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Veterans want to have warship named for Iwo Jima photographer Joe Rosenthal

U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on Feb. 23, 1945.

JOE ROSENTHAL/AP

By JEANETTE STEELE | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: March 13, 2017

SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — Joe Rosenthal, a 33-year-old Associated Press photographer at the time, took the iconic picture of Marines raising the American flag during the bloody World War II battle of Iwo Jima.

The photo boosted the spirits of the nation and became an enduring symbol of pride for the United States and the Marine Corps.

Does Rosenthal deserve a U.S. Navy warship to be named for him, for that contribution?

Some Marine veterans in the San Francisco area think so.

They are former Marine combat correspondents and Rosenthal was a member of their association during his long follow-on career at the San Francisco Chronicle, which first wrote about this effort.

A petition on ussjoe.org seeks to convince the Secretary of the Navy.

Their argument is that — aside from becoming possibly the most reproduced photograph in American history — the image anchored the 1945 Seventh War Bond drive, raising $26 billion for the war effort.

The photo also graced a U.S. postage stamp that sold 137 million copies.

The Marine Corps embraced Rosenthal as one of their own, and the Department of the Navy posthumously awarded him the Distinguished Public Service Award him in 2006.

Rosenthal died in 2006 at age 94.

©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Photographer Joe Rosenthal takes a picture of cheering Marines around the second American flag raised on Suribachi.

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