Last of raisers of first U.S. flag over Iwo Jima dies

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The last surviving Marine of those who raised the first U.S. flag over Iwo Jima during World War II, Charles "Chuck" Lindberg, passed away at the Fairview Southdale Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday.

Photograph by USMC Combat Photographer Sgt Lou Lowery of the first flag over Iwo Jima (Lindbergh standing on extreme right, behind crouched Marine)

Lindberg attended two memorial dedications in recent weeks, and was himself honored at the unveiling of the Minnesota World War II Memorial at the State Capitol on June 9. Earlier this month on Memorial Day, Lindberg was in attendance at the 'Honoring All Veterans Memorial' in the town of Richfield, where he resided since 1951.

Lindberg was hospitalized on June 10, and was aged 86 at his passing. The cause of his death is not presently known.

In his memory, local television station WCCO-TV will air its documentary of his actions, "The Last Flagraiser", over the next two Sundays at 11:00 AM .

Dedication event at the Minnesota state capitol where Lindberg was honored, and a veteran memorial was dedicated on June 9
Image: SEWilco..

Lindberg fought during WWII with the 3rd Platoon, known as Easy Company, in the 28th Regiment of the Marine Corps. After the war, he advocated to set the historical record straight on the group who planted the first flag on top of Iwo Jima, a key island in the Pacific Ocean during the war, which Japan has recently renamed Iōtō.

Awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his military service, Lindberg was among a group of Marines who first reached the summit of the volcanic island's highest point called Mount Suribachi.

Mount Suribachi

The Pulitzer Prize winning photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal pictured at Wikipedia's Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima was presumably taken 4 hours after the U.S. force took control of the island's high point.