U.S. Marines Secured Mount Suribachi 70 Years Ago

By  //  March 1, 2015

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battle raged February 19 to March 26, 1945

AP marks 70th anniversary of famous Iwo Jima photo from Corporate Communications on Vimeo.

ABOVE VIDEO: Seventy years ago last week, AP photographer Joe Rosenthal climbed Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. The image he captured would become renowned beyond World War II, representing the service of America’s military members.Here is the story of that photo in Joe’s own words.

SMITHSONIANMAG.COM – Seventy years ago, U.S. Marines secured Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, beginning a long and bloody fight for control of the World War II Japanese outpost.

A flamethrower operator of Co. E, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines runs under fire on Iwo Jima.

A flamethrower operator of Co. E, 2nd Battalion 9th Marines runs under fire on Iwo Jima.

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s image of soldiers planting an American flag atop Mount Suribachi has lived on as a symbol of the battle, winning the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for photography and inspiring the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

The United States eventually secured the 8-square-mile island, located approximately 760 miles south of Tokyo, but not without sacrifice. American troops would fight for a month more after taking Mount Suribachi and the first of two Japanese airfields.

Capturing Iwo Jima was of strategic importance to B-29 air raids on mainland Japan. It also demonstrated to the Americans that the Japanese army would defend their lands at all costs, something which influenced United States’ decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki later that year.

Photos From the Battle of Iwo Jima to Mark Its 70th Anniversary

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U.S. Marines switch out the smaller flag for a larger one during the battle at Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. (Bob Campbell / U.S. Marine Corp)

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The iconic Pulitzer Prize winning photo by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal was actually the second flag raised on Feb. 23, 1945 during the battle for Iwo Jima.

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U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division raise the American flag after capturing the 550-foot Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. (Joe Rosenthal / AP)

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Preparing to take a group photo in front of the flag atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima. (Bob Campbell / U.S. Marine Corp)

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U.S. Marines gathered around the flag on Mt. Suribachi in Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. (Getty Images)

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Photographer Joe Rosenthal, left, takes a group shot of U.S. Marines after raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi in Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 194. (Bob Campbell / U.S. Marine Corp History)

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U.S. Marines raise the first U.S. flag on Iwo Jima in this photo by Navy photography Louis Lowery. (Louis Lowery / US Navy / Getty Images)

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U.S. Marines stand nearby the first flag raised on Feb. 23, 1945 in Iwo Jima. (Louis Lowery / US Navy / AP)

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U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, fifth division, cheer and hold up their rifles after raising the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. (Joe Rosenthal / AP)

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