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

{ 305 comments… read them below or add one }

PATTI REED November 11, 2009 at 11:25 am

FABULOUS. THESE MEN WERE SUCH A STRONG UNIT, THEY FACED HORRIFIC SCENES, SOMETHING I WILL NEVER WITNESS IN MY LIFETIME. THEY GAVE THEIR ALL, TO MAKE CERTAIN OUR FUTURE CITIZENS WERE FREE.
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR EFFORTS!
I AM SO VERY PROUD OF ALL OF YOU!

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Dan November 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm

God rest those mens souls who sacrificed all they had.

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Chelsea November 23, 2009 at 6:41 pm

My uncle is in that picture when they are raising the flag. He is the one with his hand not touching the flag but attempting to touch it. <3

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CRAZYZAK November 23, 2009 at 11:42 pm

GOD BLESS U GUYS U SACRIFICED UR LIVES FOR US THANKYOU DO YOU WATCH PHINEAS AND FERB

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CRAZYZAK November 23, 2009 at 11:48 pm

YOUR RIGHT MY MAN

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JACKIE ANDERSON November 24, 2009 at 9:59 am

THE SECOND PICTURE IS OF THE FIRST FLAG RAISING WITH THE SMALL FLAG
THE MAN THAT IS HOLDING THE CARBINE IS MY GRANDFATHER JIM SPERBER
WHO NOW IS NO LONGER WITH US, HE WAS PART OF THE ORG. CREW THAT
WAS THERE FOR THIS MOMENT, IT HAS BOTHERED ME FOR MANY YEARS THAT NO ONE REALLY KNEW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FLAG RAISING BECASUE EVERYONE I WOULD TALK TO WOULD TELL ME I DID NOT KNOW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN I TOLD THEM MY GRANDFATHER WAS AT THE RAISING OF THE FLAG AND THEY WOULD SAY HIS NAME WAS NOT ON THERE, I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW THAT JIM SPERBER WAS THAT MAN IN THE PICTURE.

THANK YOU
JACKIE ANDERSON
ONE OF MANY GRANDCHILD

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mary February 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

My mother is 82 and she was telling me a story she her as a child from her family that her Cousin Richard Reicht (not sure of the spelling) was also in a battalion or platoon there when the flags were raised. Does anyone know how I can find out if this is accurate info for my mother. Thank you so much

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MGYSGT. Schroeder November 15, 2013 at 4:16 am

Jackie;
I am sorry to say the Marine holding the carbine in the picture is not your Grandfather Jim Sperber, that is Cpl. Jim Michaels 2nd Platoon,Easy Company, 28th Marines, 5th Division

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Jarett November 29, 2009 at 8:40 pm

This is my favorite battle of all time it is cool bcause of how all the marines were willing 2 give their lives instantly i dont think i could do that

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Nick December 1, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I am in the 8th grade and i have done research projects on this and it is just incredible to see what those men did for us and i am really thankful for them and what they did.

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Austen December 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Im in 8th 2 and i think that it is awsome that you all remember the struggle the marines had to capture this island

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maureen December 14, 2009 at 12:26 am

you must be very proud of him! You come from a brave, patriotic, and committed family. thanks

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Sgt. Rudolph Garza December 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Brought tears to my eyes when I was there in 1995. I was in the Marines stationed on Okinawa, Japan. I am very PROUD to be a
U.S. Marine.

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christopher trejo December 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm

thank you for fighting for us, it means alot to me and the united states

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Bob December 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Jackie

Hello;

My Great Uncle lost his legs in Okinawa, he was friends with Joe Rosenthal, Joe visited My Uncle in the hospital, and gave my uncle the first picture off the original negative “to the second standing” Amazing to have sort of a connection to something so historical.

Bob

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george December 17, 2009 at 11:42 pm

my grand daddy was in the navy when this battle took place he never talked about the war much he was in both theaters i am trying to find info on him about battles and other ships the only one we where told of was hit by kami kazis in pearl harbor i watch the movie flags of our father and thought it was great then tonight i watched laetters from iwo jima and i mean u think we had it bad they where told to commite suicide now thats hard but i love my country and would die for it i am just saying these r 2 great movies on this battle

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MGYSGT. Schroeder November 17, 2013 at 2:52 am

George:
Sorry no Kamikaze attacks at Pearl Harbor, the first attacks to our Navy by Kamikaze plane did not come untill Oct. 1944

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lucy.crocker December 22, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Amazingly I have come across pictures that were my father’s – he served in the Marines from 1944 – 1945 in Iwo Jima – and the collection of pictures includes two of the ones on this page – the one of the flag raising and the group picture once the flag was fully raised… these seem to be original prints – wondering if they should be specially archived? He kept these pictures from his 5 children and never spoke about the war… my brother has had them since 1988 when my father passed away. How I wish he was here now so we could learn more about his term of duty… we are so proud.

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Jeannie May 17, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Hello lucy.crocker. I have a collection of items belonging to a marine who must have served at Iwo Jima. His identity has been lost and all I have are these items which include pictures of him. There are many pictures from the battle of Iwo Jima, apparently printed off of the negatives from Joe Rosenthals’ camera. These are fairly small, about 3 1/4 x 4 1/4, and there are 51 of them.
I am a patriot, and having these personal items from a Marine who served in that hell has led me on a quest to find his identity. It would be beneficial to me to know where this man, who appears to be a preacher, might have gone during the war. Your comments are one of very few references I have found to anyone having any of these pictures.
I believe this gentleman knew Joe Rosenthal and obtained this set of photos before the flag raising shot became famous. He appears in pictures addressing the marines in front of the cemeteries at Iwo.These pictures are absolutely identical to the flag raising and the other Rosenthal pictures in size and patina. The album is very old and getting rough.
I would certainly like to know the size of your prints and anything else you could tell me. I would love reunite this heros’ identity with his artifacts.
Thank you.

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Richard December 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Jackie
John Bradly was my mothers cousin and she was from Antigo also.
John seldom talked about the flag raising but my family always knew that the famous photo was the second one taken . John was a corpsman and was about to go back down the mountain when Rosenthal beckoned him back to pose for the most famous photo of the two. He never took any credit for being there and the story was never told until after his death. the fact is that we ALL owe a debt to ALL the heroes no matter their role. God Bless America

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Debbie September 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Amen!

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HOWARD A. ELGART December 31, 2009 at 9:41 pm

TO BOTH GROUPS OF MEN THAT RAISED OUR FLAG I SALUTE YOU AND THE OTHER MARINES THAT SECURED THAT ISLAND.TELL A MARINE DO GET SOMETHING DONE AND IT GETS DONE. I WAS A LITTLE YOUNG FOR THE 2ND WORLD WAR BUT WHEN I BECAME OF AGE I JOINED THE MARINE CORP DURING THE KOREAN CONFLICT. AGAIN MY DEEPEST APPRECIATION GOES OUT TO ALL MARINES THAT SERVED BEFORE ME AND ALSO TO THE ONES NOW CARRYING ON THE TRATATION OF THE CORP. GOD BLESS—SEMPER FI

ON THE PICTURE OF THE FLAG RAISING DOES THE MARINE AT THE LEFT ALMOST TOUCHING THE FLAG HAVE A BAYONET ON HIS RIGHT SIDE AND A RIFLE SLUNG OVER HIS BACK WHICH I THINK THE STATUE IN DC SHOWS

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MGYSGT. Schroeder November 14, 2013 at 8:16 pm

To answer your question yes to both and that man is Ira Hayes

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Kurt Wagn Hansen January 1, 2010 at 11:16 am

Here from little Denmark, maybe a little bit too late, we thank all the brave american marines who risked their lives to free the world for Adolf Hitler and his japanese friends. I have just seen the film of the battle of Iwo Jima med the famous photo of the flagraising. I am proud to read, that an american soldier with the same very danish sirname as mine, Hank Hansen, is on the photo. It is Hank Hansen who has no helmet on his head. Here from Denmark – lots of honour and regards to Hank and his brave pals.

Kurt Wagn Hansen
Copenhagen, Hvidovre
Denmark
http://www.prudentis.dk

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matt mcmillen January 13, 2010 at 10:48 pm

ira hayes is my great great great great grandfather

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MGYSGT. Schroeder November 15, 2013 at 3:59 am

I do not think so, to many greats, and I do not think Ira had any children. Ira would have been about 98 now 11/14/2013

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David Baldwin January 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

My Uncle posed for the flag raising. Is there anyway to post these pictures on here?

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Russell Baker January 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm

the man left side holdind helmet up and behind I.Hays is Howard L Dutton. He lives in Pocatello Idaho . He may be the last one alive (second flag 18 men) GOD BLESS THEM ALL

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MGYSGT. Schroeder November 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

No there are a few of us still alive

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Dan Dutton October 19, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Yes, you are correct that the man behind Ira Hays is my Uncle, Howard Dutton. He passed away a couple of years ago. He was always a fine man, and a man I’ve always been very proud of.

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Dan Dutton October 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Howard was my uncle. I attended his funeral a couple of years ago in Pocatello. Yes, he was the man behind Ira Hays in the photo. He was 17 years old at the time the photo was taken.

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Marianne January 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm

These are all really great comments and I would like to follow up on some of these. I am working on an Iwo Jima project. Anyone who would like to participate, please contact me. I am looking for survivors, pictures, stories, etc.
Thank you.

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AL January 29, 2010 at 5:10 am

I have just finished reading the book Flags of Our Fathers. This is an awsome book. James Bradley did some amazing research. I can see how he can be so proud of his father. I have the movie based on the book. Seeing some of the battle scenes and what these brave men went thru, makes me even more proud to be an American. I served in the U.S.Navy during Viet Nam. I had an older brother that was a Marine, as well as my oldest son. I am always proud to say they were Marines. To all the men of Iwo Jima, I say Thank You. To the families of those that didn’t return,I’m sorry for your loss. May God Bless those men and all men and women of WW2.
God Bless this great nation of ours.

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Mike January 31, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I recently found a stash of some really old pictures that my grandfather took while he was there. One has the flag raising but I don’t know if its real but the others sure are. I’ll try and get them scanned and uploaded.

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Char February 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Hello Richard,
My mother, who was born in Marathon, Wi. in 1908, always told us that she was related to John Bradley. Her aunt Frances on her mother’s side lived in antigo, wisconsin; her married name was Frances Lukowicz. Frances’ husband’s first name was either Tom, John or Joe. As far as I recall, I believe that Aunt Frances’ daughter or niece was John Bradley’s wife. Do you happen to know what John Bradley’s wife’s maiden name was? I know her first name was Kathryn.
Many thanks for this information!

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