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B aircrafts could launch and return from air assaults on Tokyo, about miles northwest. Hosting that air base, Moore says, was Iwo Jima's primary strategic importance. Eastwood's portrayal of the specific battle is, if narrow, also essentially accurate.

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Flags Of Our Fathers zeroes in on the soldiers who hoisted the U. His other entry in the Iwo Jima category, Letters from Iwo Jima, is told largely from the perspective of Japanese soldiers. Eastwood is also correct that black soldiers represented a small fraction of the total force deployed on the island. Black soldiers "had the most dangerous job," she says. Moore lauds Eastwood's rendering of the battle, but laments the limited role accorded to African-Americans. The original version of this article stated the servicemen who raised the U.

S flag over Mount Suribachi were white. Mr McPhatter, who went on to serve in Vietnam and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the US navy, even had a part in the raising of the flag. That, too, is absent from the film. I feel like I've been denied, I've been insulted, I've been mistreated.

Were African-Americans at Iwo Jima?

But what can you do? We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism.


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Melton McLaurin, author of the forthcoming The Marines of Montford Point and an accompanying documentary to be released in February, says that there were hundreds of black soldiers on Iwo Jima from the first day of the day battle. Although most of the black marine units were assigned ammunition and supply roles, the chaos of the landing soon undermined the battle plan. The failure to transfer the active role played by African-Americans at Iwo Jima to the big screen does not surprise him.

Return to Iwo Jima 70 years on - BBC News

Blacks are not surprised at all when they see movies set where black troops were engaged and never show on the screen. I would like to say that it was from ignorance but anybody can do research and come up with books about African-Americans in world war two. I think it has to do with box office and what producers of movies think Americans really want to see. They're just so anxious to have their story told and to have it known. Roland Durden, another black marine, landed on the beach on the third day.

Flags of Our Fathers Whitewashes War History

It seemed like endless days. They treated us like workmen rather than marines. Mr Durden, too, is wearied but unsurprised at the omissions in Eastwood's film.