The Picture – Iwo Jima Photos

Easy Company take the flags up Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jima. Easy Company had been fighting 4 days. They had 40% casualties to date.
The first flagraising atop Mount Suribachi, February 23, 1945. Hank Hansen (without helmet), Boots Thomas (seated), John Bradley (behind Thomas) Phil Ward (hand visible grasping pole), Jim Michaels (with carbine) and Chuck Lindberg (behind Michaels). Photo by Lou Lowery. 10AM, Feb. 23, 1945
The first flag comes down as the second flag goes up. Photo by Bob Campbell.
This is the original photograph by Joe Rosenthal. It was later cropped (see next picture) to become the photo we all know.
Here’s the second flag raising as seen in the the most reproduced photograph in the history of photography. Click here for film clips of the flag raising.
Here’s Rosenthal snapping a posed shot minutes after the second flag raising.
Four of the Flag Raisers (Bradley, Hayes, Sousley & Strank) appear with their jubilant buddies. Strank, Sousley and many of these boys would soon be dead.
“In that moment, Rosenthal’s camera recorded the soul of a nation.” – Editors of US Camera Magazine. “It was like shooting a football game. You never knew what you got on film.” – Joe Rosenthal, Photographer

332 thoughts on “The Picture – Iwo Jima Photos

    • David Baldwin

      Yes it is Ron. On the back of one of the pictures he wrote to my Mother, “this is what I am doing now.” I actually got in trouble in grade school for telling the teacher I had these pictures and that my Uncle Joe posed for this. My Mother had to bring the pictures to the principal’s office.

  1. james

    The Marine on the far left raising his helmet was Johnny Owens. Johnny lived in South Bend IN, he owned a small business selling supplies to tooling shops in the area.
    He was a fiery guy and had great stories of being there. He said he was the first Marine to step foot on the main airstrip and the Japanese sent a man out to patrol hoping that the Marines would fire on him, that way they would know exactly where the Marines were located. HE said it took all he had not to shoot that guy but he knew what would happen.
    He frequented our shop quite a bit and we would often have Japanese customers from Toyota, Honda… he would just scowl at them and say under his breath…”sonsofbitches” we would laugh but we understood his sentiment.
    he passed away several years ago… a great guy!

  2. andrew Bush

    Can anyone tell me who the second man from the left is who has someone raising a rifle behind him? I believe it is my uncle, Vernon “Bunk” Bush. He has passed but I would like to find out if this is he in the photo of the first flag raising. Thanks,

  3. Matthew

    My mother showed me an original picture of the flag-raising when I was younger. It came out of my Grandfather’s footlocker along with numerous other WWII artifacts. I was wondering if it would possibly be worth anything? I’d hate to part with it but I am a struggling veteran and really need the funds. If anyone has any idea how I would approach the sale of something like that please help me out.
    SGT Mullen

    • William A. Duncan

      It is worth the freedom every American has enjoyed since the end of WW II.
      Why do we have to put a monitory value on everything?

  4. Pat Lavoie

    I have been told my dad was one of the marines in the posed picture. He was left handed and it looks like he is holding his rifle with his left hand. Can you confirm this? His name was Richard Estabrook. He was in contact with the group of guys that had been there before he died.

    • David Baldwin

      The bottom man, putting the flag in the ground is Elbert Warden Hinkle, my Uncle Joe. I have the original pictures he sent to my Mom. It has pictures of them posing for Felix de Weldon, the scultper. They posed in a driveway between two houses. I also have a picture of Felix taken with the finished sculpture. I contacted the Felix de Weldon mucsem. They told me no pictures were taken at the time and they were fake. ” hdson21@yahoo. Com”

  5. Bobbie

    I know the family of a Priest whom I can not find in these photos, he was there, may appear in first raising.

  6. Mr. T

    For those of you who say you have pictures, please consider donating them to the WWII Museum in New Orleans, or to the Library of Congress. Thanks.


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