There are six Flag Raisers on the famous Iwo Jima photo. Four in the front line and two in back. The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley). Strank, Block and Sousley would die shortly afterwards. Bradley, Hayes and Gagnon became national heroes within weeks.
Ira Hayes (1923–1955) was a Pima Native American & a US Marine corporal who was 1 of 6 men immortalized in the iconic 1945 photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima during WW2. The event was captured by Joe Rosenthal of the AP & widely distributed, making the 6 men national heroes. Hayes was never comfortable with his new-found fame tho. After his Marine service, he descended into alcoholism and died in 1955 of alcohol poisoning. He was buried w honors at Arlington National Cemetery on 2/2/1955.
VIDEO | Marine Cpl. Ira Hayes was one of six servicemembers who raised an American flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Watch this video for details about Hayes. (Ken-Yon Hardy/Stars and Stripes)