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Old 03-17-2005, 10:04 AM   #1
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Last week I had the extreme good fortune of spending an afternoon with Mr. Charles Lindberg, the sole survivor of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima. Charles (Chuck) was a member of the team that raised the 1st flag on Iwo Jima. Chuck was a member of a 40 man platoon that scaled Mt. suribatchi and raised the flag. The flag pole was a discarded piece of water pipe left by the Japanese and the flag was attached using wire and rope thru a bullet hole in the pipe. When the flag was raised every ship anchored off shore blew their airhorns and all the Marines below cheered. 36 members of that platoon were killed or wounded. That flag was replaced 2 hours later to have a larger flag to view and thats when the most famous photo in combat history was taken, but with six other Marines raising the flag. Chuck is still a very dedicated Marine. His modest home is a Marine Corps Museum, primarily items collected due to his fame with the flag raising. This man carried a 75 lb flame thrower, which consists of 2 canisters of gasoline and one of compressed air. He was awarded the Silver Star (3rd highest medal) and later a purple heart for wounds sustained in combat. Chuck was a member of Carlson's Raider battalion and fought in Guadalcanal and bougainville. As a former Marine myself talking to this man was a thrill I'll never forget. For those interested, search for "Charles Lindberg Marine" on the net for much more info. Be sure to specifiy "Marine" or you will get significant info on Charles Lindberg the pilot. I would like to add that although this Marine has nerves of steel he is one very kind considerate individual and a pleasure to know.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:04 AM   #2
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Last week I had the extreme good fortune of spending an afternoon with Mr. Charles Lindberg, the sole survivor of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima. Charles (Chuck) was a member of the team that raised the 1st flag on Iwo Jima. Chuck was a member of a 40 man platoon that scaled Mt. suribatchi and raised the flag. The flag pole was a discarded piece of water pipe left by the Japanese and the flag was attached using wire and rope thru a bullet hole in the pipe. When the flag was raised every ship anchored off shore blew their airhorns and all the Marines below cheered. 36 members of that platoon were killed or wounded. That flag was replaced 2 hours later to have a larger flag to view and thats when the most famous photo in combat history was taken, but with six other Marines raising the flag. Chuck is still a very dedicated Marine. His modest home is a Marine Corps Museum, primarily items collected due to his fame with the flag raising. This man carried a 75 lb flame thrower, which consists of 2 canisters of gasoline and one of compressed air. He was awarded the Silver Star (3rd highest medal) and later a purple heart for wounds sustained in combat. Chuck was a member of Carlson's Raider battalion and fought in Guadalcanal and bougainville. As a former Marine myself talking to this man was a thrill I'll never forget. For those interested, search for "Charles Lindberg Marine" on the net for much more info. Be sure to specifiy "Marine" or you will get significant info on Charles Lindberg the pilot. I would like to add that although this Marine has nerves of steel he is one very kind considerate individual and a pleasure to know.
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for passing on the scoop. That's the best detail (from the search) I've ever seen on this. I was a kid when this event happened but do remember the suspicion caused due to poor communications of that era.

(Course now there are no poor communications)

The mystery was of course: Was the raising posed and what about 2 flags?

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Old 03-18-2005, 05:32 AM   #4
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There is a lot of talk about posing for the 2nd flag raising. Supposedly after the 2nd flag raising they re-grouped for a "good old boy" (much deserved) picture. Both pictures were sent by photographer Rosenthal to Guam and a month later they contacted him about the "picture". They asked him if it was posed and he replied yes assuming they were talking about the 2nd "group" picture. Not everyone agrees with the Rosenthal theory. So that discussion will go on forever. One interesting side note, Charles Lindberg was shot in the right arm on Iwo Jima. Fifty years later he went back for a reunion with other Marines and their families. He wanted to bring back a small jar of sand and while walking on the volcanic ash he tripped and did a digger headfirst with arms outstretched. He hit a buried piece of shrapnel or whatever and tore a hole in his left arm in the same spot his right arm got hit. I guess Iwo Jima just doesn't agree with him.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:15 PM   #5
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Hi Ken I have a gentleman at the rtirement facility I work at that was also at Iwo Jima. His name is Dave Thomas I just read him your story and he was very excited! Lt. gunnery officer in the anti aircraft bettery. On the USS Nevada. I don't know if you know him but he is a wonderful man. Just wondering. Donna
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:51 AM   #6
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My Dad was assigned to a troop transport (SS Newbury) and drove a landing craft that delivered a load of 75 men each trip to the beach at Iwo Jima. He said one of the greatest moments of his life came from viewing that flag going up. He said it was also sad because he was viewing it from his landing craft that was floating in a sea that was red from the blood of the troops he and others had delivered to the shore.
May it wave forever.
Jim
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:59 PM   #7
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Before my father-in-law died, (Afew years ago), my 16 year old son asked him what it was like on Iwo,(Where my father-in -law was wounded.)He just said "The sand was a *****". I later found out that he had been a China Marine, and became a battle field commissioned officer in Korea.
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:32 AM   #8
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Very interesting replies! If there are any others out there that can add some "true life" to the story of Iwo Jima (any branch of service) I (and I bet many others) would love to hear from you.
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Old 03-24-2005, 06:11 PM   #9
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I just read a story about Iwo in one of my military org mag (can't remember which one). They said that the first flag was carried from the ststes and taken ashore and raised. Then some high ranking person wanted the flag and was coming ashore for it. The Col in charge of the unit that raised the flag said bulls**t and had the larger flag raised and the mucky-muck got that flag for his souvenir. Now both flags are in a museum but I can't remember where it is.
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Old 03-28-2005, 12:00 PM   #10
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I believe the flags are now in the USMC museum located at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. The second, larger flag was supplied by a Chief Boatswain Mate on a Coast Guard manned LST (you know, the "Shallow Water Sailors"). Also at the Washington Navy Yard is the U.S. Navy museum, both at wonderful, little museums that history buffs will enjoy. Lastly, read "Flags of our Fathers", a book about the men that raised the flag in the famous photo, written by the son of
one of the men, John Bradley, a Navy Hospital Corpsman, serving alongside the Marines. It tells the story of each man, and sadly, how several never made it off "Bloody Iwo" alive.

Best Regards!
CWO2 Paul Dahl, USCG sends
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