The Pacific island of Iwo Jima was the most expensive piece of real estate America has ever purchased. Lying halfway between U.S. air bases in the Mariana Islands and downtown Tokyo, the Japanese island was a threat to American aviation operations during the last phases of the war in the Pacific theater. So the United States took Iwo Jima, and in the process lost over 6,800 fighting men in some of the most brutal and bloody fighting of the war. Once the tables were turned, Iwo Jima offered valuable advantages to its conquerors. The island became a massive, unsinkable aircraft carrier," close enough to Japan to furnish fighter escorts for big bombers, a hub for air sea rescue efforts, and an emergency landing field for hundreds of crippled American bombers. This book examines all aspects of the aviation activities surrounding Iwo Jima during the last year of World War II with exciting and informative first-hand accounts and hundreds of color and black-and-white images many of which have never been published before.