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Hell in the Pacific: Rare World War II photographs show American soldiers' fight for survival in brutal Battle of Saipan

American aircraft in flight during battle against Japanese for Iwo Jima during WWII. (Photo by W. Eugene Smith//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Ceremony. Photographed 1945. U.S. Marine Corps photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Battle damage to USS Pensacola (CA 24) caused by Japanese shore batteries on Iwo Jima. Pensacola took six hits from enemy shore batteries as her guns covered operations of the minesweepers close inshore. On 17 February, three of her officers and 14 men were killed. Another five officers and 114 men were injured. U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Battle damage to USS Pensacola (CA 24) caused by Japanese shore batteries on Iwo Jima. Pensacola took six hits from enemy shore batteries as her guns covered operations of the minesweepers close inshore. On 17 February, three of her officers and 14 men were killed. Another five officers and 114 men were injured. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Battle going on at the foot of Suribachi D-Day plus 3, also showing sound system, trying to talk Japanese out of caves. Photographed by Sgt L.R. Burmeister, February 22, 1945. U.S. Marine Corps photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Battle damage to USS Pensacola (CA 24) caused by Japanese shore batteries on Iwo Jima. Pensacola took six hits from enemy shore batteries as her guns covered operations of the minesweepers close inshore. On 17 February, three of her officers and 14 men were killed. Another five officers and 114 men were injured U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. Battle damage to USS Pensacola (CA 24) caused by Japanese shore batteries on Iwo Jima. Pensacola took six hits from enemy shore batteries as her guns covered operations of the minesweepers close inshore. On 17 February, three of her officers and 14 men were killed. Another five officers and 114 men were injured. U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.