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

{ 307 comments… read them below or add one }

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Keith Moore August 17, 2014 at 11:33 am

My dad SGT. Edagar Moore was in 28th marines 5th division and in same platoon with Ira Hayes.He was one of the 40 marines on Suribatchi that day. Iam so proud of him and all the rest who fought and died to make this country strong.We are a Marine Corp family as my brother and myself fought in viet nam war in 9th Marines 1st division known as the walking dead.


chris rudolph August 5, 2014 at 1:15 am

I have an album that was given to me by my grandfather,Paul Gray. I have approx 3o photos taken on Iwo during and after the battle. I have a photo of the flag before the sea bees constructed the monument and I have a photo of the monument. I would love to share these with the world, but I am not sure how? I am a very proud grandson!


Brandon August 19, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Any luck with any one sharing in what to do with the pics?


Rick Kessler June 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I was in the Marine Corps from Aug 1963-Aug 1967.
When ever I see that picture of the men raising the 2nd flag at Iwo Jima I still get goose bumps.
I have it on my desk top background.
Semper Fi !


Armando June 7, 2014 at 3:25 am

Does anyone know if they passed pics of the flag raising to the troops after it was taken


Phyllis Sissum August 19, 2014 at 7:27 am

My grandfather who was injured in WW11 has a raising the flag picture. He told me it was developed on the ship he was on and they passed out copies to everyone on the ship…is this possible?


Alejandro June 25, 2014 at 3:35 pm


A logical and sensible answer to your question would be ‘No’.
Joe Rosenthal shot this photo and others on 23 Feb 1945, and without knowing how the pics turned out, he then shipped the film out, via boat to Guam. There, an AP lab staff processed the film, and after selecting the best pics, they then wired them to the States, for possible eventual publication in papers, etc.
Rosenthal himself did not know the profound quality of this particular pic, nor of its sensational impact, until after he rotated off the island, and back to Guam a few days later.
Thus, by the time he rotated off and was in Guam, the battle was still raging, and many of the Marines in this pic, and those in the ‘Gung Ho’ posed group pic, were dead/KIA.
Thus, the Marines/troops shown in these photos (who survived) likely did not see the pics until they themselves rotated off the island (after the battle was finished), and after they had been shipped back in Hawaii, many weeks later.
Hope this info gives you some perspective. 70 years ago, given its then-current conventional photographic technology, it would be days, if not weeks, for a Combat Photographer (much less the troops) to actually see his photos firsthand.


Alejandro June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm


As a follow-up to my previous post, I include Joe Rosenthal’s own quote on this iconic photo, which sums up the WW2 photographic technology perfectly!

β€œIt was like shooting a football game. You never knew what you got on film.” – Joe Rosenthal, Combat Correspondent


MMC July 8, 2014 at 5:31 am


You seem to know a lot about Rosenthal and the flag raising. I have in my possession The original transmission copy sent by Navy Guam AP to the AP desk in San Francisco, with AP text down one side “Marines Hoist Flag Atop Suribachi– United States Marines of the 28th Regiment, fifth division, hoist American Flag atop Suribachi, Iwo Jima volcano, after battling Japs to top the crater.”
Print faded with some browning and a few marginal tears.

THE FIRST PRINT OF THE ICONIC PHOTOGRAPH TO BE SENT TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WIRE SERVICE FROM THE PACIFIC. Inscribed in ink on the front: “To Rich, who got this first. Joe Rosenthal A.P.” “Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima” has become one of the most famous photographs ever made, and became the image of the War in the Pacific. The full caption reads: “(FX9-Feb 24) United States Marines of 28th Regiment, Fifth Division, hoist American flag atop Suribachi, Iwo Jima volcano, after battling Japs to top of crater. Photo by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal on assignment with Wartime Still Pool radioed by Navy from Guam to San Francisco today. (AP Wirephoto) (NRW71315jjr/pl) 1945.”
10.75 x 13.5 in

If you or anybody is interested in purchasing this please contact me directly.
The wire photo has been authenticated by Hal Buell formerly of the A.P. and a friend of Mr. Rosenthal. Hal Buell is known for penning the book “Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue.” (lwo Jima and The Photograph That Captured America.) Mr. Buell made a statement to my client he had been searching for a radio transmission image of the raising of the flag oflwo Jima his entire life/career.


Daniel Oliveira June 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I know not what to say except, “thank you” to all the brave people that have fought for this great country. You and our Flag are an inspiration to our country. If I had not been born with some ailments, I too, would have proudly served.


edward ramos April 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm

what was the reason for rasing the flag twice?


Gerry Dutton May 1, 2014 at 3:19 am

The first American flag that was erected on top of the mountain was relatively small. It was difficult to see from a distance. My father, Howard Dutton ,who appears in Joe Rosenthal’s second Saribachi photograph, explained that a second (significantly larger) stars and stripes was dispatched up the mountain The larger flag was more easily seen and was meant to inspire Marines what they were fighting for.

Gerry Dutton
Los Angeles, CA


Alejandro June 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hi Gerry,

Fascinating to learn that your Father, Howard Dutton, is in the ‘Gung Ho’ posed group photo.

Could you inform us where he stands in the photo? And I presume he was a member of Fox Company, 2/28 Marines?

Thx. AV


Kaylee April 10, 2014 at 9:49 pm

My great grandpa is in the photo(:


Muzio Pellegrini March 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm


Just want to pass on that I was given a water color of a Raising of the American Flag on Iwo Jima back in 1954. My Brother was employed by RCA as a buyer. What he did was hire artist to paint photo’s of different actions of the war in the Pacific during WWII to put on the Album Victory at Sea . The Artist’ name is on the painting, all though I could not read the artist’s name, I sent a photo I took of the painting, he did tell me his name, which I misplaced. They told me that the Artist was well known. But I understand he has passed away a number of years ago. That was about 8 years ago, they offered me $ 400.00 for the painting, but I opted to put it in a new frame and I have it hanging in my dinning room alone with my fathers documentation of his WWI while he was in the Italian Army, the Basilares, they fought in the mountains.

I have to ad this, my great grandfather, my grandfather, my father and also my two brothers and myself. Back then, back then Italy was our ally. I am very proud of my family along with the fact I own the painting even though it is a watercolor painting.

Muzio Pellegrini


Ellen BRAMBLE February 26, 2014 at 9:19 pm

My father, William (Bill) H. Regan, was a close friend of Joe Rosenthal’s. He was a staff photographer for the San Jose Mercury News, later the “Chief Photographer” for that paper. He attended Joe’s 90th (I think) birthday party, and has a photo from that party. Joe printed a photo for him from the original Iwo Jima negative, which he also signed. I was told that the original negative is now at the Smithsonian. I have that photo hanging on my wall, under acid free glass and matting. My father passed away in January, 2012, at the age of 93.


Elmer February 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

My grandfather is one of the men in the “gung-ho” picture. You can only see the top of his head and his arm extended out holding his helmet. He is directly behind Henry O. Hanson. His name is Gordon Trott and he was a radio man in the 5 th marines.


Louie DeCourval February 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

My Uncle is the Marine holding the rifle up on the right.
Corporal Emilio (Casey) Casado
USMC: Enlisted Reserve
Serial #: 498396
Passed: 20/6/2011
Joined USMC 1942 – Exited 1950
5th Marine Division,
28th Marines
Fox Company

Iwo Jima: Hit the beach 19 Feb. 1945, wounded 03 March

Campaigns included:
1. Guadalcanal
2. Bougainville
3. Villa La Villa
4. Iwo Jima


michael bakker March 12, 2014 at 10:20 pm

How proud you must be,what a graet photo the gung-ho is too.Was your uncle Gerald C. Smith,Fred Walscak,Harold Schultz,Harold Keller or Tom Hermananeck?I find it so interesting and 70th anniversary is coming up.We don’t get much information in Australia,so please try to help with any little bit of info.


Phil February 3, 2014 at 4:07 am

I was told that my grandfather was in one of these pictures, he was in the Marines, his name was Leland Paul Hebert, I was wondering if anyone knew him?


rick January 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm

I only know 1 guy besides joe rosenthal, & thats my dad. he’s the 1 closest to the flag on the left holding the rifle in the air.
He was on okinawa too.


Lauri January 25, 2014 at 5:58 am

Does anyone have names of the men in the photo 2nd from the bottom? My dad believes that his Uncle is in the photo and we would like to verify. Lauri


calvin clack February 16, 2014 at 12:37 am

one with hands in jacket pockets is second cousin, Eddy Groseclos. See the link at:


Brittany Rhodes January 5, 2014 at 5:04 am

Hi I’m doing a drawing for an art competition and was wondering if I could use this photo as a reference photo. The drawing is a combination of all things Marines.


Roger Bynum November 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm

(I) Request permission to re-print and use a photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima on my patriotic website. Is that permitted? RB


MGYSGT. Schroeder November 17, 2013 at 2:59 am

You do not say who your uncle is, so I asume he is Ira Hayes, that is the Marine on the far left almost touching the flag pole.


Jacki Barber November 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I’m really glad people are coming forward to identify their family members. I’m going to try to re-create a ‘Gung Ho” photo with everyone captioned. Send me an email with your loved one’s exact name spelling and location in the photo. Try to be a specific as you can. I’ll post here when the project is complete.



new June 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological
globe the whole thing is accessible on web?


Jim Loretta May 26, 2013 at 6:42 pm

There was a gung ho group photo taken right after the famous flag raising picture; it appears in the book Flags of Our Fathers. My father is on the far left with helmet upraised; he is listed as “Unknown” with Ira Hayes seated in front of him….His name was Ralph Loretta; he died in 2008 at 84. We contacted the author, Bradley, a few years ago and so did a writer for the local newspaper, but he did not seem to have interest in correcting and adding my father’s name in any subsequent editions; so for the record, he is not “unknown”…..again, his name was Ralph Loretta.


Jacki Barber November 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Dear Jim,

My grandfather, Charles Shortt is also featured in the Gung Ho photo, as well as several taken of him holding his town’s sign by Rosenthal. My grandfather actually ordered Gagnon to take his place in raising the second flag, because he was tired. We too contacted Bradley, prior to the final printing of the book, providing had newspaper articles and other published materials regarding this event and Bradley refused to communicate or even name my grandfather in the book. I do not understand Bradley’s insistence on ensuring the memory of a select few, when, as we all know, there were many present on that day.


MGYSGT. Schroeder November 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Sorry to tell you but Easy company Maj. Johnson gave the flag to Gagnon to take up along with the rest of the patrol stringing up the Communication wire.


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