Marine Corps investigating photo of iconic flag-raising on Iwo Jima

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tags: Iwo Jima

Related Link ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ Author Now Doubts His Father Was in Iwo Jima Photo

The Marine Corps has opened an investigation into whether it misidentified one of the six men shown raising an American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima in February 1945, the Associated Press reported Monday. The picture, taken by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal, became one of the most enduring images of World War II, and the flag raisers’ identities have been accepted for decades.

In 2014, two amateur historians began raising issues regarding one service member supposedly depicted in the photo, Navy Corpsman John Bradley, according to the AP. Their evidence was first published in the Omaha World-Herald, and the paper was the first to report on the Marines’ new inquiry Saturday.

The picture, taken Feb. 23, 1945, actually depicted the raising of the second flag that day. The first was quickly raised, taken down and replaced with the second, larger one. The second flag, taken off a nearby landing ship, was raised by five Marines and one Navy corpsman. The battle for the island was still underway, and the Marines had made it a point to take the mountain on which the flag was raised. The 550-foot-high mound of volcanic earth was an important piece of terrain that overlooked the small pork-chop-shaped island.

Read entire article at The Washington Post