Raising the Flag Over Iwo Jima

Seventy years ago, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal captured what is perhaps the most iconic image of the Second World War. Taken just days into the more than month-long Battle of Iwo Jima, the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph documented the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi. The photo was later used as the model for the US Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

Photograph of Flag Raising on Iwo Jima
Photograph of Flag Raising on Iwo Jima (Local Identifier: 80-G-413988)

Although not as well-known as Rosenthal’s photograph, there is also a moving image record of the flag-raising. Marine Sergeant William Homer Genaust shot 16mm color footage of the event. Sadly, Sgt. Genaust never left Iwo Jima. Nine days after filming the raising of the flag, he was hit by enemy fire. His body was never recovered.


Genaust’s footage was used in this edition of United News, a newsreel series produced by the Office of War Information and distributed to theaters both domestically and overseas. The original footage was color, but was enlarged and copied to black and white for use in the newsreel. Two other stories are featured on this newsreel, including updates from the war front in Japan and Germany.