Remembering the War in the Pacific recorded by combat photographers


Joe Rosenthal

When most Americans think of the World War II battle for Iwo Jima – if they think of it at all, 75 years later – they think of one image: Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest point.

That moment, captured in black and white by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal and as a color film by Marine Sergeant William Genaust, is powerful, embodying the spirit of the Marine Corps.

But these pictures are far from the only images of the bloodiest fight in the Marines’ history. A larger library of film, and the men captured on them, is similarly emotionally affecting. It can even bring Americans alive today closer to a war that ended in the middle of the last century…

Please RTFA. I was 7 years old at the time of the Iwo Jima landing. My father was invited to a private showing of the first rough cut of all the footage several weeks later – and brought me. That night is still vivid, stuck in my brain. I cannot forget it.

Over time, I came to better understand what I saw.

2 thoughts on “Remembering the War in the Pacific recorded by combat photographers

  1. Semper Fi says:

    More than 50 Marine combat cameramen operated across the eight square miles of Iwo Jima during the battle, which stretched from Feb. 19 to March 26, 1945. Many shot still images, but at least 26 shot motion pictures. Three of these Marine cinematographers were killed in action.
    https://theconversation.com/historic-iwo-jima-footage-shows-individual-marines-amid-the-larger-battle-130991
    “The Purest Democracy”, Sermon by Chaplain Roland B. Gittelsohn, USN at the dedication of 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima, 21 March 1945 https://www.usmcu.edu/Research/Marine-Corps-History-Division/Frequently-Requested-Topics/Historical-Documents-Orders-and-Speeches/The-Purest-Democracy/

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