Ray Jacobs had advised me that on the morning of 23 February he, a radioman, had been watching a reconnaissance patrol led by Sgt Sherman Watson as it made its way back down Suribachi. At about that time, Jacobs received a call from battalion ordering him to rendezvous with Lt. Schrier who was to lead the 40-man combat patrol up Suribachi and raise our colors.
Jacobs was to accompany the patrol as its radioman. Pfc (at that time) Jacobs was a member of Fox Company, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, and the other patrol members were from Easy Company, therefore the other members of the patrol didn't know Jacobs and Jacobs had never met the others before. Chuck Lindberg has indicated that there had been a radioman with them on the patrol, but that he didn't know his name.
After the flag had been raised on Suribachi, at some point personnel came upon the scene asking for the names of those who had been present at the flag raising. Ray provided his name as requested, and this accounts for the fact that shortly thereafter his name and other information appeared in the Los Angeles Times in a story about the flag raising on Iwo Jima. Leatherneck magazine's photographer, S/Sgt Lou Lowery, had been present with the patrol as it climbed Suribachi, and he photographed the flag raising, and shot other photos both prior to and subsequent to the actual raising of the flag there at about 1020 that morning.
Ray Fornof has produced a fine booklet containing a more detailed account by Jacobs of the patrol and flag raising. The booklet also contains several photos by Lowery which clearly place Ray Jacobs on the scene. In addition, there are numerous items of interest regarding Jacobs; among these I enjoyed reading that Jacobs had been in training at the Marine Raider Training Center at Camp Pendleton until the raiders were disbanded early in 1944. After WW II, Jacobs remained in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, was recalled to duty and served in Korea, and was then later released with the rank of sergeant.
So why has Ray Jacobs waited so long to tell his story? The answer is, he hasn't! He has been telling his story for almost 57 years now. I have found his name mentioned in one or two books on the flag raising. And, his daughter, Nancy, has been active in attempting to see that her father is recognized, as others have been, for his presence at the flag raising--to date, all to no avail. Ray Jacobs has never been "officially" recognized as such.
Shown below are several of the photos shot by Lou Lowery on Iwo Jima on 23 February 1945. And, of course, the photo at the top is of The Flag Raising On Iwo Jima! There is also a recent photo of Ray Jacobs holding a plaque sent to him by Ray Fornof. And there is a photo of a letter from Lou Lowery to Ray Jacobs, on Leatherneck letterhead stationery, dated September, 1947. It reads as follows.
I am always very glad to hear from any of the Marines who were on the original flag raising. You fellows did all the dirty work and the ones who were on Rosenthal's picture got all the credit. Up until the September issue my pictures and the correct story of the flag raising have been held in secret because the flag shot of Rosenthal's, although a phony, was a great picture and did much to publicize the Marine Corps. It is a darn shame that the men who actually were on the first patrol never received the credit they deserved.
I am returning the clippings you enclosed as we have duplicates and some originals from the pics we used in the story. If you ever have occasion to visit Washington be sure and pay me a visit.
/s/ Lou Lowery"