Reunion of Honor Ceremony, Iwo Jima, 25 March 2023

Mt. Suribachi And The Invasion Beaches, 25 March 2023, 78 Years After The Invasion

On Final Approach To Iwo Jima Airfield With Mt. Suribachi In The Background

The 78th Anniversary Reunion Brings Iwo Jima Veterans Together

The Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) commemorated the 78th Anniversary of the Battle for Iwo Jima from 16-18 February at the Hilton Arlington National Landing Hotel in Crystal City, Arlington, VA. We were honored to have a number of Iwo Jima veterans present to once again be commemorated and interviewed. The Iwo Veterans who attended, Louis Bourgalt, Roy Earle, Buel Faughn, Ivan Hammond, Juan Montano, Matthias Guttman, and Marion Noel strongly represented the Navy and Marine Corps Iwo Jima and Pacific Island veterans.

The event began on Wednesday with the Traditional IJAA Board of Directors meeting welcoming Mr. Ray Etter aboard as a new Director. Director and Chairman of the Development Committee, Mr. Gene Colabatistto introduced the MajGen Fred Haynes Scholarship Program with George Washington University, launched under the Chairmanship of MajGen Haynes’ widow, Sr. Vice President Mrs. Bonnie Haynes. The scholarships will go to deserving ROTC students interested in the various historical and political aspects of the Battle for Iwo Jima. IJAA is grateful to Leonardo Helicopters as the first donor in support of the program. Mission Barbecue, always a strong supporter of the military and veterans provided a wonderful evening barbecue buffet.

On Friday morning all boarded a bus to tour the US Army Museum, followed by commemorative wreath-layings at the WW II Memorial in Washington DC and the Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington.

On Saturday, the group enjoyed the educational symposium on the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Islands campaign, with presentations by historians Mr. Shayne Jarosz, Dr. Charles Neimeyer and Mr. James Oelke-Farley. A special presentation was provided by the Japanese Defense Attache’, Capt. Yusuke Kawachi. Captain Kawachi provided an excellent presentation on the defense preparations made by the Japanese military in the Pacific Theater, especially Iwo Jima. That evening all enjoyed a tasty buffet, followed by EMCEE and IJAA President and CEO, MajGen David Bice. The evening’s schedule provided the presentation of colors by the Young Marines and a musical interlude by the famous Presidents Own Quintet. Following dinner, IJAA Chairman LtGen Norman Smith introduced the Guest of Honor, Marine Commandant General David Berger. It was then the Second Annual Hershel “Woody” William Spirit Award was presented to Chairman of Potomac Institute, former Commandant General Al Gray and CEO, Dr. Jennifer Buss for their patriotic service to Corps and Country. The evening continued with the entertainment of music and dancing by our good friends Rick and Robin Gordon’s Radio King Orchestra.

IJAA looks forward to the 79th Anniversary Commemoration at the Hilton Hotel again next February 15-17….. Mark it on your 2024 calendar!!

Survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima pose for a photo following a wreath laying Feb. 17 at the Marine Corps War Memorial to mark the 78th anniversary of the battle. Flanking MGySgt Roger Roll, holding the wreath, are veterans Dale Faughn, Juan Montano, Ivan Hammond and Louis Bourgault.
Photo by Fred Lash


Welcome to the new Iwo Jima Association of America website.

IJAA is committed to this dedication through the promotion of historical and scholarly study of the battles for Iwo Jima and other Pacific Islands by educating veterans, their descendants, students, academia and the general public. To that end, programs are comprised of educational symposia, tours of Iwo Jima and other Pacific Island battle sites and an educational outreach program. 

The Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA) is a 501 C 3 non-profit public charity dedicated to preserving, commemorating and perpetuating the history and legacy of the Battles for Iwo Jima and Pacific Islands, and the veterans who fought.


Dignified Transfer of Hershel Woody Williams, Andrews Air Force Base

Click on the link below to watch the video.


Ceremony at WWII Memorial for Hershel Woody Williams

Click on the link below to watch the video.


Memorial service held Sunday, 3 July to honor Hershel “Woody” Williams

  • Click on this link to view the memorial service.

Memorial service held Sunday to honor Hershel “Woody” Williams | WCHS (

Hershel “Woody” Williams, last to receive Medal of Honor from World War II, will lie in honor at U.S. Capitol.

Click on this link to view a CBS News video about Woody Williams.

Woody Williams made this video for the 77th Anniversary Reunion, February, 2022.

A message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger:

“On behalf of all Marines, Sgt Maj. Black and I are heartbroken to learn of Woody’s passing. From his actions on Iwo Jima to his lifelong service to our Gold Star Families, Woody has left an indelible mark on the legacy of our Corps. As the last of America’s “Greatest Generation” to receive the Medal of Honor, we will forever carry with us the memory of his selfless dedication to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to our great Nation. The Marine Corps is fortunate to have many heroes, but there is only one Woody Williams. Semper Fidelis, Marine.”



Update: See Below Letter Regarding Iwo Jima Trip, March 2023

The Iwo Jima Association of America Holds The 77th Anniversary Reunion, Feb 16 – Feb 19, 2022

Iwo Jima Veterans Roy Earle, John DeGannaro, Louis Bourgault and Ivan Hammand.


Day 1, Thursday February 17, 2022

  • A visit to The National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Iwo Jima Veterans, their family members and IJAA staff were given a police motorcycle escort by the Arlington County Police from Crystal City, VA to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA.
LtCol (Ret) Raul “Art” Sifuentes and John Butler pose inside the museum in front of the actual helicopter that Art flew in Vietnam, the H-34.
Seated at the table are Roy Earle (Iwo Jima Veteran) and Annette Loper.


Day 2, Friday, February 18, 2022

  • A visit to the WWII Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial
The Four Iwo Jima Veterans Are With MGySg (Ret) Roger Roll (with the wreath) On The Pacific Side Of The WWII Memorial.
News Media Coordinator Fred (“Flash”) Lash Reads to the Veterans at the WWII Memorial.
At The Iwo Jima Memorial
(First Row) Roger Roll and The Four Iwo Jima Veterans
(Second Row) Arlington County Police Motorcycle Escort


LtGov Winsome Earle-Sears Accepts Invitation

LtGen Norman Smith Gives The Woody Williams Spirit Award To LtGov Winsome Earle-Sears. Commandant of The United States Coast Guard Karl Schultz is on the right.

Although Woody Williams was unable to travel to the reunion, he provided a video that was watched by all in attendance at the banquet held Saturday evening, Feb 19, 2022.
David Fields holds the microphone for Louis Bourgault during the Symposium held Saturday afternoon, February 19. Seated at the table from left to right are Iwo Jima Veterans John DeGannaro, Roy Earle, Louis Bourgault and Ivan Hammond.
MajGen David Bice, Master of Ceremonies kicks off the evening banquet with opening remarks.
LtGov Winsom Earle-Sears gives her acceptance speech during the Saturday evening banquet.
Gene Colabattisto announces the Silent Auction winners. Gene was instrumental in organizing the Silent Auction which contributed significantly to the successful and generous donations which will be used to pay for Iwo Jima Veteran’s trip expenses to the island of Iwo Jima in the future.
LtCol Art Sifuentes, USMC Ret (on the left), is with Robin and Rick Gordon, the owners of Radio King Orchestra who provided dancing music at the banquet.

Marine Commander of Iwo Jima flag-raising Col. Dave Severance immortalized at Mt. Soledad

Presidential Message on the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima

75th Anniversary Symposium Update

75th Photos

Thank you for your support of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima Gala Event. The dinner, music, history and most importantly — our vets — made this year’s event perfect. See photos here.