In February 1945, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the image of five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy Corpsman hoisting the American flag atop a mountain in Iwo Jima. The identities of these men have been accepted for 70 years, but new evidence shows that one Marine was never identified. We finally reveal an unnamed hero using modern science to examine the iconic photo in ways that we have never seen before. Then we look at the battle and the stories of the men who risked it all for their country and their brothers in arms.
It was the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history, claiming a third of all marines killed in World War II. The relentless fighting on Iwo Jima lasted for thirty-six days, but most of us only know the iconic photo of five soldiers raising the American flag on Mount Surabachi. For Fred Haynes, a young captain in Combat Team 28, Surabachi was one marker in a ferocious blood-letting against an enemy of 22,000 warriors who were dug into caves and tunnels.