Mil News Another Eyewitness to History


Corporal - USMC
MI.Net Member
Feb 22, 2006
Another eyewitness and participant of history has passed away. Raymond Jacobs, possibly the last surviving participant of the first flag raising on Iwo Jima by Easy Company, 2/28 Marines, 5th Marine Division on February 23, 1945, passed away on January 29, 2008 at the age of 82 years. As everyone knows, the first American flag-raising on Iwo Jima was by far the least publicized and unappreciated by the American public back in World War II. Because of the inspiring photograph of the second flag-raising and the instant popularity of what it symbolized to America and the U.S. Marine Corps, much was quickly forgotten about the first and actually most harrowing patrol to the top of Mount Suribachi to raise the initial U.S. flag.

Semper Fi and Rest In Peace, Sergeant Raymond Jacobs, USMC

The following from Associated Press:
Redding, California --- 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 January 29 of natural causes at a Redding hospital, his daughter, Nancy Jacobs said.
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 February 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 Colonel Walt Ford, editor of Leatherneck.
"It is 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 that "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 War in 1951 before retiring as a sergeant, his daughter said.
Jacobs retired in 1992 from KTVU-TV in Oakland, where he worked as a reporter, anchor and news director.
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Another good man gone

Hi Steve, thank you for sharing that. We in Melbourne are fortunate to still have a couple of Arnhem Veterans in our ranks, but of course they're of an age were every day is a bonus.

It is only right that we acknowledge our "old and bold " for they set the standard that we aspire to.

" They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old,
age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
we shall remember them "

"Lest we forget "


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