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Marine Corps: Second Marine in iconic Iwo Jima flag raising photo misidentified

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Oct. 17 (UPI) — One of the six men photographed raising an American flag in Iwo Jima during World War II was misidentified, the Marine Corps said Thursday.

The Marine Corps announced that the U.S. Marine pictured on the far side of the flag pole in Joe Rosenthal’s famous photo on Mount Suribachi is Cpl. Harold P. Keller, not Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon as previously identified.

“It was determined that Private First Class Rene A. Gagnon contributed to the flag raising, but is not actually pictured in the photograph,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.

The identification was made following changes to the historical record in 2016 when the Marine Corps announced that the man at the center of the photo, Pfc. Harold Schultz, was misidentified as Navy Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class John Bradley.

Private historians contacted the Marine Corps in July 2018, presenting the second error and providing dozens of previously private photos as evidence for consideration.

The Marine Corps then formed a board, working with the FBI to confirm the error and changed the identification of the Marines pictured in the photo.

“Regardless of who was in the photograph, each and every Marine who set foot on Iwo Jima, or supported the effort from the sea and air around the island is and always will be, a part of our Corps’ cherished history,” the Marine Corps said.

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