SORRY THE 74TH ANNIVERSARY HAS GONE TO A WAITING LIST FOR 2019.
WE HOPE YOU WILL REGISTER NOW TO HOLD YOUR SEAT FOR 2020 FOR THE 75TH COMMEMORATIONS ON IWO JIMA. WE ARE PARTNERING AGAIN WITH THE IWO JIMA ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA TO GET THE VETS BACK TO THE “BLACK SANDS!”
For you to review the past fun of the Reunion of Honor Tour of Iwo Jima see the Photo Gallery: Riding a Caribao on Saipan on the pre-tour; Group touring Guam have lunch at Jeff's Pirates Cove; the late Gen “Larry” Snowden founder of the “Reunion of Honor” arrives on Iwo Jima thanks to United Airlines Charter 737; On Mt Suribachi a modern day flag raising! Don't miss the 74th Anniversary next year.
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 74th Anniversary Commemoration will be Saturday 23 March, 2019 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 will have two chartered jets 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 74th 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 the 36th Commandant General “Joe” Dunford, USMC joined IJAA on Iwo for the historic 70th Anniversary in 2015 again strengthening the importance of this event for Marines of all eras. Since space is restricted on this “Reunion of Honor”, (because we have to charter civilian jet aircraft from Guam to Iwo Jima), you are STRONGLY encouraged to get your registration in the mail 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 2019. 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! 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!
Sincere fraternal regards,
Norman H. “Norm” Smith
LtGen USMC (Ret)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you can’t go back please make a tax-exempt donation to the IJAA to help Veterans of the battle return to the “Black Sands!”
Pre-Tour Itinerary to Peleliu 14 – 20 March 2019
Day 1 - 14 March: Departure
Depart USA for Koror, Republic of Palau (via Honolulu and Guam or Narita, Japan). (Cross International Dateline - lose a day.)
Day 2 - 15 March: Koror
Arrive Koror in the evening. Check into our hotel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 3 - 16 March: Peleliu - Boat through the beautiful Rock Islands on the way to Peleliu. Check into rooms with lunch on the beach. After lunch, explore The Point and White Beach I & II as well as adjacent areas. As time allows, a bus tour of the island will allow the group to understand the island’s overall layout. Cross talk session on the operation in the evening for those who want to participate. Evening at leisure. (B/L/D)
Day 4 - 17 March: Peleliu - Trek into Wildcat Bowl to view artifacts (such as Japanese artillery pieces, napalm tank and water catch basin) of the battle and explore caves. After lunch, we will trek into the jungle to view the Sherman tank destroyed by a land mine and some aircraft wreckage. (B/L/D)
Day 5 - 18 March: Peleliu - Trek into the Horse Shoe Valley to view the Japanese fighting positions, the air compressor used by the 81st Infantry Division to clear caves as well as see other battle artifacts. In the afternoon we will trek into Death Valley to view the last command post of the island’s Japanese commander. Additional battle artifacts located around the island that we will visit as time allows include: Betty Bomber wreckage, 200mm gun cave, Zero wreckage, big gun bunkers and caves, Japanese tank and Headquarters Building. (B/L/D)
Day 6 - 19 March: Peleliu & Koror - This morning we have a walking tour of Hill Row to explore the caves, gun bunkers and artillery pieces located on the north face of three hills. We observe Radar Hill just across the road to the east. After lunch we board our boat for our return to Koror. (B/L)
Day 7—20 March: Koror & Guam - Depart for Guam to meet with the main tour group at the Outrigger Resort. Evening at leisure. (B)
NOTE: This tour utilizes tourist class accommodations on Peleliu to maximize the battlefield touring schedule. Some of the activities listed are of a rigorous nature, requiring good physical fitness to traverse the battle terrain. Please contact our office with any questions.
Post Tour Itinerary to Saipan and Tinian 25 – 28 March 2019
Day 1 – 25 March
Arrive Saipan in the morning with a traditional Saipan island welcome. 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. Check into the Fiesta Resort for the duration of the post tour and Group dinner in the evening. (B/L/D)
Day 2 - 26 March
Depart to Tinian Island for a battlefield study of this island’s liberation. Marvel at the small and narrow invasion beaches where the Marine landings surprised the Japanese defenders. See pillboxes and the rusted hulk of a landing craft. Explore the now abandoned North Field, which in 1944-45 was 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 3 - 27 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)
Day 4 - 28 March Departure for home via Narita to arrive morning of the next day.
Itinerary for Guam & Iwo Jima 2019
Day 1 - 19 March Depart for Guam (Cross dateline, lose a day)
Day 2 - 20 March Arrive Guam. Transfer to Outrigger Guam Resort. Enjoy a traditional “Chamorro” Welcome!
Day 3 - 21 March Today we tour the Naval Station Guam with the War Dog Memorial, the Park Service Museum with the southern sites at the Agat Invasion Beach and Fort Soledad with lunch at Jeff’s Pirates Cove. This evening is the 73rd Anniversary Reunion of Honor Banquet, with honored Guests, Veterans, and Guam Military & Civilian Dignitaries. (B/L/D)
Day 4 - 22 March Today, we participate in a full day Educational-Historical Symposium on the Battle of Iwo Jima, 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 a luncheon. Additionally, a comprehensive pre-tour briefing on “Iwo Jima Today” will be conducted. (B/L)
Day 5 - 23 March Chartered IJAA 737 Flight to Iwo Jima. Upon arrival, you will be briefed on the plan for the day and proceed on your tour of the island. Please note that vehicle transportation is limited to Iwo Jima Veterans and escorts only. We will visit Mt Suribachi and the “Black Sands” landing beaches. We will attend a joint IJAA Memorial Service overlooking the landing beaches. (** USA Passports Only permitted on charter per Japanese Immigration. **) (B/L/D)
Day 6 - 24 March Today we visit the WWII sites mid-island including the Asan Invasion Beach, Asan Overlook and the Plaza de Espana historical sites and the Top of the Mar. We stop at the Japanese Peace Memorial before heading back to the hotel. Tonight is the Farewell Fiesta at the Pacific War Museum (Gerber Ranch.) (B/L/D)
Day 7 - 25 March Departure for home to arrive same day or head to Hawaiian or Saipan/Tinian Post Tours.
Post Tour Hawaii & Pearl Harbor 15 - 20 MARCH 2019
Enjoy 4 Nights & 4 Days at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
RELAX AND ENJOY THE SUN AND HISTORIC WWII SITES ON HONOLULU!
15 March - Depart USA for Honolulu, HI. Arrive Honolulu and check into our Ohana Reef Waikiki Hotel. Dinner on your own.
16 March – Late start this morning as we take a look at MCB Kaneohe Bay, the Dole Pineapple Plantatiom and end the day at the Home of the Brave Museum. (B/L)
17 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 battleship USS Missouri and Ford Island. (B/L)
18 March - 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 Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum for a special tour. (B/L)
19 March - After hotel checkout, leave Hawaii on the afternoon flight for Guam. (B) (Cross International Dateline - gain a day.)
20 March - Arrive in Guam with main body.
74th Anniversary Iwo Jima Reunion of Honor (19 - 25 Mar 2019)
- Product Code: 1903-PAC-IWO
- Availability: Call to be put on waiting list