February 22, 2015

23 February 1945: U.S. Marines raise the flag on Mount Suribach

First Iwo Jima Flag Raising. Small flag carried ashore by the 2d Battalion, 28th Marines is planted atop Mount Suribachi at 1020, 23 February 1945

"The Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal was coming ashore on Iwo Jima at the moment when this flag went up. It was just a speck in the distance but he immediately recognised its symbolic significance, telling General Holland “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, who was accompanying him:

Holland, the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.
It was then decided that a larger, more visible, flag was needed on the summit. The occasion would be photographed not just by the Marines but by the international media as represented by the Associated Press. However the photographer, Joe Rosenthal, had not been especially well prepared for the event:
Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don’t come away saying you got a great shot. You don’t know.
The photograph that he took has gone on to become probably the most reproduced photographic image in history. " -- WW2 Today


Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 22, 2015 10:27 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I have always liked the first flag raising picture. It captures the tension of the moment. There were a lot of Japanese still dug in on Suribachi.

Posted by: firecapt at February 23, 2015 5:12 AM

See my 2013 post, "Iwo Jima Deconstructionism," in which I compile the evidence that the entire battle was fought for purposes that never were fulfilled.

Link: http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2013/02/iwo-jima-deconstructionism.html

One example: that the island was seized to get an emergency landing strip for B-29s was a post-battle myth invented by the media. There is absolutely zero mention of that in pre-invasion planning documents. No one, before the battle, ever imagined Iwo as an emergency strip for bombers.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at February 23, 2015 8:00 AM

It was Sgt. Mike Strank's men who raised the flag in that iconic photograph. He died in combat soon thereafter.


Posted by: John Hinds at February 23, 2015 3:55 PM

The photo that you see is the photo of the second flag being raised. The first, as stated, was small and Rosenthal made the iconic image of the larger flag.
I became two years old on that day. somethings are part of one's history.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at February 24, 2015 6:38 AM