M2A1 105mm Howitzer of 4th Marine Division, 14th Regiment, 2nd Battalion

M2A1 105mm howitzer of US 4th Marine Division, 14th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, fires on Yellow Beach 1. Note Marine assembling the next round, radioman on telephone, the tractor used to move the howitzer into position, and rain gear on the gun crew. With most of the infantry ashore, the 14th Marines, under Colonel Louis G. DeHaven, landed on the island at 1400 Hours on D-Day. Reconnaissance parties from the artillery battalions had already debarked early in the afternoon in order to select positions for their batteries. They faced difficulties similar to those encountered by the 13th Marines, 5th Division on the southern beaches. The front lines had advanced more slowly than planned; no routes had been cleared to enable the DUKWs to carry artillery pieces inland. One of the first members of the reconnaissance teams to become a casualty was Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. McFarlane, commanding the 3d Battalion. Because of the weight of the 105mm M2A1, it proved impossible to manhandle the guns up and over the terrace. The only feasible expedient was to keep each howitzer in the DUKW and then attempt to get the loaded DUKWs over the terrace. Surf conditions, the slippery sand, and continuous enemy fire combined to make this movement a miserable undertaking that took hours to complete. None of the DUKWs received a direct hit, though several casualties resulted from near misses. Shortly before dusk, all 12 howitzers of Major Drake's 2/14 were in position near Yellow Beach 1.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, February 20, 1945
Iwo Jima