Sixty seven years ago today the assault on the Japanese held island of Iwo Jima began at 0859 hrs. The battle lasted a total of thirty five days and would result in over 45,000 casualties on both sides. Allied losses, mostly Marines were 23,203 killed, wounded or missing in action. Of that total 4,554 were KIA. The Japanese would suffer near 100% losses. Allied estimates placed 20,530 to 21,060 Japanese in the island. In the end only 216 of those defenders were captured, the rest died, many being buried alive in their caves and bunkers. There were 27 Medals of Honor awarded as a result of the battle for Iwo Jima. Twenty two of those to Marines. Those 27 medals were a full 28% of ALL Medals of Honor awarded during the entire War.