The Vandegrift Revelations

Dick G
Dick G

September 29th, 2002, 7:10 pm #1

The following is from Tedd Thomey's Immortal Images, A Personal History of Two Photographers and the Flag Raising On Iwo Jima, Naval Institute Press, 1996

"The Vandegrift revelations surfaced in a book about Iwo Jima published in the spring of 1995. Albee and Freeman present evidence that, over a period of 2 1/2 years, from early 1945 to September 1947, General Vandegrift laid down a policy that suppressed issuance or recognitionof any of the Marine Corps' Iwo Jima photography that might have diminished the uniqueness of the Rosenhtal classic.1"
"...The man most affected by this policy was Sgt Lou Lowery, the Leatherneck magazine photographer who had shot the photo of the first flag raising. Genaust was also affected because the commandant's office used the policy to reject all efforts to honor the sergeant posthumously for his motion picture achievement..."
"...Vandegrift decreed that Leatherneck could not publish any of the Suribachi photographs that Lowery shot on 23 February 1945, including the first flag raising. The decree remained in effect until late 1947, when the magazine came under increasing pressure--much of it from an angry Lowery himself--to publish his photos...."
"...Albee and Freeman obtained some of their data on 28 December 1992 in interviews with former WO Norman T. Hatch, the 5th Divisionphoto section director....Hatch...received orders to leave Iwo Jima and report to the commandant in Washington...."

"...The commandants who served after Vandegrift let the Rosenthal photograph speak for itself and made no effort to censor the work of any of the other Suribachi photographers..."

1. Albee and Freeman, Shadow of Suribachi, 83--90

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