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The last Iwo Jima flag-raiser--passes into history today.


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#1 C.Evans

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:28 PM

Im not talking about the ones who got the glory and all the after-fame--im talking about the first of the Iwo Jima, Mount Suribachi flag-raisers. I forget the gentlemans name and will post tomorrow if someone else does not. But anyway, may he Rest in Peace. The famous ones are gone--the photographer is goen, and now the lesser famed ones are all gone--May they all Rest in Peace.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#2 zippo

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:50 PM

http://news.yahoo.co...it_070625194309

CHICAGO, United States (AFP) - The last of the Iwo Jima flag raisers has died.

Charles W. Lindberg, who was among six marines who raised the first US flag on the Japanese island, died Sunday in Minnesota at the age of 86.
He spent much of his life arguing over one of the most reproduced photos in US history.
AP photographer Joe Rosenthal won a Pulitzer prize for his picture of six men raising the second flag on top of the volcano.
Plastered on posters, postage stamps and the covers of newspapers and magazines, it became a symbol of bravery and victory.
But Lindberg - no relation to the aviator - was among the picture's many critics and fought to counter the mythology which arose around the photo.
Lindberg wanted people to know that the battle was far from over when the flag was raised. He was seriously injured a week later and the battle did not end for nearly a month at the cost of nearly 7,000 American and 20,000 Japanese soldiers.
But he also struggled to win recognition for his fight up the side of Mount Suribachi.
Lindenberg carried five gallons of gasoline on his back and shot fire into the tunnels where the Japanese were hiding as his patrol crawled up the mountain with the first flag.
"Two of our men found a great big long pole up there, about 20-feet long," he told Minnesota Public Radio in an interview two years ago.
"We tied the flag to it, carried it to the highest spot we could find, and raised it. Boy, then the island came alive down below. The troops started to cheer, the ships' whistles went off, it was quite a proud moment."
Four hours later, a larger flag was raised and the marines captured in the photograph became national heros. Lindberg did not hear about it until he arrived home, nursing a shattered arm.
"So I went on home, and started talking about this, I was called a liar and everything else. It was terrible," he told the radio station.
Lindberg kept telling his story and eventual gained the recognition he had longed for, meeting first President Richard Nixon and later President Bill Clinton.
He was also invited to the dedication of the Iwo Jima monument outside of Washington, even though it was modeled on the image of the second flag-raising.
Japan recently renamed the island Iwo To.

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""The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his." George Patton" George S. Patton

#3 TA152

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 11:05 PM

How frustrating it must have been for the first group that raised the flag ! I remember reading about it years ago. Someone thought the first flag too small so a second flag was brought up, with photographer, and the rest is incorrect history. :(

It reminds me about the P-38 pilot who claimed to have shot down Yamamoto's Betty bomber he was riding in. I think his name was Lynch. He got back to base first and claimed the victory before the other pilots could say anything even though he did not shoot the bomber down.

Just goes to show if you do anything, you need good press to make you famous.
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#4 C.Evans

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 07:35 PM

Zippo, that is him. Thanks for posting his name and story.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#5 Col. Hessler

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 08:44 PM

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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).

Rest in peace Mr. Lindberg.

#6 C.Evans

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 09:28 PM

Thanks for this photo. One thing I had not known, was that I never knew Bradley was part of both flag-raisings. Learning something new every day ;-))
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#7 Col. Hessler

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:34 AM

You know there is actually some controversy whether or not Bradley took part in the first flag raising as well as the second. There was an article about this in the March 2007 issue of World War II Magazine. The evidence is the set of photographs taken by Marine photographer Louis Lowery, the same man that took the photo of the flag raising above. Some of the signs in the photographs that identify Bradley are his medical bracelet and his unit 3 medical pouch. Chuck Lindberg denied that Bradley took part in the first flag raising.

On a related note, Lindberg may not have been the last survivor. Radioman Raymond Jacobs is believed to have taken part in the first flag raising and has been trying to prove it for years.

#8 zippo

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 06:05 AM

interesting point. I have heard this as well. But I also feel that as the generations go on, they seem to look to disprove the generations before. In other words, does it really matter what their names were? I am from geman/norwiegien descent and one of the maxims was "your name is not as important as your action if it protects the homeland."
Is it just me or does it seem that "legends" are a thing of the past? Everything seems to be media oriented and if you can't prove it via a web site or link then ppl minimize your claim. This is just a hypothesis, as I belong to several boards. I think there is a certian stigmata to the whole flag raising event that was certianly media/propaganda oriented but to try and flush it out at this point in the game is a moot point.

Just an opinion of course ...a couple of the schnapps did it...
""The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his." George Patton" George S. Patton

#9 C.Evans

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 08:14 PM

Well they say: "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

Great quote by the way that comes from a great John Wayne movie: "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" to be exact. ;-))
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#10 Boozie

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:22 PM

I know this is an old thread and old news but, I was supprised to see the image of Phil Ward and his comrads on here. I live in Montgomery County,Indiana which is where Phil Ward lived and died. There was a great article on him and his story in our local paper; nobody really knew his story. Not that the other servicemen that fought were any less of a hero, but Phil had a truly special story. If I would have known his story I would have looked him up. I posted a story that the Pittsburg newspaper wrote on him. If there is any intrest I will go to the library and get the large article on him and also post a pic of his gravestone.

There was some controversy about Ward, after historians looked at the photo and talked to Phil they determined he was one of the first set of flag raisers. The ring on his finger seen in the image was the ring he still wore.


Famous photo was of 2nd flag raising - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Edited by Boozie, 06 January 2009 - 03:32 PM.
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#11 bigfun

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 06:17 PM

R.I.P.
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#12 C.Evans

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 06:49 PM

I know this is an old thread and old news but, I was supprised to see the image of Phil Ward and his comrads on here. I live in Montgomery County,Indiana which is where Phil Ward lived and died. There was a great article on him and his story in our local paper; nobody really knew his story. Not that the other servicemen that fought were any less of a hero, but Phil had a truly special story. If I would have known his story I would have looked him up. I posted a story that the Pittsburg newspaper wrote on him. If there is any intrest I will go to the library and get the large article on him and also post a pic of his gravestone.

There was some controversy about Ward, after historians looked at the photo and talked to Phil they determined he was one of the first set of flag raisers. The ring on his finger seen in the image was the ring he still wore.


Famous photo was of 2nd flag raising - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Welcome to this fine site and thanks for this article. Old threads get re-upped all the time here and glad you brought this one back to the forfront of everyones attention.

Take care and best regards-C.
Lost are only those, who abandon themselves) Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
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#13 Boozie

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 03:01 PM

Was doing some research at the library and remembered I promised the local articles on Phil Ward after his passing.

Crawfordsville says goodbye to Iwo Jima hero

By John Flora
December 2005,Crawfordsville Journal Review, Crawfordsville,IN.

Just about everyone knows the iconic photograph of Marines raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on the fifth day of the World War II battle for Iwo Jima.

And a lot of people know that Associated Press Photographer Joe Rosenthal’s famous picture is actually of the second U.S. flag erected on Suribachi that day.

But hardly anyone knows that Crawfordsville resident Phil Ward helped raise the first flag on the volcanic mountain that dominated that Japanese fortress island.

Ward died Dec. 28 in a hospital near his winter home in McAllen, Texas at the age of 79. His funeral was Tuesday in Crawfordsville and his ashes will be interred Jan. 19 at Arlington National Cemetery.

He was two weeks shy of his 19th birthday when he and his buddies in F Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, hit the beach on Iwo Jima and charged into one of the bloodiest fights in the history of the Corps.

Early on the morning of Feb. 23, 1945, a reconnaissance patrol scaled the 560-foot Suribachi to scout Japanese positions around the volcanic crater.

They reported no opposition and concluded the Japanese were probably dug in. Raymond Jacobs, then a young radioman, recalled that a second patrol was organized to attack and secure the top of Mount Suribachi.

Lt. Harold Shrier was put in command of the patrol and was given an American flag to take with him, Jacobs said. Jacobs said he was assigned to the patrol to provide radio communication with battalion headquarters.

As the column of about 40 men set out up the steep slope, Jacobs recalled, they were led by Cpl. Charles Lindberg and Pvt. Robert Goode, each carrying a flamethrower. Tagging along was combat photographer Sgt. Lou Lowrey.

“The sides of Suribachi were very steep,” Jacobs said. “The ground we were climbing had been chewed and churned by bombing, naval gunfire and our own artillery ... The climb was so steep and the ground so broken that at times we were crawling on hands and knees.”

Reaching the top, the Marines moved quickly along the rim, he said, and Lt. Shrier spread the patrol around the inner rim of the crater in a defensive perimeter facing inward toward the center of the crater.

Jacobs said he saw several Marines pulling piece of water pipe from the ground and guessed the Japanese used it to supply water to their defensive positions around the crater.

One of Lowrey’s photos shows a group of Marines tying the flag to the pipe. He and others believe one of the men is Phil Ward.

He said Lt. Shrier’s command group moved to the highest point on the crater preparing to push the flagpole into the ground and Cpl. Lindberg kicked at the ground to clear a hole for the flagpole. Jacobs said the pole was jammed into the ground and the men took turns pushing it deeper, kicking dirt and jamming rocks around the base to stabilize it.

“Just moments after the flag was raised we heard a roar from down below on the island. Marines on the ground, still engaged in combat, raised a spontaneous yell when they saw the flag. Screaming and cheering so loud and prolonged that we could hear it quite clearly on top of Suribachi,” Jacobs said.

“The boats on the beach and the ships at sea joined in blowing horns and whistles. The celebration went on for many minutes. It was a highly emotional, strongly patriotic moment for all of us.”

“The Japanese, apparently enraged by the sight of our colors, hit us with rifle fire and a barrage of grenades,” Jacobs said. “We responded with flame throwers, grenades, BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) and rifle fire. I remember seeing individual Marines and fire teams running toward the caves firing as they ran. We burned and blasted caves on both sides of the crater rim and soon it was over — intense but brief with Japanese resistance buried.

“The only casualty on our side was cameraman Sgt. Lou Lowrey. He fell over backwards trying to avoid a grenade and picked up some bumps and bruises in a 20- or 30-yard slide down a steep slope over Suribachi’s side. His camera was smashed but his film undamaged,” Jacobs said.

A short time later, a larger flag was sent up the mountain to replace the first.

By that time, AP photographer Rosenthal was on hand to record the moment. While Ward was not in the best known photo, he is believed to be in Rosenthal’s subsequent group shot since dubbed “the Gung-Ho photo.”

That picture is reproduced in James Bradley’s best-selling “Flags of our Fathers” with a caption that lists Ward among the men pictured.

Jacobs, who now lives in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Lindberg, a resident of Richfield, Minn., are thought to be the last surviving members of the group who raised that first U.S. flag on Suribachi.

And yet, more than 60 years later, controversy surrounds the Lowrey photos.

Chuck Tatum, author of “Red Blood, Black Sand” — an account of the battle for Iwo Jima — and himself a Marine Corps veteran of the invasion’s first wave, said the official Corps history downplays the first flag-raising and does not recognize Jacobs or Ward as being in the Lowrey photos.

Jacobs hotly disputes that assertion, citing stories published in Los Angeles newspapers placing him there at the time and forensic photographic analysis that he says clearly shows he is the radioman in the Lowrey photos.

Col. Walter E. Ford (Ret.), editor of Leatherneck, the Marine Corps magazine, said Ward is not in the Lowrey pictures.

Col. Ford did not dispute that Ward was on the patrol, merely that he is not among the Marines Lowrey photographed erecting the first flag.

Dustin Spence, a 21-year-old theatre and history student at the University of California, Davis, had several conversations with Phil Ward last year in hopes of portraying Ward in the film version of “Flags of our Fathers,” scheduled for release later this year.

Spence said he is convinced beyond question that Jacobs and Ward are in the Lowrey photos.

“Phil has a ring on his right hand on the ring finger in those pictures. Lou Lowrey got different perspectives of the flag-raising, circling around, and Phil is someone who is constantly holding onto that flagpole,” he said.

Spence said he spoke with the reclusive Lindberg and said he “states that Phil Ward helped put up the pole.”

Spence said he called Ward in a Texas hospital a few days before his death to reassure him he would continue to fight for official recognition.

“My promise to him was, ‘I will tell your story,’” Spence said.

Notified of Ward’s passing, Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., said, “On that day in February 1945, Philip Ward brought the symbols of freedom and democracy to a region without either by raising the American flag at Mount Suribachi. His action forever resonates in this country and around the world. As a member of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ Philip Ward’s bravery and heroism is an example to all.”

Tiny Island, Big Significance

By John Flora
December 2005, Crawfordsville Journal Review, Crawfordsville, IN.

Ask the average high school kid to explain the significance of Iwo Jima and you’re likely to get a blank stare.

Ask anyone over 50 — anyone who lived through World War II and most of their children — and you’ll get a very different response.

Iwo Jima is an tiny volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean about 660 miles south of Tokyo. It’s about 2 miles wide and 4 miles long and is dominated by Mt. Suribachi, a 560-foot high volcanic cone, at its southern end. Iwo Jima is important because it was the scene of one of the most intense battles of World War II.

In the days and months after the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy installation at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Japanese forces ran wild in the Pacific. They conquered the Philippines, Guam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Shanghai, Wake Island, Guam, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, Malaya, and Burma and established a military presence on scores of strategic island chains.

It took the United States eight months to organize the offensive that began Aug. 7, 1942, with the invasion of Japanese-held Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Guadalcanal was the first in a series of “island-hopping” campaigns in which American forces bypassed and cut off several Japanese-occupied islands as they moved ever closer to the Japanese homeland.

The capture of the Marianas Islands gave U.S. forces bases from which to launch massive B-29 heavy bomber attacks on the Japanese homeland some 1,500 miles away. The new Superfortress bombers had to fly without fighter escort, however, because no U.S. fighter planes could carry enough fuel to make the 3,000-mile round-trip flight.

Possession of Iwo Jima would give American fighter pilots a base from which they could support the B-29 bombing effort as well as providing a place where battle-damaged B-29s could land, rather than ditch at sea.

The conquest of Iwo Jima was doubly important to the U.S. because the Japanese were using its three airfields to launch Kamikaze suicide attacks on American warships.

The island was held by about 20,000 Japanese troops who had prepared defensive positions that include about 800 hardened bunkers or “pillboxes” linked by about three miles of tunnels. It was also the first native Japanese soil to be threatened with U.S. invasion and the Japanese were determined to defend it to the death.

In earlier island-hopping campaigns, Japanese defenders tried to repel American invaders with suicidal charges that resulted in catastrophic Japanese losses and their ultimate defeat.

At Iwo Jima, they changed their tactics and adopted a “defense in depth” strategy, forcing the Americans to advance in the face of often withering fire to blast the defensive positions or incinerate the Japanese in their bunkers and caves with flamethrowers.

U.S. Marines hit the invasion beaches at 8:59 a.m. Feb. 19, 1945, following a 10-week aerial bombing campaign and three days of naval bombardment.

Struggling with heavy packs in the soft volcanic sand, the Marines took heavy casualties, but moved steadily inland.

Mt. Suribachi was their first objective because whoever held this highest point could rain down artillery fire on any spot on the island.

By the morning of Feb. 23, the Marines had fought their way up the sides of Suribachi and a patrol made its way to the summit.

About 10:25 a.m. that day, a patrol led by Lt. Harold Schreir — that included Pfc. Phil Ward of Lynnsburg, Ind. — reached the summit and raised a small American flag, using a Japanese water pipe as a flagpole.

Later in the day, a larger flag was brought up from a landing ship and was erected. Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal was there and took what became one of the greatest images of the twentieth century. The photo of this second flag-raising was used to promote War Bond drives in the U.S. It has since been reproduced as a postage stamp and was the basis of the sculpture for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The stirring image was also the inspiration for a similar photo and subsequent postage stamp when fire fighters erected an American flag amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The battle for Iwo Jima continued with increased intensity for another month.

Twenty-seven Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines and U.S. Navy personnel in the battle — the most of any battle in American history.

“Among the Americans serving on Iwo island,” said U.S. Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, “uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

American losses were reported at 6,821 killed, 19,217 wounded and 2,648 withdrawn because of combat fatigue, for a casualty total of 28,686.

Only 1,083 of the Japanese defenders survived as prisoners of war.

As a consequence of Iwo Jima falling into American hands, the lives of more than 24,000 B-29 bomber crewmen were saved when their planes were able to make emergency landings on the island, according to U.S. Air Force Museum records. The first such landing took place March 4, with crippled B-29s continuing to use the Iwo Jima airstrips until the war’s end five months later.

The United States returned the island to the Japanese government in 1968, after the bodies of American servicemen were removed from cemeteries there to the U.S.

Edited by Boozie, 18 December 2010 - 03:08 PM.
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#14 Radar4077

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:39 PM

Thanks for this photo. One thing I had not known, was that I never knew Bradley was part of both flag-raisings. Learning something new every day ;-))


You always learn something new on this forum. Thats whats cool about it.




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