Marine believed to be in Iwo Jima photo dies

Discussion in 'United States Marine Corps' started by DonaldN, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. DonaldN

    DonaldN New Member

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    Marine believed to be in Iwo Jima photo dies
    Raymond Jacobs, 82, worked to prove he was in original picture

    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.

    Semper Fi, Sergeant Jacobs,

    DonaldN
    Semper Fi
  2. knewheart

    knewheart Active Member

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    The Story of Six Young Boys

    Don -
    Here is another side of the story that I posted in the Remembering Forum about 3 years ago entitled "The Story of Six Young Boys". There is no mention of a Raymond Jacobs. Maybe we will know the whole truth someday.
    knewheart
    **********************************************************
    The Story of Six Young Boys

    I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

    On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most
    famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan,
    during WW II.

    Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "Where are you guys from?"

    I told him that we were from Wisconsin. "Hey", I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story.

    (James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who has since passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C., but it is quite
    another to get the kind of insight we received that night).

    When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night).

    "My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" which is
    #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the
    pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game. A game called "War". But it didn't turn out to be a game.

    Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out, I say that because there are generals who stand in
    front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old.

    (He pointed to the statue) You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph...a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

    The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old
    man", because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't s! ay, Let's go kill some Japanese, or let's die for our country. He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, "You do what I say and I'll get you home to your mothers."

    The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, "You're a hero." He told the reporters, how can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive? So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but ! only 27 of your classmates walk off alive.

    That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of 32...ten years after this picture was taken.

    The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age
    of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his
    mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

    The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, No, I'm sorry sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back. My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press.

    You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew
    better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.

    When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back; Did NOT Come Back.

    So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."


    Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt
    words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.

    We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice. Let us never forget from the
    Revolutionary War to the Gulf War and all the wars in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom. Remember to pray praises for this great country of ours and also pray for those still in murderous unrest around the world. STOP and THANK GOD for being alive and being free at someone else's
    sacrifice.

    REMINDER: Everyday you wake up free, is a great day.
  3. DonaldN

    DonaldN New Member

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    Sgt Jacobs was in a photo taken of th first flag raising on Iwo Jima. The famous photo was taken later. The first photo shows Sgt Jacobs standing to the right of the first flag raising.
    See FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS by JAMES BRADLEY, page 204 to page 212.

    DonaldN
    Semper Fi

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