Raising the Flag Over Iwo Jima, 1945
The photograph at the right of Marines raising the American flag at the summit of Mt. Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima has become an enduring image of bravery and heroism. However, this was actually the second flag raised on the mountain's summit that day. The first flag-raising occurred a couple of hours earlier - shortly after Marines had gained the top of the mountain after hard fighting. This flag was deemed too small to be easily seen from the base of the mountain so a second, larger flag was raised.
The First Flag-Raising
Scott Tank sent us this eyewitness account of Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg, a friend and the last surviving member of the team that raised the first flag on the crest of Mt. Suribachi. Scott asked that we share Mr. Lindberg's story with you - we are honored to do so. Thank you Scott for sending us this account, and thank you Mr. Lindberg for the sacrifices you made during that bloody nightmare called Iwo Jima:It was the job of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, to capture Mount Suribachi. They reached the base of the mountain on the afternoon of February 21, and by nightfall the next day the Marines had almost completely surrounded it.
As part of that Marine group, 24-year-old Corporal Charles Lindberg, a combat veteran of the Guadalcanal and the Bougainville campaign, watched the intense bombardment of Iwo Jima and realized that the landing at Red Beach One would be anything but easy. "The Japs had the whole beach zeroed in. Most of the fire was coming from Suribachi," he recalled. Surrounding Mount Suribachi were cliffs, tunnels, mines, booby traps, and ravines. The hostile terrain proved to be as tough an enemy as the Japanese who were firmly entrenched on the mountain.
At 8 a.m. on February 23, a patrol of 40 men from 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, led by 1LT Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier, assembled at the base of Mount Suribachi. The platoon's mission was to take the crater of Suribachi's peak and raise the U.S. flag. As a member of the first combat patrol to scale Mount Suribachi, Cpl Lindberg took his 72-pound flamethrower and started the tortuous climb up the rough terrain to the top....(more here)
The Marines' Hymn
From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.
Our Flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job, the United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we've fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes,
they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.