Navy Corpsmen (also known as "medics") help a Marine who was shot by sniper fire at Iwo Jima.  USMC photo 110902.

While the soon-to-be-famous film was processed, the struggle for Iwo Jima intensified. The battle continued for another thirty-one days. Some of the flag raisers, including Doc Bradley, remained on Suribachi for a time. When the mountain was secured, troops were sent to the northern side of the island.        

In his oral history, Bradley (who won the Navy Cross for extraordinary valor as a corpsman) describes fighting in the north, including his injury:

It was just about evening [on March 12, the 22nd day of battle]. I was getting things squared around my fox hole, getting my medical gear and personal gear arranged so that at night if we got the word to move out I'd know just where everything was and while I was arranging that--things were entirely quiet up to this time. While I was arranging this a Jap mortar shell lit [hit, or exploded] several feet from me and it caught four men and I happened to be one of them. I received wound fragments in both legs and one fragment hit my foot and it broke a bone in my foot.

Bradley was fortunate. Three of his fellow replacement-flag raisers died in battle:

  • Mike Strank, hit "by enemy artillery fire" on March 1st, was killed in action within a week of the famous picture-taking.

  • On the same day, Harlon Block was fatally wounded as the 28th Marines were attacking on the north side of Iwo.

  • Nearly making it to the end of hostilities on the island, Franklin Sousley was killed - on March 21st - for Kitano Point.

Many other Marines died as they tried to secure Iwo Jima. Photographs from the National Archives, and official military histories, help to tell their story.

General Kuribayashi, and nearly all his defenders, also died. Letters to his wife reveal the leader's personal thoughts as his life drew to an end.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Jul 15, 2019

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"FLAG RAISERS DIE IN BATTLE" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2006. Feb 26, 2020.
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