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    Mount Suribachi (Suribachiyama) Iwo Jima | Ogasawara Subprefecture Japan
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Nippon News 1945


7th AF 1945

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USMC Feb 23, 1945

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Rosenthal Feb 23, 1945

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USMC June 1946
Location
Mount Suribachi is a volcanic cone with a 550' summit and the highest elevation on the southwest tip of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands in Ogasawara Subprefecture in Japan. Also known as "Mt. Surabachi" or simply "Surabachi". In Japanese known as "Suribachiyama" or "Suribachi-yama".

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, the Japanese dug tunnels and fighting positions into Mount Suribachi with an elaborate seven-story interior structure above the likely invasion beaches on the southern coast. Before and during the invasion, Mount Suribachi was heavily bombed by U. S. bombers and fighters plus U. S. Navy (USN) gunfire and rockets.

On February 19, 1945 when the U. S. Marines made an amphibious landing on the invasion beach of Iwo Jima the Japanese defenses in Mount Suribachi opened fire on the Americans and were able to inflict terrible casualties to landing force. On February 23, 1945 at 10:00am, U. S. Marines reached the summit of Mount Suribachi and raised an American flag that became known as the "First Flag Raising". Later that same day, a second group of Marines raised a larger flag that became known as the "Second Flag Raising".

First Flag Raising
On February 23, 1945 at 10:00am U. S. Marines Corps (USMC) from Easy Company, 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division reach the summit of Mount Suribachi. Spontaneously, they raised the first U. S. flag attached to a metal pipe found at the summit. Although small, the flag was visible from the invasion beach below and aboard warships and transports and instantly became an inspiration to every American that the U. S. had taken the high ground and was gaining the upper hand during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The first flag raising is photographed by SSgt Louis R. Lowery, USMC, staff photographer for Leatherneck Magazine. Pictured holding the metal pole is Sgt Henry O. Hansen, Pvt Philip L. Ward and Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class John Bradley. In the foreground Pfc J. R. Michaels stands guard holding his M-1 carbine. Standing behind him is Cpl C. W. Lindberg.

Second Flag Raising
Later that day, another group of U. S. Marines climbed up to the summit of Mount Suribachi to raise a larger U. S. flag that would be more visible. The second flag raising was photographed by Associated Press (AP) photographer Joseph Rosenthal and became one of the most iconic images of World War II and the Pacific War. Raising the second flag were six U. S. Marines: Ira Hayes, Pfc Franklin R. Sousley (KIA March 21, 1945), Sgt Michael Strank (KIA March 1, 1945), Pfc Harold Schultz (previously misidentified as John Bradley), Cpl. Harold “Pie” Keller (previously misidentified as Rene Gagnon) and Cpl Harlon Block (KIA March 1, 1945).

Mount Suribachi Memorial (USMC Memorial)
This memorial has been maintained since the war and is located at the summit of Mount Suribachi. Also known as USMC Memorial. Each year, used by Americans visiting the island for memorial services and a flag raising to commemorate the Battle of Iwo Jima.

References
AP Images - Iwo Jima Flagman (297142735783) Pfc. Franklin R. Sousley KIA March 21, 1945
AP Images - Rosenthal Iwo Jima (191120255257) full frame scan of the 4x5 negative Iwo Jima flag raising
AP Images - Rosenthal Iwo Jima (191120255257) original caption envelop for image APHS041423
AP Images - Rosenthal Iwo Jima (823372405206) original caption envelop for image APHS041423
AP Images - Rosenthal Iwo Jima (916412950778) original caption envelop for image APHS041423
AP Images - Iwo Jima Photo (17272848508330)
AP Images - Defining Images (19177750676616)
AP Images - Iwo Jima Photo (17272848508330)
AP Images - Defining Images (19177750676616)
AP Images - Iwo Jima Flag Raising Identities (19290577827575)
AP Images - Iwo Jima Photo (17272848868981) Joe Rosenthal December 20, 1994
FindAGrave - Michael Strank (photos, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Franklin Runyon Sousley (photo, grave photo)
FindAGrave - Harlon Henry Block (photo, grave photo)
Geology Page "World’s 10 most dangerous volcanoes identified" November 14, 2015
Naval History and Heritage Command "Oral History- Iwo Jima Flag Raising Recollections of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima by Pharmacist Mate Second Class John H. Bradley, USN, with the 5th Marine Division" January 16, 2008
NBC News "Warrior in iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo was misidentified, Marines Corps acknowledges" October 16, 2019

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Last Updated
March 20, 2020

 

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