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The First Flag Raised on Iwo Jima

Charles W. Lindberg passed away. Corporal Charles Lindberg, USMC. Corporal Lindberg was one of the first Marines to reach the summit of Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi during that crucial battle in February of 1945.lindbergportraits.jpg

Why is this significant? Aside from honoring his service and his contributions to making this nation what it is today, Lindberg and other member of the 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, when they reached the summit, hoisted the Stars and Stripes. This was the first flag to be raised on the summit, donated by the attack transport ship Missoula. The second flag, a larger one that was meant to be seen from the beaches and surrounding areas, was passed up the extinct volcano a short time later. The raising of this second flag is what became the iconic photograph of the war and one of the most famous wartime photographs of all time, taken by Joe Rosenthal.

Lindberg was there first though, and passed away last Sunday, the last living member of that first patrol, led by 1LT Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier.

Charles W. Lindberg, one of the U.S. Marines who raised the first Americanraisingflagatiwojima2.jpg flag over Iwo Jima during World War II, has died. He was 86. Lindberg died Sunday at Fairview Southdale hospital in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, said John Pose, director of the Morris Nilsen Funeral Home in Richfield, which is handling Lindberg’s funeral. Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous Associated Press photograph by Joe Rosenthal, that raised the first flag as U.S. forces fought to take the Japanese island. In the late morning of Feb. 23, 1945, Lindberg fired his flame-thrower into enemy pillboxes at the base of Mount Suribachi and then joined five other Marines fighting their way to the top. He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.

“Two of our men found this big, long pipe there,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2003. “We tied the flag to it, took it to the highest spot we could find and we raised it. “Down below, the troops started to cheer, the ship’s whistles went off, it was just something that you would never forget,” he said. “It didn’t last too long, because the enemy started coming out of the caves.”

first_iwo_jima_flag_raising.jpgSemper Fi, Corporal Lindberg, and God Speed.  A grateful nation thanks you for all your service!

Read about the first flag raising here.

Hat tip to reader Kevin with an assist from Michelle Malkin!  Thanks, Kevin, for sharing this.

Cross posted at the Instapinch