American flag is raised on Iwo Jima, February 23rd, 1945
Along with Okinawa, and perhaps Formosa, taking Iwo Jima was necessary for the American invasion of Japan. The battle, which saw some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific Theater, lasted five weeks. It began with a three-day naval bombardment before Marines stormed the island. On the fifth day of battle, six marines raised the Stars and Stripes on Mount Suribachi. The action was repeated the next day and photographed by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press, whose Pulitzer Prize–winning shot has become the iconic representation of the war.