Last flag-raising vet from Iwo Jima, Raymond Jacobs

February 7, 2008

Raymond Jacobs died February 5 — he is thought to be the last surviving U.S. soldier pictured in the photos of the flag-raisings on Iwo Jima in 1945.

Raymond Jacobs looks up at flag, Iwo Jima 1945 - AP photo In the photo at right, Ray Jacobs is the radioman looking up; Associated Press photo

BBC news carried the story.

Raymond Jacobs died of natural causes at the age of 82 last week, his daughter told the Associated Press

Jacobs said he was present at the first flag raising, captured by a photographer for Leatherneck magazine. A later flag-raising, to put up a larger flag, was photographed by Joe Rosenthal, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo.

He is said to have returned to his unit by the time a more famous Associated Press photograph of a second flag-raising was taken later the same day.

Jacobs later fought in the Korean conflict in 1951 before retiring as a sergeant. He went on to work as a reporter, anchor and news director in local television in Oakland.

Eyewitnesses to the two World Wars dwindle in numbers. Historians and friends should be certain to capture their stories before they are gone.

Japan renamed the island Iwo To, its name prior to the war.

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