South Pacific 4 of 4 – The horrific events at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, immediately pulled the United States into the conflict of World War II. The Japanese military machine had quickly gained control over a huge area of the Pacific, from the Philippines to Burma to the Aleutian and Solomon Islands. Their advantage, however, was short lived. As early as mid-1942 the US began to push the Japanese Imperial army back and the inability of Japan to quickly replace ships, tank and planes threatened their strongholds. For the Allied forces, taking the small, volcanic island of Iwo Jima became pivotal for planned attacks on the mainland of Japan. The Japanese commanding officers strategically placed their defenses to take advantage of the rocky terrain and refused to surrender. The costly battle for the small island lasted six long weeks with heavy casualties on both sides. The island was secured on March 16, 1945, and quickly converted to a key B-29 Superfortress air base. The Allied forces famously dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan leading to the Japanese surrender on August 15 of 1945.
Target size: 23″ x 35″