The 35-day Battle of Iwo Jima resulted in the United States' capture of that island from the Empire of Japan. Photographer Joe Rosenthal immortalized the battle in his famous photograph, "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima." Taken on February 23, 1945, it depicts five U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on the fifth day of the battle.
Each framed copy of that historic photograph is signed by Iwo Jima survivor Mahlon L. Fink. Fink was born on December 1, 1925, the eleventh of twelve children. He was in high school when WWII started and wanted to enlist, but his mother wouldn't sign. He ended up quitting school and working until his 18th birthday, when he immediately registered for the draft and volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps. He was sworn in on January 5, 1944, barley one month after he turned 18. Fink went to boot camp, and was then assigned to the Richmond Naval Station. After six months, his group was sent to advanced training where he was part of the 31st Replacement Draft. After two weeks of training, they were shipped to Hilo, Hawaii, where they loaded ships for the invasion of Iwo Jima.
Fink, who had just turned 19, was gung-ho, but the excitement wore off quickly. "These people are trying to kill me!" he remembers thinking. Fink wasn't trained as assault troops; his job was to unload supplies from the landing crafts. He dug a foxhole only 200 yards away from Mount Suribachi and got to work. During the next few days, there were many casualties, more than 21,000 Japanese soldiers and more than 6,800 U.S. soldiers, including Fink's warrant officer. On the fourth day, Suribachi was sealed and the American flag was raised. Fink remembers the day well, "What an honor and privilege to live and view a great moment in American history."
After the way Fink returned home and married his sweetheart, June Bolig. They've been married for over 60 years, with two children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
This framed photograph is accompanied by an authentic M1 Garand 30cal bullet of the type that was used at Iwo Jima. A certificate of authenticity is included.
8" x 10" photograph; 13" x 16" x 1" marupa wood frame. Assembled in New York. Please note: Mr. Fink is a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima, but he is not one of the soldiers pictured in Joe Rosenthal's photograph.