It's times like these that I wish I could ask my Dad some questions, as he was at Iwo Jima. His duties with Adm. Spruance had him offshore, and I know that he did spend some time ashore. Some information that has come up tends to suggest that not all of those times ashore were with the Admiral, but involved other duties. He never talked about such things, at least not much, and I wish I could ask him some direct questions and see if he might answer them.
He talked of the hell that the Marines waded into ashore, not much, but enough to show he knew a bit about it, and the respect he had for those who took the island was immense. The Japanese apparently came close to getting him a couple of times in that battle.
One time was when a naval gun in a cliff made its presence known by almost getting the New Jersey. Dad said he had never seen anyone handle a battleship like a destroyer, but that whoever had the conn that day did so -- laying it over on its side in a successful bid to avoid the shot. They did so, and were apparently peeved enough to let loose with everything they had at the estimated spot in the cliff where they thought the gun might be. Dad said they were not sure they did get it, so all ships gave the area where they thought the gun might range a wide berth for a while.
Those that survived that fight (measured by at least one Marine in "touchdowns" based on painful, slow, and bloody advances of up to 100 yards) are few in number now. Remember them, and honor them this day.