Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima

Date taken: February 23, 1945
Location: Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan

Photographer: Joe Rosenthal

Historical Context

In the United States this photograph has become one of the most significant and recognizable images of World War II.

Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication.

The image was used by Felix de Weldon in 1954 to sculpt the Marine Corps War Memorial located adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington, D.C. The memorial is dedicated to all Marines who died for their country past and present.

Historical Events

  • 1944-07-04 1st Japanese kamikaze attack, US fleet near Iwo Jima
  • 1945-01-03 Admiral Chester Nimitz begins planning assaults on Okinawa and Iwo Jima in Japan
  • 1945-02-19 US 5th Fleet launches invasion of Iwo Jima against the Japanese with 30,000 US Marines
  • 1945-02-23 US Marines raise American flag on top of Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Photo of which by Joe Rosenthall later became iconic, inspiring the Marine Corps War Memorial sculpture
  • 1945-03-26 Allies led by US Marine Corps secure island of Iwo Jima from Imperial Japanese Army, after 18,000 Japanese & 6,000 Americans killed
  • 1954-11-10 "Marine Corps War Memorial" unveiled in Arlington County, Virginia, dedicated to US Marine Corps who died in defense of US since 1775 (inspired by 1945 Iwo Jima photo of servicemen raising US flag)
  • 1968-06-26 Iwo Jima & Bonin Islands returned to Japan by US

Historical Photos