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Iowa History Daily: February 23 - The Flag Over Iwo Jima

Iowa History Daily: On February 23, 1945, Brooklyn Iowa’s Corporal Harold Keller and five other Marines raised the American flag over Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. An iconic World War II moment, the flag raising over Iwo Jima stands as one of the most prolific actions during the war.

Born and raised in Poweshiek County’s Brooklyn, Keller enlisted in the Marine Corps during January of 1942. He soon found himself in the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion serving under Lieutenant Colonel Evans Carlson at the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal. During 1943, a gun shot wound through Keller’s right shoulder at the Battle of Bougainville temporarily suspended his service

Back in action with Easy (E) Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, Keller again found himself serving in the Pacific during early 1945. As the battle of Iwo Jima got underway, Keller and 39 others ascended Mount Suribachi and raised the Second Battalion’s flag.

The initial flag proved too small for Marines fighting on the other side of the island to see, so later in the day a second flag-raising took place. Keller and five others posed as cameras clicked and a film crew shot the moment in color. Although initially not credited for his role in either flag raising, the Marine Corps announced Keller’s role after a formal investigation on October 15, 2019. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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