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Harlon Block

United States Marine

Died when: 20 years 115 days (243 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio


Harlon Block

Harlon Henry Block (November 6, 1924 – March 1, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps corporal who was killed in action during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

Born in Yorktown, Texas, Block joined the Marine Corps with seven high school classmates in February 1943.He subsequently became a Paramarine and participated in combat on Bougainville.

After the Paramarines were disbanded in 1944, he was one of the Marines who raised the second U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945, as shown in the iconic photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by photographer Joe Rosenthal.

The first flag raised over Mount Suribachi at the south end of Iwo Jima was deemed too small.Later that day, Block, a rifleman in the 5th Marine Division, was ordered up the mountain with three Marines to raise a larger flag.

As there was no photograph of the first flag-raising, the second flag-raising photograph became famous and was widely reproduced.The second flag raising was also filmed in color.

Block was not recognized as one of the second flag-raisers until the Marine Corps announced in January 1947 (after an investigation) that he was in the photograph and Sergeant Henry Hansen was not.

Block is one of three Marines in the photograph who were not originally identified as flag raisers.The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, was modeled after Rosenthal's photograph of six Marines raising the second flag on Iwo Jima.

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