United States MarineDied when: 25 years 111 days (303 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio
Michael Strank (November 10, 1919 – March 1, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps sergeant who was killed in action during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
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.
Of the six Marines depicted in the photo, Strank was the only one to be correctly identified from the beginning; the other five were either assigned the wrong locations (Ira Hayes and Franklin Sousley), or, were given the names of Marines who were not actually in that particular photo.
The first flag raised over Mount Suribachi at the south end of Iwo Jima was deemed too small.Later that day, Strank, a rifle company squad leader 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.
Before Iwo Jima, Strank served with the Marine Raiders in the Battle of Bougainville.The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, was modeled after Rosenthal's photograph of six Marines raising the second flag on Iwo Jima.