Ira Hayes - American WWII hero. He was one of the men in the iconic Iwo Jim flag-raising photo. Unfortunately, Ira had a very hard time after the war, and eventually died of exposure and alcohol poisoning in 1955.
Philip Johnston proposed the use of Navajo to the United States Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. Johnston, a World War I veteran, was raised on the Navajo reservation as the son of a missionary to the Navajos, and was one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently. Because Navajo has a complex grammar, and was at this time an unwritten language, it was perfect for a code.
Sergeant Michael Strank (10 Nov 1919–1 Mar 1945) was one of the six Marines who raised the second flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He died on Iwo Jima on 1 March 1945 when his squad came under heavy fire and was hit by friendly fire by an American shell. His death made him the first—but certainly not the last—man photographed raising the flag to die in battle.
The raising of the flag at Iwo Jima is perhaps the most famous war photograph ever. The flag was raised by five US marines and one navy corpsman atop Mount Suribachi in 1945. Few are aware that this was the second flag; the first was too small and couldn’t be seen by the Marines on the island, and photographer Joe Rosenthal, who received a Pulitzer Prize for the image, only arrived in time for the second shot.