IWO JIMA MEMORIAL FACTS
Unveiled: November 10th, 1954
Size: The 32-foot-high figures are shown erecting a 60-foot bronze flagpole from which a cloth flag flies 24 hours a day in accordance with Presidential proclamation, signed by John F. Kennedy, of June 12, 1961. The figures, placed on a rock slope, rise about 6 feet from a 10-foot base, making the memorial 78 feet high overall. The M-l rifle and the carbine carried by two of the figures are 16 and 12 feet long, respectively. The canteen would hold 32 quarts of water.
Who is who?: Pfc. Ira Hayes is the figure farthest from the flag staff Pfc. Franklin R. Sousley to the right front of Hayes Sgt. Michael Strank on Sousley's left PhM. 2/c John Bradley in front of Sousley Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon in front of Strank Cpl. Harland H. Block closest to the bottom of the flagstaff.
Rosenthal’s photograph continues to stir controversy, even after seven decades. Late last year, the Marine Corps corrected the historical record of the photograph after private historians asserted there was an error in identifying the Marines shown in the photo.
Originally, Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon was identified as the Marine pictured on the far side of the flag pole, with only his helmet visible. With the assistance of historians, new evidence and modern technology, it was determined that while he contributed to the flag-raising, he is not the one depicted in the photograph — instead, Cpl. Harold P. Keller has been identified as the Marine located on the far side of the flag pole.
Cost: The entire cost of the statue and developing the memorial site was $850,000--all donated by U.S. Marines, former Marines, Marine Corps Reservists, friends of the Marine Corps, and members of the Naval Service. No public funds were used for this memorial.
Location: The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial is administered by the National Park Service, it is located in Arlington Va.
Materials: Bronze. The base of the memorial is made of rough Swedish granite.
Inscription: Burnished in gold on the granite are the names and dates of every principal Marine Corps engagement since the founding of the Corps, as well as the inscription: "In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775." Also inscribed on the base is the tribute of Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz to the fighting men on Iwo Jima: "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue."
Felix de Weldon working on the image of J. Bradley
Battle of Iwo Jima - World War II
February 19th to March 16h, 1945
Historical Facts and Figures
Location: Approximately 650 miles south of Tokyo, Japan
Size of Island: Approximately 2 miles wide, 4 miles long, 8 square miles.
Iwo Jima was the first native Japanese soil invaded by Americans in W.W. II. Approximately 60,000 Americans and 20,000 Japanese participated in the Battle.
The American Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi took place on February 23, 1945 - the fifth day of battle. The Battle continued with increased intensity for a month more. Almost 7,000 Americans were killed in action at Iwo Jima - more than 20,000 American casualties.
Twenty-seven Congressional Medals of Honor were awarded in the Battle - more than were awarded to Marines and Navy in any other Battle in our country's history.
Three of the men who raised the flag in the Joe Rosenthal photo were killed before the Battle was over.
After the capture of Iwo Jima, more than 30,000 American Airmen's lives were saved when more than 2,400 disabled B-29 bombers were able to make emergency landings at the Iwo Jima Airfield after making bombing flights over Japan
Approximately 132 Americans killed at Iwo Jima were unidentifiable and listed as unknown soldiers.More than 50 4th Division Marines died of wounds aboard ship and were buried at sea.
The U.S. government returned the Island of Iwo Jima to the Japanese government in 1968, after the bodies of the men in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Division cemeteries were removed to the United States.