One of the six men long identified in the globally iconic World War II photograph showing the raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima was actually not in the image, the Marine Corps announced Thursday. The determination was made after conducting an investigation prompted by the claims of two credible historians.
The Marines created a review panel earlier after the two history buffs studied a number of photos shot during two flag-raisings atop Mount Suribachi in the midst of an intense battle between American and Japanese forces in 1945. They claimed the identifications made by the Marines of the six men in the famous photo by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal included mistakes, and after extensive review, the Marine Corps agreed.
“Our history is important to us, and we have a responsibility to ensure it’s right,” Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a statement.
A panel found that Private First Class Harold Schultz, of Detroit, was in the photo and that Navy Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class John Bradley wasn’t. Bradley had participated in an earlier flag-raising on Mount Suribachi, but not in the iconically recognized photograph. His son, James Bradley, wrote a best-selling book about the flag raisers, “Flags of Our Fathers,” which was later made into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.
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