Official USMC photograph by Joe Rosenthal of flag raisers on Suribachi.

As he climbed Suribachi, Joe Rosenthal already knew he’d missed getting a picture of the flag raising. Covering the Iwo Jima invasion for the Associated Press, Joe went to the top of the mountain anyway. He’d been told by Lou Lowery that the view of the harbor was great from the island’s highest point.
Trudging up Suribachi, Joe wasn’t alone. With him were two other photographers: Sgt. Bill Genaust (who had a movie camera with a few remaining feet of unused film) and Pfc. Bob Campbell.
By the time the three reporters reached their destination, Mike Strank was already at work. He had ordered Ira and Franklin to find some suitable pipe while Strank himself, with Harlon’s help, would find a good place to raise the pole. Perhaps, Joe thought, he would get a flag-raising picture after all.
Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class John Henry (“Doc”) Bradley, the Navy medic who had earlier accompanied the assault patrol, was still on the mountain. Strank asked for his help as Bradley passed by, arms full of bandages.
Schrier stood between the two groups of Marines as they simultaneously lowered the original and raised the replacement flags. Bob Campbell took a picture of that event while Genaust rolled his movie film.
Rosenthal, meanwhile, was getting himself into position. At the precise moment that the second flag went up, he had no time to check the image in his viewfinder. He snapped the shot with his Speed Graphic camera and hoped for the best. He had no clue whether he’d captured the flag raising or the sky.
To be sure he at least recorded some of the men involved in raising the flags and securing the mountain, Rosenthal asked for a posed “gung-ho”group shot. Before the battle for Iwo was over, many of those jubilant Marines were dead. So was Bill Genaust, who died nine days after he filmed the events on Suribachi.
Not a single person involved in the second flag-raising had any idea whatsoever how famous they—and Joe’s picture—would soon become.
This copy contains the signature of Brig. Gen. Harry Bluett Liversedge (also known as "Harry the Horse").
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Jul 27, 2019

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"THE FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2006. May 30, 2020.
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