a white shield with two red bars and three red stars in chief) between sprays of green leaves. Eight Purple Hearts: Robert T. Frederick, U.S. Army: World War II (8). Hackworth, U.S. Army: Korean War (3), Vietnam War (5). Joe Hooper, U.S. Army, Medal of Honor: Vietnam War (8). Army, Medal of Honor: Vietnam War (8). William Waugh, U.S. Army: Vietnam War (8).
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