First Flag Raising on Iwo Jima

The 1st flagraising atop Mount Suribachi by E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division. Visible are 1st Lieutenant Harold G. Shrier (sitting behind Jacobs), Private 1st Class Raymond Jacobs, Sergeant Henry Hansen (cloth cap), Unknown (lower hand on pole), Sergeant Ernest "Boots" Thomas (back to camera), Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class John Bradley (helmet above Thomas), Private 1st Class James Michels (with M1 carbine), and Corporal Charles Lindberg (above Michels). On the morning of February 23, 1945, Lieutenant Schrier was ordered to take a reinforced platoon of 40 men to the top of Mount Suribachi, the extinct volcano that dominated Iwo Jima, and if he made it to the top, to raise an American flag. Significant Japanese elements were still occupying the area, but after sustained bombardment from aircraft and battleships, they remained inside their caves and tunnels. The patrol was unmolested as they reached the top at 1020 Hours. Charles Lindberg said, "Two of our men found a great big long pole up there, about 20-feet long. 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." Scattered Japanese resisters threw grenades and opened rifle fire when the flag went up. The flag, 54 by 28 inches from the transport USS Missoula (APA-211), was deemed to be too small, and a larger flag from LST-779 was brought to the top and replaced the 1st one. Little fanfare from the ships and men below accompanied the second flag raising.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Library of Congress
Date Photographed: 
Friday, February 23, 1945
Iwo Jima