Skip to comments.Last Marine in Iwo Jima photo dies at 82
Posted on 02/04/2008 12:13:16 PM PST by NormsRevenge
REDDING, Calif. - Raymond Jacobs, believed to be the last surviving member of the group of Marines photographed during the original U.S. flag-raising on Iwo Jima during World War II, has died at age 82.
Jacobs died Jan. 29 of natural causes at a Redding hospital, his daughter, Nancy Jacobs, told The Associated Press.
Jacobs had spent his later years working to prove that he was the radio operator photographed looking up at an American flag as it was being raised by other Marines on Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945.
Newspaper accounts from the time show he was on the mountain during the initial raising of a smaller American flag, though he had returned to his unit by the time the more famous AP photograph was taken of a second flag-raising later the same day.
The radioman's face isn't fully visible in the first photograph taken of the first flag-raising by Lou Lowery, a photographer for Leatherneck magazine, leading some veterans to question Jacobs' claim. However, other negatives from the same roll of film show the radioman is Jacobs, said retired Col. Walt Ford, editor of Leatherneck.
"It's clearly a front-on face shot of Ray Jacobs," Ford said.
Annette Amerman, a historian with the Marine Corps History Division, said in an e-mailed statement "there are many that believe" Jacobs was the radioman. "However, there are no official records produced at the time that can prove or refute Mr. Jacobs' location."
Jacobs was honorably discharged in 1946. He was called up during the Korean conflict in 1951 before retiring as a sergeant, his daughter said.
Jacobs retired in 1992 from KTVU-TV in Oakland, where he worked 34 years as a reporter, anchor and news director.
Most people have no idea that the iconic photo taken after the real event was set up. Although it was the better photo in terms of composition and appeal it has always been a shame that the Marine photographer who took the original picture and was later KIA as well as the original flag raisers who battled their way up the hill and fought a battle to keep the hill received little or no recognition. The redeeming thing about both photos and both groups is that both involved actual fighting front-line grunts who gave their all and sometimes their lives to make the operation a success. Real Marines.
Semper Fi Sgt. Jacobs, R.I.P.
I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind, we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died.
General George S. Patton
If the Marines seem in a hurry, it's not because they were play acting; they were under enemy fire.
James Bradley's book Flags of our Fathers includes an excellent description of the whole event. unfortunately, the movie of the same name was virtually all fiction.
You are absolutely correct - it was not a setup and it’s a disservice to Rosenthal and the marines as well, to say so.
And, I will add, Flags of Our Fathers is a fantastic book. I just read Flyboys by Bradley last month. Very good but not as good as FOOF.
I heard an interview of Rosenthal in the early 70s when I was a Marine photographer/journalist and the second flag was sent up later after the first raisers had moved back into combat. The colonel who owned the flag didn’t want it going to some general or admiral who hadn’t been on the beach under fire. A second squad was rounded up and sent up the hill to raise the bigger flag. Rosenthal said in the interview that they did more than one run at raising the second flag and that he almost missed the second set of shots because he wasn’t paying attention. Rosenthal provided an iconic vision of the event and he has received fame and recognition that will last a lifetime. The squad that gained the fame fought no less valiantly than the original flag raisers. The point is that it is too bad that the original flag raisers or at least those few who survived didn’t receive the level of recognition they and their families deserved.
Most people know that your claim is an urban legend.
Although it was the better photo in terms of composition and appeal it has always been a shame that the Marine photographer who took the original picture and was later KIA
Incorrect. If Lou Lowery, the photographer who took the first photo, had been KIA he wouldn't have gone on to become the photographic editor of Leatherneck Magazine, which he retired from in 1983. Lowery died on 15 April 1987 at the age of 70.
The photographer who took the motion picture of the second flag raising, Bill Genaust, was KIA on Iwo and his body has never been recovered.
In addition, most of your second post in this thread is full of BS too. Better check where you get your gouge from because it's AFU.