February 23, 1945-- Raising the flag on Mount Suribachi

iwo jima

On February 23, 1945, AP photographer Abe Rosenthal took what may very well be the most iconic war photograph of all time. He caught members of the 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, raising the American flag on the highest point on the island of Iwo Jima. This took four days after the island was invaded. The battle was by no means over. Of the six men in the photo – Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, Rene Gagnon, John Bradley, and Harlon Block – three were killed in the next few days. Strank was killed on March 1, six days after the flag-raising, by a shell, possibly fired from an offshore American destroyer; Block was also killed on March 1, by a mortar round, a few hours after Strank was killed; Sousley was shot and killed by a Japanese sniper on March 21, a few days before the island was declared secure.