Monday, August 21, 2006

Another #33 hero.

Just as I'm going to bed, I swing by SFGate and find a story on Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who captured the classic image of the U.S. flag being raised in Iwo Jima. Turns out he was 33 years old when he took the pic. He died Sunday at the age of 94.
    He was a 33-year-old Associated Press photographer on Feb. 23, 1945, when he captured the black-and-white image of five battle-weary Marines and a Navy corpsman struggling to raise a flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

    He took the picture on the fifth day of the furious 36-day battle that left 6,621 American dead and 19,217 wounded. All but 1,083 of the 22,000 dug-in Japanese defenders were killed before the island was secured.

    It was of that battle -- one of the bloodiest in Marine Corps history -- that Adm. Chester Nimitz, World War II commander of the Pacific fleet, said: "Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

    Wartime Navy Secretary James Forrestal said of Rosenthal: "He was as gallant as the men going up that hill."

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