Raymond F. Jacobs (January 24, 1926 – January 29, 2008) was a United States Marine during World War II and later a news reporter. Jacobs was part of the Marine group who raised the first flag on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
World War II
- U.S. Marine Corps
He enlisited in the Marine Corps in 1943 and served during World War II as a Marine Raider and as a Marine radio operator overseas with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division in the Pacific Theatre.
- Battle of Iwo Jima
He participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima and the first American flag raising on Mount Suribachi as a radioman for the lieutenant in charge of the flag raising there. He was wounded by enemy mortar fire on March 10, 1945 and was evacuated off the island. He was honorably discharged in 1946.
Post World War II
- Korean War
- WWII photo claim
Jacobs spent his later years working hard to prove that he was the Marine radio operator photographed by Louis R. Lowery, (a photographer with Leatherneck magazine), standing beneath the first American flag raised by Marines on Mount Suribachi. He even disputed the official identifications in the picture and asserted that it should be: Pfc. James Robeson (lower left corner), 1st Lt. Harold Schrier (sitting behind Jacob's legs), Pfc. Raymond Jacobs (carrying radio), Sgt. Henry Hansen (cloth cap), unknown (lower hand on pole), Platoon Sgt. Ernest Thomas (back to camera), PhM2c John Bradley (helmeted, above Thomas), Pfc. James Michels (with carbine), Cpl. Charles Lindberg (above Michels).
Jacobs's face is not visible in Lowery's most widely circulated photograph. However, Jacobs' claim was based on the other photographs that do look like him photographed at the flag-raising scene by Lowery which he asserted proves its him. The radioman in the most famous of Lowery's photograph was assumed to be Pfc. Gene Marshall, the radio operator with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines. He died in 1987.
Jacobs was from Company F of the same battalion. He said he was sent up Mt. Suribachi with Lt. Schrier's patrol from Company E after the 4-man recon patrol from Company F came down Mt. Suribachi. The other men involved in the first raising have all died. Annette Amerman, a historian with the Marine Corps History Division, said "there are many that believe" Jacobs was the radioman. "However, there are no official Marine Corps records produced at the time that can prove or refute Mr. Jacobs' location." While there hasn't been a Marine photo of Marshall to compare to Lowery's photos, Jacobs's (from LA) testimonies saying he was personally interviewed at Mt. Suribachi after the flag-raising is supported by several Los Angeles newspapers accounts beginning February 24, 1945 (Associated Press dispatch) and his letters home.
- Purple Heart Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Presidential Unit Citation
- Good Conduct Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with bronze service star
- World War II Victory Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Last Iwo Jima flag veteran dies, BBC, February 5, 2008.
- Last Marine in Iwo Jima Photo Dies at 82, AP, February 5, 2008.[dead link]
- Raymond Jacobs - ex-KTVU news director, Iwo Jima vet, The San Francisco Chronicle, February 6, 2008.
- America's Greatest Generation: Marine Heroes: Raymond Jacobs.
- Last Marine in Iwo Jima Photo Dies at 82, Associated Press, February 4, 2008.
- Raymond Jacobs in 2005 identified himself in a photo as the Marine radioman (picture), Associated Press archives.