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A little Map called IWO.....

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  • 1 year later...

First time seeing this thread, that's awesome. Did they use this type for other beaches like Okinawa?, Phillipines?


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Bill, to simply answer your question, yes!

The fabrication of these relief maps were very common for all areas as an orienataion aid to all armed forces. Having the contures illustrates more accuracy. It was important to familiarize with the actual terrain. Very common but not common to survive today. For example, these types of reliefs were used by aviation forces. During the briefing, the operations officer can talk in detail where the strike was to occur, show enemy installations and help pilots memorize landmarks. When you look at aviation briefing images, look closer you just may see a map like this sitting somewhere.

Many were made from the Photographic Sections of commands compiled from aerial photographs. Here are some images of different techniques. With up coming operations, molded models like the one here in this topic could be a contracted item.

In the case of this map for example, it can be used over and over pending on the mission of the day as it illustrates a lot of territory. Either aviation or ground forces orientation and recording



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Relief maps were a pretty extensive tactical orientation apparatus.

Here you see the VMF-211 squadron commander discussing the attack plan using a relief map, October 1943. Topographical maps really give pilots a vivid concept, from the ground to the air everyone is on point and familiar.



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These maps were used all throughout the Asiatic-Theater of operations. Here is a relief map of Formosa used to orientate pilots of Air Group 11 aboard the USS Hornet. Same principle applies with amphibious assault units as well even with the Iwo map here. The topographical map of Formosa here appears to be rubber as well, more accurately Neoprene.

To add dialogue to the image, the brifing officer would point out the target and secondary target locations. he would highlight the flight patch and rendezvous points. Here are mountain ranges, you'll need to climb to 8,000 feet to clear the peaks, as you crest, drop down to 1,000 feet through to the mouth of this valley and approach the target. Team-X will approach from this headed, Team-Y from the direction. here here here have strong flak capabilities. Upon departure you'll head this direction. Here, here and here are lifeguard submarines located along the predetermined return route. Friendly areas and villages are here and here. If you have to bailout or ditch here and here are the most optimal areas...etc. etc.




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Beautiful map Ron! Great photos too Dustin. Thanks.


As mentioned, topographic maps were not used just in the ETO. Here they can been seen in the VF-74 ready room during Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France:





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Here is a closer look at the topographical map in the Ready Room for VF-74. I wonder what the exact area the map references?



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The caption for this photo mentions that this is a rubber topographical map being used for briefings on the USS Ticonderoga for VF-80. They are preparing fro strikes over the Philippines, the rubber map is of that region. November 1944. The officer is pointing to the island of Negros, northeast of Mindanao and south of Luzon. Panay and Cebu islands are to the upper left and lower right. It appears the islands are rubber that had been secured to some treated rubberized fabric, perhaps. Not to detract from the artifact to start this post, it is fun to eye-spy the further extended use of rubber and other topographical maps. This illustrates that Iwo was not a unique occurrence, rather a standard. It is however, unique and interesting that rubber molded maps of Iwo Jima survived, wonder how many others dodged fate?



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