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Henry Oliver Hansen

United States Marine

Died when: 25 years 77 days (302 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius


Henry Oliver Hansen

Henry Oliver Hansen (December 14, 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 a member of the patrol that captured Mount Suribachi, where he helped raise the first U.S. flag on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945.

He was killed six days later.The first flag flown over the southern end of Iwo Jima was regarded to be too small to be seen by the thousands of Marines fighting on the other side of the mountain where the Japanese airfields and most of their troops were located, so it was replaced the same day with a larger flag.

Although there were photographs taken of the first flag flying on Mount Suribachi and some which include Hansen, there is no photograph of Marines raising the first flag.

Hansen also was photographed near the second flag.The second flag-raising by six Marines was photographed by Associated Press combat photographer Joe Rosenthal and became famous after copies of his photograph appeared in the newspapers two days later.

He was incorrectly identified in Rosenthal's flag-raising photograph as the Marine at the base of the flagstaff until the Marine Corps announced in January 1947 after an investigation which was initiated by one of the flag-raisers, that Corporal Harlon Block was that Marine.

Hansen is one of three men who were originally identified incorrectly as flag-raisers in the photograph (the others being John Bradley and Rene Gagnon).

The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, is modeled after the historic photograph of six Marines raising the second flag on Iwo Jima.

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