Joe Rosenthal/AP

U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division raise the American flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on Feb. 23, 1945.

Editor's Note

Seventy years ago, five Marines and a Navy corpsman climbed to the top of Mount Suribachi to plant the U.S. flag in the beginning days of the Battle of Iwo Jima.


Stars and Stripes is commemorating the iconic moment in this special interactive section.

Survivors recount battle

by Martin Kuz

Silence surrounded the first wave of Marines to wade ashore on Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945. For the previous eight months, as World War II intensified in the Pacific, American forces had bombed the volcanic island that lies 750 miles from mainland Japan. U.S. military leaders believed the assault from sea and sky would assure their ground troops of a swift victory.

- Continued on page 2

Hershel Williams, MOH

Interviewed by Joe Gromelski

During the battle for Iwo Jima, more than 6,800 U.S. troops were killed and another 19,000 were injured. The bloodiest battle in the Pacific Theater during World War II, tens of thousands of Marines stormed the island, which was seen as pivotal to the success of defeating the Japanese military.


In the end, 22 Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the monthlong battle.


Only one, Cpl. Hershel Williams, is alive today.

- Continued on page 4

Photographer almost missed historic moment

by Michael S. Darnell

It took only 1/400th of a second for history to change.


Associated Press war correspondent Joe Rosenthal’s famous photograph of Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima came to symbolize not only the battle but American perseverance during World War II.


The image endures as the very symbol of the Marine Corps.

                          - Continued on page 5

Where are the flags now?

Ken-Yon Hardy/Stars and Stripes

The battle that was

Battle plan

Vol. 1 - No. 1945

History revisited

A look at the flags

Mon., Feb. 23, 2015

The flag raising

Medal of Honor

36 days of hell

In their own words

Daily Newspaper of U.S. Armed Forces

in the Global Theater of Operations

(c) 2015 Stars and Stripes.