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The Marine Corps have admitted that a second man in the iconic Iwo Jima photo taken in 1945 was misidentified.
An investigation by the Marines and the FBI's Digital Evidence Lab confirmed that it was Corporal Harold 'Pie' Keller and not Private first corporal Rene Gagnon who was captured in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph 74 years ago.
Image - Associated - Press - Photographer - Joe
The classic image - taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal - shows six Marines erecting a US flag during a bloody battle on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima in February 1945.
The men have become immortalized in Marine Corps lore, and each is featured on an enormous bronze statue based on the photograph in Arlington National Cemetery.
Rosenthal - Names - Men - Photo - US
Unfortunately, Rosenthal didn't get the names of the men but the photo was immediately celebrated in the U.S. and President Franklin Roosevelt told the military to identify the men.
After some confusion, the Marines identified the men as John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Harlon Block, Michael Strank and Franklin Sousley. All were Marines except Bradley, who was a Navy corpsman.
Identification - Servicemen - Decades - Historians - Stephen
The identification of the six servicemen has been accepted for decades until three historians, Stephen Foley, Dustin Spence, and Brent Westemeyer began raising doubts about the identity of one of the men.
In 2016, the man identified as Bradley was actually Harold Henry Schultz, a private first class from Detroit who died in 1995.
Years - Marine - Corps - Man - Rene
Now three years later, the Marine Corps have revealed that a second man was not Rene Gagnon, but Harold Keller.
The historians managed to come to the conclusion after looking at film footage from atop Mount Suribachi and by reviewing further photographs taken by other soldiers who were there.
Gagnon - Keller - Heart - Attacks - Gagnon
Both Gagnon and Keller died from heart attacks in 1979. Gagnon was 54, Keller, 57.
He had never revealed his presence in the inspiring photo...
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