WW2 Vet Who Provided Flag On Iwo Jima Dead At 90

Discussion in 'American Flag History' started by csaanv, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. csaanv

    csaanv Member

    iwojimaobit12.jpg IwoJimaFlag copy.jpg battle_iwojima132.jpg iwojimaflag1 copy2.jpg lflagj copy.jpg

    LOS ANGELES – Alan Wood, a World War II veteran credited with providing the flag in the famous flag-raising on Iwo Jima, has died. He was 90.
    Wood died April 18 of natural causes at his Sierra Madre home, his son Steven Wood said Saturday. Wood was a 22-year-old Navy officer in charge of communications on a landing ship on Iwo Jima's shores Feb. 23, 1945 when a Marine asked him for the biggest flag that he could find. After five days of fighting to capture the Japanese-held island, U.S. forces had managed to scale Mount Suribachi to hoist an American flag. Wood happened to have a 37-square-foot flag he had found months before in a Pearl Harbor Navy depot. Five Marines and a Navy Corpsman later raised that flag in a stirring moment captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal. Steven Wood says his father was always humbled by his small role in the historic moment. In a 1945 letter to a Marine general who asked for details about the flag, Wood wrote: "The fact that there were men among us who were able to face a situation like Iwo where human life is so cheap, is something to make humble those of us who were so very fortunate not to be called upon to endure such hell." In its story on Wood's death, the Los Angeles Times reported that over the years others have claimed that they provided the flag, but retired Marine Col. Dave Severance, who commanded the company that took Mount Suribachi, said in an interview last week that it was Wood. "I have a file of more than 60 people who claim to have had something to do with the flags," he said from his home in La Jolla, Calif. Wood went on to work as technical artist and spokesman at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge. His wife, Elizabeth, died in 1985. Besides his son, Wood was survived by three grandchildren.
    Published April 28, 2013
    Associated Press

    Read more: World War II vet who provided flag on Iwo Jima dead at 90 | Fox News
  2. Chris Burch

    Chris Burch New Member

    Does anyone know what brand of flag it was? Both Valley Forge and Annin seem to take credit for it.
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member


    Perhaps the Marine Corps has a History "Department", and there is someone there who would be able to track down the information for you?

    Also, I believe that there was more than one Flag used atop Mt. Suribachi.

    Good Luck !

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I believe that both of the Iwo Jima flags were manufactured by US Naval Shipyard Mare Island. The Navy made its own flags during World War II. Both of the flags are at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA.
  5. Dexter Cole

    Dexter Cole Member

    Just saw this old thread...

    If you do a internet search you will find that both flags are in the custody of the National USMC Museum. There is a short three minute video on line talking about both flags by the museum. They show some decent shots of the Rosenthal flag (#2) and what looks like a photo of the first, smaller flag. The smaller flag has two grommets which is not typical for Navy made flags but in all fairness to accuracy, it's hard to really see or know for certain. The second flag was requested during the fighting and came from one of the ships. Almost certainly the #2 was a Navy flag but seems to have a ring at the top of the hoist and one at the bottom. Usually a rope edged Navy flag has a ring at the top and a thumb triggered clasp at the bottom. Replaced? I'd love to hear from anyone who has been there to see it.

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