February 23, 2945 – During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, 5 U.S. Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman from 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Three Marines depicted in the photograph, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, and Michael Strank, were killed in action over the next few days. The three surviving flag-raisers, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, and Navy Corpsman John Bradley became celebrities once their identities were discovered following the war.
The raising of the American flag over Mt. Suribachi has become one of the most military iconic images of all time.