Sunday marks 75 years since US Marines raised American flag over Iwo Jima

(Gray News) - It’s been 75 years since U.S. forces raised an American flag over Iwo Jima.

U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on Feb. 23, 1945. Strategically located only 660 miles from Tokyo, the Pacific island became the site of one of the bloodiest, most famous battles of World War II against Japan. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)

Six Marines raised the flag atop Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest point, on Feb. 23, 1945, during a fierce battle with Japanese forces toward the end of World War II.

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the moment in an iconic photograph.

The photo is credited with lifting Americans’ hopes that victory in the Pacific would soon be achieved, and it inspired millions of U.S. citizens to buy war bonds, CNN reports.

The image has since become an unofficial symbol of the Marine Corps.

For many years there was confusion over the identities of the Marines in the photograph. ABC News reports they’re now identified as: Cpl. Harlon Block, Pfc. Harold Keller, Pfc. Ira Hayes, Pfc. Harold Schultz, Pfc. Franklin Sousley and Sgt. Michael Strank.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.