Louis R. Lowery
|Louis R. Lowery|
|Born||July 24, 1916|
|Died||April 15, 1987(aged 70)|
|Place of burial||Quantico National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Saipan
Battle of Tinian
Battle of Guam
Battle of Peleliu
Battle of Iwo Jima
Battle of Okinawa
|Awards||Purple Heart Medal (2)
Combat Action Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation
|Other work||Leatherneck Magazine
United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association
Louis R. "Lou" Lowery (July 24, 1916 – April 15, 1987) was a retired United States Marine Corps photographer best known for taking the first photographs of the first American flag that was flown on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. The flag was too small to be seen easily from the nearby landing beaches on Iwo Jima, so a second, larger replacement flag with a longer and heavier pipe was planted hours later resulting in the famous photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in 1945.
Lowery was the founder and former president of the United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association (USMCCCA). He also was a photographic director of Leatherneck Magazine, a publication of the Marine Corps. He died on April 15, 1987 at age 70 from aplastic anemia and is buried in Quantico National Cemetery in Prince William County, Virginia. In 2006, Lowery was portrayed by actor David Hornsby in film Flags of Our Fathers.
Iwo Jima, US flag
On February 23, 1945, Lowery accompanied the 40-man Marine combat patrol that climbed Mount Suribachi to attack and capture the mountaintop, and raise the American flag if possible to signal that it was captured. After the mountaintop was captured and secure, 1st Lt. Harold Schrier, Sgt. Ernest Thomas, and Sgt. Henry Hansen, members of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, raised the first American flag (two flags were raised on Mount Suribachi) on Mount Suribachi that morning, according to Sgt. Thomas who did a press interview aboard the flagship USS Eldorado on February 25, 1945.
Immediately after the flag was raised, a short firefight took place after Japanese soldiers came out of a cave. An enemy grenade was tossed, and Lowery fell several feet down the side of the crater from the blast. Although his camera was damaged, he saved his film. Lt. Schrier, a former platoon sergeant on Guadacanal and Marine Raider and battle field commissioned officer, was awarded a Navy Cross for leading the 40-man patrol up Mount Suribachi and raising the flag. Sgt. Thomas (Navy Cross), a former drill instructor, and Sgt. Hansen, a former Paramarine on Bougainville, were both killed in action on Iwo Jima after the the two flags were raisied on Mount Suribachi.
Lowery, a war photographer during World War II, took several of the first photos going up and on top of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. The most circulated photos of the first American flag raised and flown on Mount Suribachi (Iwo Jima), by SSgt. Lou Lowery:
First photo (Left):
Left to Right: 1st Lt. Harold G. Schrier (crouched behind radioman's lower legs), Pfc. Raymond Jacobs (radioman), Sgt. Henry "Hank" Hansen (cloth cap), looking downward, securing flag pipe with left hand, Pvt. Phil Ward (helmeted, securing lower part of pipe), Platoon Sgt. Ernest "Boots" Thomas (seated), PhM2c John Bradley, USN (helmeted, securing pipe above Pvt. Ward), Pfc. James Michels (holding carbine), Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg (standing above Michels).
Subsequent photo (Right):
1st Lt. Harold G. Schrier (flag raiser) remains crouched and hidden behind Pfc. Jacob's (radioman) lower legs, Sgt. Henry Hansen (cloth cap) holding the pipe steady with his left hand is looking upward now, Ward and Bradley are still securing the flag pipe in the ground, and Platoon Sgt. Thomas remains seated.
Pvt. Harold Schultz (helmet) appears now in the photo at the far lower left and Sgt. Howard Synder appears now in the photo standing at the far right.
Louis R. Lowery Award
The "Louis R. Lowery Award", sponsored by Leatherneck magazine and the Marine Corps Association, is presented for photo of the year appearing in Leatherneck or as its cover.
- "Louis R. Lowery Dies; Took Iwo Jima Picture". The New York Times. Associated Press. 1987-04-21. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
- Maslowski, Peter (1998). Armed With Cameras: The American Military Photographers of World War II. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-86398-6. Retrieved 13 May 2009.