U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on February 23, 1945. The Battle of Iwo Jima was the costliest in Marine Corps history, with almost 7,000 Americans killed in 36 days of fighting. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal)
Sergeant Michael Strank (10 Nov 1919–1 Mar 1945) was one of the six Marines who raised the second flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He died on Iwo Jima on 1 March 1945 when his squad came under heavy fire and was hit by friendly fire by an American shell. His death made him the first—but certainly not the last—man photographed raising the flag to die in battle.