Investigating Iwo: The Flag Raisings in Myth, Memory, & Esprit de Corps

Investigating Iwo: The Flag Raisings in Myth, Memory, & Esprit de Corps
Investigating Iwo: The Flag Raisings in Myth, Memory, & Esprit de Corps
USA Price: 
Low stock
GPO Stock Number:

No matter your age, you probably know about or have seen the iconic photograph of the American flag being raised by Marines on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, on 23 February 1945 taken by Associated Press photographer Joseph Rosenthal.  Behind the scenes, this photograph had been the subject of popular interest and scholarly debate. 

Perhaps you’ve visited or live near Washington D.C., and aware that this memorial statue is located in Arlington, VA. The historical significance of the magnificent bronze replica of that moment in U.S. military history has become the most important symbol of the Marine Corps (USMC).

The first chapter of this resource details the Marine Corps role and participation in the 36-day battle.  Subsequent chapters begin to explore the timeframe and facts around the photograph, along with analysis to support correction of the record.

Years later came a fascinating change in documented American military history!

An investigation occurred in years 2016-2019 to evaluate and correct the record detailing the actual individuals that raised the American flag.  This investigative effort was supported by Marine Corps Commandant, General Robert B. Neller, with new research and efforts by amateur historians to identify the Marines who raised the American flag.

"Investigating Iwo: The Flag Raisings in Myth, Memory, & Esprit de Corps" contains fourteen (14) chapters that evaluate the complex history and meaning of an event that many Americans have about the Marine Corps and World War II. The text provides historical information about World War II, especially the Marines’ efforts on Mount Suribachi and the Marines raising of the American flag.  It also provides background to many aspects of the investigation, such as:

  • Timeframes that the American flag was supplied to the Marines during World War II
  • Timeframes of Joe Rosenthal’s photograph –First or Second Flag Raising Dispute
  • Remembering the First Flag Raisers
  • Combat Photography Analysis
  • Oral Histories
  • Huly Panel and the Second Flag Raising
  • Personal Reflections about the Iwo Jima Memorial
  • And More

The story is enhanced by the many photographs, maps, and diagrams depicting the conditions facing the Marines as they landed on the beaches and fought their way tooth and nail to the top of Mount Suribachi and ultimate victory as well as official artifacts reviewed by the Huly Panel members, National Archives and Records Administration, and Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel to ensure a thorough investigation.

Paraphrased excerpts from photographic details during the battle to capture Iwo Jima describing the scenes taken by military photo-journalists are as follows:

  • 23 February 1945. Associated Press (AP) photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photo of six Marines raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima. The image hit major newspaper front pages 25 February. An instant media sensation brought Rosenthal a Pulitzer Prize
  • A Marine M4 Sherman flame throwing tank, burns out a Japanese strongpoint. M4A3 Sherman tanks with the Navy Mark 1 flamethrower became the most valuable weapons on Iwo Jima
  • A Japanese soldier being searched by troops after emerging from an Iwo Jima cave. He and 20 other Japanese, had been in hiding for several days.
  • Japanese prisoners, being interrogated by a Japanese-speaking U.S. soldier. 
  • For More Stories and History about the U.S. Navy, Click Now.

Discover More publications about the Marine Corps.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi Iwo Jima and the Struggle for Historical Truth:

An Introduction xv


Chapter 1 Black Sand and Blood: The 36-day Battle for Iwo Jima, 5 

Chapter 2 Going to “Tojo’s Front Door”: Recalling the U.S. Army’s Role and the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima 27 

Marine Corps History Division Chapter 3 Time, Life, and the Flag Raisings on Iwo Jima  45 

Chapter 4 Raising Flags, Raising Funds: Promoting the “Mighty Seventh” War Loan 63 


Chapter 5 Did Joe Rosenthal Save the Marine Corps? The Existential Fight, 1943–52 85 


Chapter 6 Politics in the Art of Portraiture: Felix de Weldon’s Marine Corps War Memorial 102 

Chapter 7 Another Country’s Flag, Another Country’s Servicemen: Rosenthal’s Photograph and Commemoration of the U.S. Marine Corps in Australia and New Zealand 120  

Chapter 8 How the Iwo Jima Memorial Became a Personal Mortuary Monument for My Japanese Mother 140 


Chapter 9 A Flag for Suribachi: The First and Forgotten Flag Raising on Iwo Jima 151  

Chapter 10 “Supplied Flag to Marines to Fly from Mt. Suribachi”: Confirming the Role of LST-779 in the Second Flag Raising 169 

Chapter 11 Genaust’s Motion Picture Footage: Lost in the Line of Duty  184

Chapter 12 Correcting the Record: The Huly Panel Looks at the Iwo Jima Flag Raisings 195 

 Chapter 13 “In Fairness to All Parties”: The Marine Corps Corrects the Historical Record  218 


Chapter 14 Every Marine a Flag Raiser: The Legacy and Meaning of the Iwo Jima Flag Raisings 251 


Active and Veteran Members of the Marine Corps, families of those who fought in the Pacific during World War II, historians, instructors, and students of U. S. military history, relations between the U.S. and Japan during World War II and to the present, may be interested in this fascinating “turn of events” and associated publications.

Product Details

Availability Details:
In Stock
USA Price:
International Price:
Defense Dept., Navy, Marine Corps University, History Division
  • Robertson, Breanne
Key Phrases:
  • Marine Corps
  • Iwo Jima
  • Flag Raisings
  • World War II
  • Military History
  • Naval History
Quantity Price:
Unit of Issue (US):
Unit of Issue (Non-US):
Record Creation Date:
Last Status Update:
Back to Top