Re Iwo Jima Flag Raising (Joseph Kobylski )

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

February 25th, 2007, 1:27 pm #1

Lester Tenney

Joseph Kobylski <>

9:49 pm (10 hours ago)

Reference is made to Mr. Lester Tenney's experience with the Japanese during WW II. The Japanese soldiers that were on Iwo were the same as those who maltreated our POW at Bataan and in Japan except they did not have the same opportunity to do the same to our troops on Iwo. It's good to hear the truth from Mr.Tenney. There is no substitute for truth.

It seems that Hollywood often has permeated the mind of our society with untruths. In August 2005 I called the business manager for Eastwood/Spielberg and said that I wanted to alert him to the fact that the book "Flags of Our Fathers" errs in many different aspects and that the flag raisers in Joe Rosenthals photo were named by the Marine Corps in findings that are uncertain and erroneous and are parroted in the book. I said that I thought that they would want the movie to be historically correct. I offered to send him the backup material by mail. He said he did not want the material and would not accept it.

The first flag raised boosted the morale of the servicemen at Iwo, the second more famous flag boosted the morale of our Nation at a time when it was needed. Both happenings were magnificent.
The down side came when an effort was made in April 1945 to identify the flag raisers in the Rosenthal photo because FDR wanted them to lead the bond tour. When the book came out in 2000 Private Larry Ryan, who claimed to be one of the flag raisers in the Rosenthal photo, offered the media, including the History Channel, to take a polygraph test to support his claim and to provide information, including the fact that Navy medic John Bradley was not the person immediately behind the Marine inserting the flagpole into the ground, but Ryan was stonewalled. He had been saying that for decades at reunions also.

Lou Lowery, a Leatherneck magazine photographer, took photos atop Mt. Suribachi that show medic John Bradley wearing large medical pouches on each hip and canteens hanging on his backside. That is standard wear of a WW II medic. Furthermore, his pant cuffs are rolled up showing his leggings. That is not John Bradley in the Rosenthal photo showing a collapsed water canteen pouch on his hip. Medics don't wear water canteens on their hips.That is someone else. Then who is it? As a flag raiser John Bradley then would have to replace either Michael Strank or Rene Gagnon, who are said to be in those positions barely visible behind the front four in the photo. Who did Bradley displace and where is that displaced person then in the photo? This alone shatters the credibility of who the flag raisers were and the positions that they occupied in the photo. We Marine grunts don't need falsehoods to enhance our image, we have proven our worth on the battlefield. This falsehood, and there are others, results in dishonoring the 7,000 young men who gave their lives for our Country on that Island.

There is more to this story, but I'll end here. I have been trying for seven years to help Larry Ryan tell this story to the public, he had been trying for decades. Maybe the media doesn't like to cover an individual's comments on important matters, it pays to stick with the big boys, which they consistently have done on this matter.
I hope that Mr. Tenney sees this e-mail. I admire his bravery.

Joe Kobylski

R.W. "D1ck" Gaines
The Original
"Gunny G"
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952- (Plt #437PISC)-'72
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