Iwo Jima, a charred, volcanic speck in the Pacific, became a thing of beauty to B-29 crews in trouble, returning from missions against Japan in early 1945. The U.S. Marines paid dearly for their countrymen to live, in what was one of the most famous battles in history. In 36 days of combat, between six and seven thousand Marines died taking Iwo, with many thousands more wounded. It’s estimated that the lives of nearly 25,000 airmen were spared as a result of being able to make emergency landings there. In this scene, a crippled Superfortress of the 34th Bomb Group limps onto Iwo Jima’s hard-won runway, carved from the volcanic rock stretching outward from the base of Mt. Suribachi, site of the famous flag-raising made famous in the world-renowned image by wartime photographer Joseph Rosenthal.
The painting Iwo Jima: A Hard-Won Haven was completed in 2006, and was unveiled for the first time at the opening of the beautiful National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. At this time, the painting and a lithograph edition was signed by a group of veterans of the battle of Iwo Jima, including Marines and B-29 pilots who made emergency landings there.
THE DISPLAY EDITION
Each Display Edition print has been hand-signed by the artist, John Shaw.
THE MAIN EDITION
Joining the artist John Shaw, each print in this edition has been signed by thirteen distinguished veterans of Iwo Jima:
VERN BRINZENHOFE, 4th Marine Division
CLAIRE CHAFFIN, Corpsman, USN
JACK COLBY, 4th Marine Division
ROY EARLE, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima
NORM HATCH, USMC, Oscar-winning combat cinematographer
HARRY HINK, USAAF B-29 pilot
HERB ING, 4th Marine Division
RAYMOND JACOBS, 1st Flag-raising on Iwo Jima
HENRY KOELLEIN, Flame-thrower operator
CY O’BRIEN, USMC Combat Photographer
GROVER THOMPSON, 4th Marine Division
GORDON WARD, 5th Marine Division
ROBERT WEILER, USAAF B-29 gunner
THE ARTIST PROOF
Each Artist Proof has been additionally signed by:
Captain JACK LUCAS (Medal of Honor)