In The News

Man who provided famous flag passes away

Man who provided famous flag passes away

THE death has taken place of Alan Wood who provided the flag which was raised by U.S. forces on Iwo Jima in the World War II. He was 90.

A photograph of the flag being raised by five Marines and a Navy corpsman on the Pacific island’s Mount Suribachi became one of the most iconic images taken in wartime. The raising of the flag on February 23, 1945, marked a significant moment in the battle which was to cost the lives of almost seven thousand U.S. forces.

The event was immortalised in bronze for the United States Marine Corps War Memorial at Arlington (see photograph above). The flag is displayed at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

Mr. Wood was always proud of the supporting role he had played in the historic event. At the time he had been serving as a 22-year-old officer on board a US navy vessel. He recalled that he had happily handed-over the Stars and Stripes to a tired-looking Marine who had come aboard looking for a flag.

Before the raising of Mr. Wood’s flag (see below) a smaller one had flown for a time at the spot.

Over the years, many people would claim to have supplied the iconic flag but Mr. Wood’s involvement was confirmed by those who had been involved in the battle.

When a Marine general asked him for details about the flag, Mr. Wood wrote back to explain why he had been so proud to have handed over the Stars and Stripes: “The fact that there were men among us who were able to face a situation like Iwo Jima where human life is so cheap, is something to make humble those of us who were so very fortunate not be called upon to endure any such hell.”

After the War, Mr. Wood worked for many years as a technical artist and public information officer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Mr. Wood passed away at his home in Sierra Madre only days before his 91st. birthday.

To view footage of the flag being raised on Iwo Jima, click here.

View previous In the News items: MASH actor Allan Arbus passes away, Tributes are paid to folk singer Richie Havens, Author E L Konigsburg passes away, Tributes are paid to record producer Andy Johns, Graphic designer Storm Thorgerson passes away, Hillsborough justice campaigner Anne Williams passes away, Thousands line the route for funeral of Baroness Thatcher, Conductor Sir Colin Davis passes away, Comic genius Jonathan Winters passes away, IVF pioneer Sir Robert Edwards passes away, Queen to attend funeral of Baroness Thatcher, Remains of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda exhumed, Robert Zildjian of cymbals fame passes away, Tributes are paid to great Irish actor, Jane Henson of Muppets fame passes away, Musician and critic Solly Lipsitz passes away, Record producer Phil Ramone passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Richard Griffiths, Former Elvis backing singer Gordon Stoker passes away, Motown producer and songwriter Deke Richards passes away, Tributes are paid to trumpet player Derek Watkins, Jazz musician Bebo Valdes passes away, Horror writer James Herbert passes away, Bobby Smith from the Detroit Spinners passes away, Comedy actor Frank Thornton passes away, Jazz band leader Terry Lightfoot passes away, Comedian Norman Collier passes away, Black Death burial ground unearthed in London, Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr passes away, Last of the plotters against Hitler passes away, Tributes are paid to former sports presenter Tony Gubba, Welsh born Princess Lilian of Sweden passes away, Canadian country legend Tom Connors passes away, Tributes are paid to jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball, Rock guitarist Alvin Lee passes away, Bobby Rogers of The Miracles passes away, Tributes are paid to former businessman Sir George Quigley, Remains are returned to Donegal after 180 years, Classical pianist Van Cliburn passes away, Former Temptations singer Richard Street passes away, Former aircraft company chief Sir Philip Foreman passes away, Tributes are paid to the designer of the Daleks, Award winning animator Bob Godfrey passes away, Kevin Ayers of sixties band Soft Machine passes away, Beatles pay tribute to early collaborator Tony Sheridan, Gameshow host Derek Batey passes away, Tributes are paid to the actor Richard Briers, American country singer Mindy McCready is dead at 37, Tributes are paid to screenwriter Alan Sharp, Film special effects expert Petro Vlahos passes away, Government agency updates service for bereaved relatives or Dave Clark Five member Rick Huxley passes away

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.