This day in 1945...

lurch

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Sorry for all the links. Stupid Wiki...

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iwo_jima.jpg




"Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" is a historic photograph taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. It depicts five United States Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the flag of the United States atop Mount Suribachi.[sup][5][/sup] The photograph was extremely popular, being reprinted in thousands of publications. Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and ultimately came to be regarded as one of the most significant and recognizable images of the war, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time.[sup][5][/sup] Of the six men depicted in the picture, three (Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, and Michael Strank) did not survive the battle; the three survivors (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, and Ira Hayes) became celebrities upon the publication of the photo. The picture was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the USMC War Memorial, located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, D.C.[sup][5][/sup]

By morning of the fifth day of the battle (February 23), Mount Suribachi was effectively cut off from the rest of the island—above ground. By then, the Marines knew that the Japanese defenders had an extensive network of below-ground defenses, and knew that in spite of its isolation above ground, the volcano was still connected to Japanese defenders via the tunnel network. They expected a fierce fight for the summit. Two four-man patrols were sent up the volcano to reconnoiter routes on the mountain's north face. Popular legend (embroidered by the press in the aftermath of the release of the famous photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima") has it that the Marines fought all the way up to the summit. But although the American riflemen were tensed for an ambush, none materialized. The Marines did encounter small groups of Japanese defenders on Suribachi, but the majority of the Japanese troops stayed underground in the tunnel network. The Japanese that did attack, attacked in small numbers and were generally all killed. The patrols made it to the summit and scrambled down again. They reported the lack of enemy contact to Colonel Chandler Johnson.[sup][9][/sup]

Johnson then called for a platoon of Marines to climb Suribachi. With them, he sent a small American flag to fly if they reached the summit. Again, Marines began the ascent, expecting to be ambushed at any moment. And again, the Marines reached the top of Mount Suribachi without incident. Using a length of pipe they found among the wreckage atop the mountain, the Marines hoisted the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi, the first foreign flag to fly on Japanese soil.[sup][10][/sup] A photograph of this "first flag raising" was taken by photographer Louis R. Lowery. As the flag went up, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal had just landed on the beach at the foot of Mount Suribachi. He decided that he wanted the flag as a souvenir. Popular legend has it that Colonel Johnson wanted the flag for himself. In fact, he believed that the flag belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, who had captured that section of the island. He sent Sergeant Mike Strank (who was photographed in the Flag Raising picture) to take a second (larger) flag up the volcano to replace the first. As the first flag came down, the second went up. It was after the second flag went up that Rosenthal took the famous photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" of the replacement flag being planted on the mountain's summit.
 

H311oLHD

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Feb 14, 2007
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Flags of our Fathers is a great book...should read it!

These men lead interesting lives and each served their country. God bless them and may they all rest in peace!
 

lurch

I.Y.A.O.Y.A.S.
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Flags of our Fathers is a great book...should read it!

These men lead interesting lives and each served their country. God bless them and may they all rest in peace!


Done and Done.... Saw the movie as well. I still need to see Letters from Iwo Jima though. From what I've heard, that one is even better than 'Flags'...
 

Rebel Herfer

Adiskide honekin, orduak labur!
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Very cool Michael! Thank you for the reminder. :) and Thank you to all those that have served and thaose who are now serving!
 
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