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

{ 287 comments… read them below or add one }

edward ramos April 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm

what was the reason for rasing the flag twice?


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.


White May 13, 2013 at 7:11 am

My grandfather was there at the flag raising and is in the group photo taken immediately after. He was part of the 4th division and survived, his name was Arnold White (deceased at age 67).


MGYSGT. Schroeder November 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Your grand father may hav been on Iwo Jima,but all the Marines on Mt Suribachi that were part of both flag raisings were 5th division that landed at the foot of Mt Suribachi on green beach.


Karen May 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm

My friend purchased a Marine’s photo album at an auction that has over 50 of Rosenthal’s pictures as well as some pics from Guam and Hawaii. The album is old and the pictures appear to be original. Were complete sets of his pictures given out to soliders?


kayla May 2, 2013 at 7:39 pm

My Grandmother’s brother was in the military during Iwo Jima. he also had a camera during this time, recently i have inherited these original photographs and one of which is of the flag raising. I am unsure if the flag raising in his picture is the first or the second flag raising to occur. Anyone who may be interested in helping me research these photographs further please e-mail me. Thank you


MGYSGT. Schroeder November 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I would be happy to help, the first flag was much smaller than the second flag.


John G. Silvas April 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I was with the 1st Marine Division, Air Force VMF 121 I am Native American Indian, our of San Diego, Calif. I now reside in Washington State and I am a healthy 93 years old.

I was given a copy of this picture while I was on the Island of Peleliu.

Is there any on still alive from this division? PLEASE CONTACT ME.
at this is my daughters email.
Thank you…

John G Silvas… Once a Marine always a Marine.


robert hagstrom April 27, 2013 at 4:12 am

My uncle Cpl James eE Hagstrom was Easy co 2nd platoon,3rd squad 28th marines 5th div.survived Suribatchi and was KIA on hill 362 Mar,1,1945.
I will honor him forever as all those that fought for us.


Mary Griffin Frese March 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm

my memories of WWII is now on /kindle
with this photo on the cover. ‘ Memories of Pearl Harbor Day ‘
this photo is a lasting memory for all of us of the older generation.
For life on the home front this photo was a great morale booster.


juan carlos February 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

gracias soldados americanos por llevar la libertad,alli donde hacia falta y derrotar con vuestro valor y vidas a el mal thank you


Kjirstin Youngberg February 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

Thanks for this page, and for all these wonderful comments. I hope they lead to some pleasant reunions.
My father, a USMC Raider, was also present for this moment in history. Wounded, he cheered as the first flag went up, and was very angry when it came down, blaming Joe Rosenthal for many years for “wanting to get a better picture.” As I became a photojournalist myself, I was very glad to see him exonerated over time.
This photo by Bob Campbell proves that the second flag went up immediately after the first one came down, so I don’t know why my Dad was so upset over it for so many years. He told everyone there were “two flags” and for most of his life, nobody believed him. He’d be very happy to see this page.
He was SSgt Carl Andrew Rasmussen, better known as Andy. He died in 1982, and has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery. (We didn’t know until later that Arlington isn’t a “Marines” cemetery. My bad. Sorry, Dad. It will give him something to complain about in heaven. ;)


Jerry Hayes July 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Kjirstin: I enjoyed reading your email about your father and Iwo Jima. FYI, the only “Marine cemetery” that I am aware of is Quantico National Cemetery which is near the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, VA. Note: This cemetery is less than 20 years old.
I am a retired Marine–25 years–retired in 1979.


Sarah Nachamkin January 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

We also have a print of the picture taken by Joe Rosenthal. My father was a WWII frogman at the time. His name is George Riser, now age 88 1/2. He was given what he was told the very first printing of Joe Rosenthal’s picture, BEFORE, it was give to the Associated Press. My father was on an aircraft carrier stationed at Guam during the time of the photo on Iwo Jima. The man who printed the photo gave it to my father along with 2 other pictures taken of my father by Rosenthal. The other pictures are of my father in battle, and one with Bob Hope as his caddy in a USO golf game. He was plucked from the war to do this and then returned. All three photos are safely stored in a bank vault.


nick vergis March 31, 2013 at 1:20 am

sarah do we know each other thru ohio university? n


Philip Champagne January 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Believe it or not, Dad, Staff Sgt. L. A. Champagne, is the Marine with the flamethrower, pictured at the conclusion of the movie Flags of Our Fathers. He died in 1989 and never, of course, got to see the flick. Curiously, the film was released by paramount on my 60th birthday, February 6, 2007. He served from 1939-1946 with the 3rd Division, 9th regiment, 3rd battalion. God bless him.

His one and only draft-dodging son.


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