Iwo Jima flag raiser John Bradley with John Wayne during the filming of Wayne’s classic war film, "The Sands of Iwo Jima." Bradley, along with Ira Hayes and Rene Gagnon, played himself. Bradley, a medic and civilian mortician, struggled with PTSD his entire adult life and rarely talked about the war after the film was released. This suffering veteran, directly linked to our country’s greatest war actors, symbolizes the void between Hollywood and the sad realities of war.
The three surviving Marines who were in the famous photograph of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, are reunited in Los Angeles for the first time since the war on July 25, 1949. They are en route to Camp Pendleton to reenact their heroic roles in a movie, "The Sands of Iwo Jima." Keft to right are: Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes and John Bradley. (AP Photo/Ira W. Guldner) #
Iwo Jima: Three Marines doze off surrounded by empty shells and heavy caterpillars on the volcanic sands of Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima (19 Feb - 26 March 1945) was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the overall American casualties (killed and wounded) exceeded those of the Japanese, although Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner.
Striking images from the battle of Iwo Jima: Flat Nose Flossie, a Coast Guard manned LST buries its nose in the volcanic sands of Iwo Jima beachhead, Japan on Feb. 27, 1945, while elements of a Marine Corps amphibious tractor unit unload cargo under protection of forward guns