Iwo Jima Flag Raiser

07 Mar 1925 1
Manchester, New Hampshire 1
12 Oct 1979 1
Manchester, New Hapshire 1

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Personal Details

07 Mar 1925 1
Manchester, New Hampshire 1
Male 1
12 Oct 1979 1
Manchester, New Hapshire 1
Burial Place: Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC 1
Pauline Georgette Harnois 2
07 Jul 1945 2
Baltimore, Maryland 2
Military Awards:
American Campaign Service Medal: 1944 3
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Service Medal: 1 Battle Star 3
China Service Medal: Tsingtao, China 3
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal: 1946 3
Presidential Unit Citation: Iwo Jima 3
WWII Victory Medal: 1945 3
Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal; 2
Promoted to Corporal & discharged from the Marines:
27 Apr 1946 2
Arrives with Marines in China:
07 Nov 1945 2
Arrives with Marines, 80th Replacement Draft:
Tsingtao, China 2
Arrived in Washington, DC:
07 Apr 1945 2
Finished tour with 7th War Loan Drive:
05 Jul 1945 2
Inducted in the Marine Corps Reserve:
06 May 1943 2
Landed on Iwo Jima:
19 Feb 1945 2
Transferred to Company E, 2d Battalion, 28 Marines:
08 Apr 1944 2

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Iwo Jima Flag Raiser

Iwo Jima, Japan

President Truman greets the flag-raising survivors.
4 images


Rene Gagnon carried the American flag up Mount Suribachi and hoisted it into place with his five comrades. The youngest of the six men, only 18, Rene was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, on March 7, 1925. Before he enlisted, Rene worked in a New Hampshire textile mill. He joined the Marine Corps Reserves on March 6, 1943, and was stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Rene survived the battle and returned to the U.S. with Ira Hayes and John Bradley, the other survivors of the flag-raising group, to serve with the 7th War Loan Drive, a publicity tour to raise money and morale. While Ira Hayes never recovered emotionally from his combat experience, and John Bradley succeeded in rebuilding his life, Rene’s recovery after the war was somewhere in between. Rene married, but struggled with alcohol and unemployment. He never felt comfortable with the fame and attention he received, believing he had only followed orders. When he died of a heart attack in 1979, he was working as a janitor in a tourist home. Rene Gagnon is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, the closest flag raiser to the Marine Corps War Memorial for Iwo Jima.





Added by Clio

“For God and his country he raised our flag in battle and showed a measure of his pride at a place called Iwo Jima where courage never died.” --Epitaph on Rene Gagnon's headstone, Arlington National Cemetery

Added by Clio

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