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Second Flag Raising on Mount Suribachi

Image Information
Photo of the second flag raising on Mount Suribachi. The published version was cropped to a portrait orientation; this is the full landscape image. While the first flag raising received great fanfare from the soldiers fighting below and the fleet offshore, the second flag raising was little noticed. The reporters assigned to cover the Iwo Jima operation interviewed Platoon Sergeant Ernest I. “Boots“ Thomas, who helped raise the first flag, who stunned them by stating he expected to be dead in the next few days. He was killed on March 3, 1945. Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, a veteran reporter who had covered the Pacific for years, climbed Mount Suribachi after the first flag raising with a 4×5 inch speedgraphic camera. Rosenthal was plagued for years by accusations that the photo was staged, but color combat film shot at the same time by Staff Sergeant William Genaust shows the same angle. Lou Lowery of Leatherneck Magazine was upset that his photos of the first flag raising were suppressed until 1947, but the two photographers became friends. The six flag raisers of Company E, Second Battalion, 28th Marines, Fifth Marine Division, originally included Sergeant Michael Strank (November 10, 1919 – March 1, 1945), Corporal Rene Arthur Gagnon (March 7, 1925 – October 12, 1979), Corporal Ira Hamilton Hayes (January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955), Private First Class Franklin Runyon Sousley (September 19, 1925 – March 21, 1945), United States Navy Pharmacist‘s Mate Second Class John “Jack“ “Doc“ Bradley (July 10, 1923 – January 11, 1994), and Corporal Harlon Henry Block (November 6, 1924 – March 1, 1945). Strank, Sousley and Block died before the campaign ended. In 2016, United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Jan C. Huly’s Panel concluded that Bradley’s identificaton was incorrect, and Sousley was actually in his position, and Private First Class Harold H. Schultz (January 28, 1925 ‚Äì May 16, 1995) was in Sousley’s position. In 2019, the Huly Panel reconvened to consider evidence that Harold P. Keller (August 3, 1921 ‚Äì March 13, 1979) was the Marine previously identified as Rene Gagnon, and accepted that evidence.
Image Filename wwii1171.jpg
Image Size 2.73 MB
Image Dimensions 2931 x 2338
Photographer Rosenthal, Joe
Photographer Title Associated Press
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed February 23, 1945
Location Mount Suribachi
City Iwo Jima
State or Province Bonins
Country Japan
Archive National Archives and Records Administration
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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