RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) The last survivor of the first American flag-raising over Iwo Jima during World War Two has died.
Charles Lindberg of Richfield, Minnesota, was 86. He grew up in Grand Forks.
Lindberg died yesterday at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina (ee-DYE'-nuh), according to the director of the funeral home that's handling arrangements.
Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous photograph by Abe Rosenthal of The Associated Press, that raised the first flag over the island.
In the late morning of February 23rd, 1945, Lindberg fired his flame-thrower into enemy pillboxes at the base of Mount Suribachi and then joined five other Marines fighting their way to the top.
He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.
After his discharge in January 1946, Lindberg went home to Grand Forks until 1951, when he moved to Richfield and became an electrician.
In an interview with the A-P in 2003, Lindberg recalled two of the men found a big, long pipe there, "tied the flag to it, took it to the highest spot we could find and we raised it." The moment was captured by Sergeant Lou Lowery, a photographer from the Corps' Leatherneck magazine, but three of the six men never saw his photos. They were among the 59-hundred Marines killed on the island.
Last month, Lindberg attended groundbreaking at the site of a new veterans memorial in Richfield.
Funeral arrangements are pending.