72ND ANNIVERSARY OF IWO JIMA REUNION OF HONOR
THE 72ND ANNIVERSARY OF IWO JIMA REUNION OF HONOR TOUR DATES HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT & THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN! PARTICIPANTS WILL COMMEMORATE THOSE WHO FOUGHT IN THIS EPIC WWII ISLAND STRUGGLE AS THE IWO JIMA ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA RETURNS TO IWO JIMA FROM GUAM!
The 72nd Anniversary Commemoration will be Saturday 25 March, 2017 on Iwo Jima as the Joint Ceremony with the Japanese will be conducted at the Memorial above Red Beach. Visits to Mt. Suribachi and the Landing Beaches to walk the "Black Sands" are scheduled. The Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) in cooperation with United Airlines have a chartered jet for the day long visit to walk the battlefields of this epic clash during the Pacific War. Guam will again be the base of operations for the IJAA Battle Symposium and 72nd Anniversary Banquet.
Early in the morning we will depart Guam for a day-long Memorial Tour and Observance on Iwo Jima. Upon arrival, you will be met by the official U.S. and Japanese Government delegation consisting of representatives from the Armed Services. (We will land on the site of Motoyama airfield #2.) After visiting Mt. Suribachi and the scene of the famed flag raising captured by Joe Rosenthal on 23 Feb 1945. Afterwards, Veterans and their families will gather near the landing beaches to conduct Memorial Services at the Anniversary Monument. These services, conducted by Dignitaries and Veterans of the United States and Japan, will remember and memorialize those young men who gave their lives during the savage campaign for the island. Following a box lunch, we will continue touring the island to include the landing beaches. Late in the day we will return to the airfield where this historic day began, to gather one last time in friendship and camaraderie on the sacred soil of Iwo Jima.
* - Thank you to Michael Brown for the moving slideshow
Dear Iwo Jima veterans, families and friends:
In March 2002, the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, General “Jim” Jones, USMC was so impressed by the solemn feeling of warrior brotherhood expressed by the American and Japanese survivors on Iwo Jima that he decreed the Joint Reunion of Honor would become an annual event.
In March 2005, General "Mike" Hagee, USMC, 33rd Commandant, flew all night from Washington, DC to be with the veterans and their families on the anniversary.
In March 2010, the 34th Commandant, General “Jim” Conway, USMC, joined us for the 65th Anniversary, General “Jim” Amos, USMC the 35th Commandant attended in March 2014 and in March 2015 the 36th Commandant General “Joe” Dunford, USMC (Currently serving as Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) joined IJAA on Iwo for the historic 70th Anniversary in 2015 again strengthening the importance of this event for Marines of all eras. Next year, the 37th Commandant General "Bob" Neller has been invited to make the trek to the "Black Sands" with the veterans and families. Since space is restricted on this “Reunion of Honor”, (because the IJAA has to charter a civilian jet aircraft from Guam to Iwo Jima), you are STRONGLY encouraged to get your registration completed just as soon as possible. You can change your mind later. However, once the seats are gone, they're gone!
We personally look forward to seeing all of you on the "Black Sands" in March 2017. You will NEVER forget the feeling of awe when the plane sets down on Motoyama Airfield #2 on Iwo Jima. It is an indescribable experience!
Sincere fraternal regards,
L.F. “Larry” Snowden H.C. “Hank” Stackpole N.H. “Norm” Smith
IMPORTANT NOTE: More and more sons and daughters, as well as other relatives and friends of Iwo Jima veterans, are joining our ranks. We want you to know that you are MOST WELCOME!
The IJAA Reunion & Symposium was a great event planned for next year.
19 March: If you arrive Los Angeles for overnight. (MHT Rates available at LAX Sheraton 4 Points. Call for MHT Room block at Sheraton 4 Points: 800-529-4683 Reference Corporate Acct #3264
Itinerary for Main Tour Guam & Iwo Jima 2017 (20 – 27 March)
Day 1 - 20 March: Depart for Guam (Cross dateline, lose a day)
Day 2 - 21 March: Arrive Guam. Transfer to Outrigger Guam Resort. Enjoy a traditional “Chamorro” Welcome!
Day 3 - 22 March: IJAA Group A after a quick swing by Ft. Apugan, Plaza de Esapana & Nimitz Hill we depart for our northern island tour that highlights Guam’s importance in the final year of WWII as a B-29 staging area plus its air support of the Vietnam War. We stop at the Japanese Peace Memorial and see artifacts plus General Obata’s cave where he and his command group perished. Return to Outrigger. IJAA Group B departs for Asan Beach and Overlook, Big Navy, NPS Museum, Jeff’s Pirates Cove for lunch. Return to Outrigger. (B-Breakfast/L-Lunch provided/D-Dinner on your own)
Day 4 - 23 March: Group A departs for Asan Beach and Overlook, Big Navy, NPS Museum, Jeff’s Pirates Cove for lunch. Return to Outrigger. Group B We depart for our northern island tour that highlights Guam’s importance in the final year of WWII as a B-29 staging area plus its air support of the Vietnam War. we stop at the Japanese Peace Memorial and see artifacts plus General Obata’s cave where he and his command group perished. After lunch at Shirley’s, we do a quick swing by Ft. Apugan, Plaza de Esapana & Nimitz Hill Return to Outrigger. (B/L)
Day 5 - 24 March: Today, we participate in a full day Educational-Historical Symposium on the Battle of Iwo Jima, co-hosted by the Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA.) American Historians and Veterans will offer their perspective on different aspects of the battle, including roundtable discussions and luncheon. Additionally, a comprehensive pre-tour briefing on “Iwo Jima Today” will be conducted. Tonight, we gather for the 71st Reunion of Honor Banquet, with honored local guests, Military and Civilian Dignitaries. (B/L/D)
Day 6 - 25 March: Flight to Iwo Jima. Upon arrival, you will be briefed on the plan for the day and proceed for your tour of the island. Please note that vehicle transportation is limited to Iwo Jima Veterans and older family members only. We will visit Mt Suribachi and landing beaches. We will attend a joint IJAA Memorial Service overlooking the landing beaches. (** USA Passports Only permitted on charter per Japanese Immigration. **)
Day 7 - 26 March: Day of relaxation at the Outrigger pools or Tumon Bay Beach. Optional individual tours for Ga’an Point, Magellan Monument or Ft. Soledad available. All groups depart for the Pacific War Museum at 5PM for the John Gerber Memorial/3rd Marine Division Association big fiesta. Return to Outrigger by 8PM
Day 8 - 27 March: Guam & Saipan groups depart for flight home or Hawaii post tour (Cross International date line - gain a day.) Imperial Japan Post Tour departs for Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
2017 Tour Prices For Reference:
Basic Tour Price $ 3,995
Iwo Jima Tour Includes:
Airfare Not Included MHT Roundtrip Air Available Upon Request: Air Travel Price Quotes from your hometown available approximately $2,200 for planning purposes actual cost upon registration. These quotes available from any city serviced by United Airlines.
Pre-Tour Itinerary to Saipan and Tinian (17-21 Mar)
16 March If you arrive Los Angeles for overnight. (MHT Rates available at LAX Sheraton 4 Points. Call for MHT Room block at Sheraton 4 Points: 800-529-4683.) Unless you arrange for direct connect flights with MHT or on your own.
Day 1 - 17 March: Depart Los Angeles for Saipan (via Honolulu and Guam). (Cross International Dateline - lose a day.)
Day 2 - 18 March: Arrive Saipan in the evening with a traditional Saipan island welcome. Check into the Pacific Island Club and relax for the remainder of the evening.
Day 3 - 19 March: A full day WWII history tour of Saipan beginning at the American Memorial Park Visitor Center. Next, the 2d and 4th Marine Division beaches where you can feel how exposed the Marines were to Japanese observers on Mt Tapotchau towering 1500 feet above us. Follow the progression of the battle south to Aslito/Isley Airfield. Next proceed through the infamous "Death Valley," flanked on the east by "Purple Heart Ridge" and on the west by the ever-imposing Mt Tapotchau. Following the flow of the 1944 battle northward, pass the notorious site of the mass banzai attack. End the day at "Suicide Cliff" and "Banzai Cliff," the sites of mass suicides. Here, where the battle for Saipan ended, are impressive memorials to peace. Group dinner in the evening. (B/L/D)
Day 4 - 20 March: Depart to Tinian Island for a battlefield study of the island’s liberation. Marvel at the small, narrow invasion beaches where the Marine landings surprised the Japanese defenders and see pillboxes and the rusted hulk of a landing craft. Explore the now abandoned North Field, in 1944-45 the world’s most active airfield with hundreds of B-29 bombers and tens of thousands of airmen and support troops. Visit the "bomb pits" where the atomic bombs were loaded and see Runway Able where the Enola Gay took off for Hiroshima. Fly to Saipan late afternoon. (B/L)
Day 5 - 21 March: Participate in a moving Liberation Ceremony & wreath laying at the American Memorial Park. Each veteran will be individually honored by Saipan. Today we will also visit the CMMI museum, spanning all periods of Saipan history, as well as recovered Spanish treasure. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to take care of any unfinished shopping, take a swim, and pack for an early evening flight to Guam. After check-in at the Guam Outrigger Resort, the evening is at your leisure. (B/L)
2017 Pre-tour Price For Reference:
Optional Pre-Tour Price $ 1,795
Post Tour Itinerary to Hawaii (27-30 Mar)
27 March - Depart Guam for Hawaii.
26 March - (Cross International Dateline - gain a day.) Arrive Honolulu early evening and check into one of the Ohana Waikiki Hotels. Dinner on your own.
27 March - After breakfast we depart for the Arizona Memorial. While there we also visit the USS Bowfin and the Submarine Museum. After lunch we tour the USS Missouri and Ford Island. (B/L)
28 March - This morning after breakfast, we head for the “Punchbowl”, the National Cemetery of the Pacific. From there we head to Ford Island to have lunch and visit the Pacific Aviation Museum. (B/L)
29 March - Day of leisure. After breakfast enjoy a fun filled day on Waikiki Beach or sightseeing in downtown Honolulu. Late checkout. Leave Honolulu on evening flight. (B)
30 March - Arrive Los Angeles 5:00AM.
Post Tour Prices:
Post Tour: $ 1,295
Single Supplement: $ 425
Post Tour Includes:
OPTION: Add 1 to 7 additional days in Honolulu to see the sights or enjoy the beaches on your own. Call the office for details.
Pre-Tour Itinerary for MHT’s Pacific Adventure Dive Adventure (13 - 22 Mar)
13 & 14 Mar Mon & Tue—Depart USA for Yap cross international dateline (lose a day) arrive Yap just after midnight 15 Mar. Check into your beautiful Ocean View Room.
15 Mar Wed—Recovery day to sleep in and enjoy the beach. (B—Breakfast)
16 Mar Thur—Today we commence our dive package with two dives of Sakura Terrace, O’Keefe Passage, Stonehenge or Telegraph Reef. (B)
17 Mar Fri—Today we dive to see the Mantas as we travel to the Valley of the Rays after a drift dive from Goofnuw Mini-wall plus a dive at Paaw Reef or Lighthouse Pass. (B)
18 Mar Sat—Today we hit the southern dive sites of Yap Caverns, Lionfish Wall, End of the Land or Eagle’s Nest available for our dive adventures. (B)
19 Mar Sun—Today we head for the Philippine Sea and a drift dive in Mi’l Channel to Manta Ridge and Bay. Finish at Yap Corner with its oceanic gray sharks. (B)
20 Mar Mon—Today we finish our dive package with a trip to the Magic Kingdom or the Spanish Wall. The afternoon will end with Fan Dancer with the channels lost munitions or Crescent with its hammerheads. (B)
21 Mar Tue—Today we take the Island Tour. After a leisurely start to the day, we see the sites of Yap including the WWII Japanese Zero & Betty Bomber as well as the US planes recovered on the island. We will also see the cultural charms of Yap including the Stone Money and native village and ceremonies. End the day with a Beach BBQ (B/BBQ Dinner)
22 Mar Wed—Morning departure for Guam to join main body at Outrigger Resort or depart for home.
Yap Pre-Tour $ 1,995
Non-Diver Rooming w/Diver $ 695
Single Room Supplement $ 455
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THIS TOUR