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WWII vet who provided flag on Iwo Jima has died

By Associated Press

POSTED:


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.






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serious wrote:
A book on the subject: Flags of our Fathers. But it's very graphic, not for the weak of heart.
on April 28,2013 | 06:17AM
cojef wrote:
Very interesting fact. Never entered my my mind how they obtained the flag. Yet there are many wannabe's claiming to have provided the flag to the brave soldiers that raised the flaf at Iwo. Suush!
on April 28,2013 | 08:22AM
berrygood wrote:
My Dad was there..I have a question..Was this the first flag or the photo op flag?...My Dad tlaked about this a few times..He was a mortor man and looked back and saw them raising the first flag..The photo op was staged later
on April 28,2013 | 08:32AM
serious wrote:
It is all in the book, but as I recall there were 2 or 3 flags. One Navy Flag officer wanted the original flag but the marines wanted it for their unit, so they switched flags. But they did raise the flag for the photo op after the original raise. When I read the book you have to follow the dots--a little confusing. The Japs were in tunnels and for "entertainment" they would capture a Marine--and the torture is unbelievable.
on April 28,2013 | 12:02PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Thank You For serving our country for the freedom we take for granted. The veteran may have passed. but the freedom we enjoy will live on forever.
on April 28,2013 | 10:11AM
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