Coursey, John Paul, BGen

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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Primary MOS
8003-General Officer
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 8003, 3rd MAW
Service Years
1937 - 1967
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Iwo Jima Certificate

Brigadier General


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This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine BGen John Paul Coursey.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
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Date of Passing
Feb 27, 1992
Location of Interment
Pinecrest Cemetery & Mausoleum - Vidalia, Georgia
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Not Specified

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Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of Iwo Jima
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The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945), or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The American invasion had the goal of capturing the entire island, including its three airfields (including South Field and Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.

After the heavy losses incurred in the battle, the strategic value of the island became controversial. It was useless to the U.S. Army as a staging base and useless to the U.S. Navy as a fleet base. However, Navy SEABEES rebuilt the landing strips, which were used as emergency landing strips for USAAF B-29s. 

The Imperial Japanese Army positions on the island were heavily fortified, with a dense network of bunkers, hidden artillery positions, and 18 km (11 mi) of underground tunnels. The Americans on the ground were supported by extensive naval artillery and complete air supremacy over Iwo Jima from the beginning of the battle by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators.

Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The majority of the remainder were killed in action, although it has been estimated that as many as 3,000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards, eventually succumbing to their injuries or surrendering weeks later.

Despite the bloody fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the Japanese defeat was assured from the start. Overwhelming American superiority in arms and numbers as well as complete control of air power — coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement — permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Americans could have lost the battle.

The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of the 166 m (545 ft) Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle. Rosenthal's photograph promptly became an indelible icon — of that battle, of that war in the Pacific, and of the Marine Corps itself — and has been widely reproduced.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
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To Year
Last Updated:
Aug 25, 2013
Personal Memories
Units Participated in Operation

5th Marine Division

23rd Marine Regiment

1st Bn, 21st Marine Regiment (1/21)

2nd Bn, 25th Marine Regiment (2/25)

25th Marine Regiment


1st Bn, 28th Marine Regiment (1/28)

1st Bn, 26th Marine Regiment (1/26)

5th Engineer Bn

5th Marine Division

3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)

23rd Marine Regiment/1st Bn, 23rd Marine Regiment (1/23)

23rd Marine Regiment/2nd Bn, 23rd Marine Regiment (2/23)

23rd Marine Regiment/3rd Bn, 23rd Marine Regiment (3/23)

3rd Bn, 27th Marine Regiment (3/27)


3rd Combat Engineer Bn

2nd Bn, 21st Marine Regiment (2/21)

21st Marine Regiment

3rd Bn, 21st Marine Regiment (3/21)

3rd Bn, 26th Marine Regiment (3/26)

2nd Separate Engineer Bn


2nd Bn, 12th Marine Regiment (2/12)

26th Marine Regiment

3rd Amtrac Bn

MARDET USS Yorktown (CVS-10)


1st Bn, 27th Marine Regiment (1/27)

8th Field Depot

My Photos From This Battle or Operation
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  2086 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adams, John F, Cpl, (1943-1946)
  • Ahlquist, Earle Norris, PFC, (1944-1945)
  • Aiken, Luther L, Cpl, (1943-1946)
  • Akee, Dan, SgtMaj, (1943-1946)
  • Alexander, Howard Eugene, Cpl, (1943-1946)
  • Allen, Robert 'Bob', Cpl, (1944-1946)
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