US Army Air Forces footage, shows the "little friends" taking off from Iwo Jima
As a historic side note, note the P-51s take off from the then-newly captured airfield on Iwo Jima.
Even today, many question the need for the battle for Iwo Jima (19 February–26 March 1945). The island was invaded in order to secure an airfield for the B-29's and fighters that was close to Japan The answer is that the occupation of Iwo Jima was necessary and might have ultimately, been unavoidable.
At the time of the Iwo Jima invasion, no one knew whether the American atomic bombs would actually work. And when it was proved they DID work (July 16, 1945), there was no guaranty that the Japanese would surrender after the bombs were dropped, by B-29 bombers, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (The two atomic bombs dropped were the only two that had been made - it would have taken months to build more).
If the atomic bombs had not driven the Japanese to surrender, the B-29's (and American submarines) would have (along with "Operation Coronet" invasion of Japan planned for 1946)
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