On this day in 1945, 60,000 US Marines stormed the tiny island of Iwo Jima. Among those troops was Sargent Russ Mitchel, a native of the Upper Peninsula. Mitchel had in his possession the American flag destined to fly later that week over battle scared Mt. Suribachi in a scene immortalized by AP cameraman Joe Rothenthal.
Mitchel however was not among that group of Marines that raised the stars and stripes. Having handed off the flag shortly before storming the beach.
Sargent Russel Mitchel of Iron Mountain, Michigan paid the ultimate price for freedom. Numbered among his fellow Americans who died on the shores of Iwo Jima on this day in 1945. Pasty Central Day in History, February 19th.