Seeks Marine Killed on Iwo Jima
ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press
TOKYO - A U.S. search
team on Iwo Jima is slashing its
way through thick, thorny brush
to find a cave where the Marine
combat photographer who filmed
World War II flag-raising
is believed to have been killed
by machine gunfire.
the first American search of the
remote Japanese island in 60
years. The team is seeking the
remains of Sgt. William H.
Genaust and other Marines who
died in the battle for Iwo Jima,
a turning point in the war with
motto is `until they are home,'"
Lt. Col. Mark Brown of the Joint
POW/MIA Accounting Command told
The Associated Press on Friday.
"`No man left behind' is a
promise made to every individual
who raises his hand."
a combat photographer with the
28th Marines, filmed the raising
of the flag atop Iwo Jima's
Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23,
1945. He stood just feet away
from AP photographer Joe
Rosenthal, whose photograph of
the moment won a Pulitzer Prize
and came to symbolize the war in
the Pacific and the struggle of
the Marines to capture Iwo Jima.
died nine days later when he was
hit by machine-gun fire as he
was helping fellow Marines
secure a cave, said Johnnie
Webb, a civilian official with
JPAC. He was 38.
from a civilian led to the
search for Genaust's remains.
The seven-member JPAC team is
also looking for "as many other
American servicemen as they can
find," Brown said by telephone
from Hickam Air Force Base in
250 U.S. troops are still
missing from the Iwo Jima
campaign, Brown said. Many were
lost at sea, meaning the chances
of recovering their remains are
slim. But many died in caves or
were buried by explosions, and
Brown said the military was
optimistic about finding Genaust
and other servicemen.
last JPAC team to search Iwo
Jima recovered the remains of
most of the American dead in
Marines officially took Iwo Jima
on March 26, 1945 after 31-day
battle that pitted some 100,000
U.S. troops against 21,200
Japanese. Some 6,821 Americans
were killed; only 1,033 Japanese
looking at several caves," Brown
said. "We have maps dating back
World War II and even GPS
locations. So far, everything
seems to be where it should be."
businessman who provided the
lead in the search, said he
became intrigued by Genaust
after reading a Parade magazine
story about him. Spending
thousands of dollars of his own
money, Bolus put together a team
of experts, including an
anthropologist, geologist and
surveyor, that was able to
pinpoint where Genaust's remains
were likely to be found.
64, began lobbying the military
to search for the missing
we leave an American?" he said
by telephone. "How do we ignore
him and leave him in a cave
along with other military
personnel who are MIA on the
island also? He gave us a
patriotic symbol that we see to
this day. It's important."
who said he visited Iwo Jima
last year and met the grandson
of Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi,
the Japanese commander on Iwo
Jima, said he's confident
Genaust will be found.
Accounts vary, but Genaust was
believed to have been killed in
or near a cave on "Hill 362A."
March 4, 1945, Marines were
securing the cave, and are
believed to have asked Genaust
to use his movie camera to light
their way. He volunteered to
shine the light in the cave and
was killed by enemy fire. The
cave was secured after a
gunfight, and its entrance
who has been receiving daily
progress reports since the team
arrived on Iwo Jima on June 17,
said the search has been
difficult because the area is
overgrown with thorny brush.
team is cutting its way
through," he said. Heavy
equipment may be sent it if the
search looks promising.
often overlooked, Genaust played
a key role on the day the flag
combat photographer, Genaust was
trained to use a firearm, and he
and another Marine protected the
AP photographer as they climbed
546-foot Mount Suribachi.
Genaust did not need to use his
weapon; under heavy attack, the
Japanese did not fire on the
Genaust's footage also helped
prove that the raising _ the
second one that day _ was not
staged, as some later claimed.
He got no credit for his
footage, however, in accordance
with Marine Corps policy.
1995, a bronze plaque was put
atop Suribachi to honor Genaust,
who before coming ashore on Iwo
Jima fought and was wounded in
the battle on the Pacific island
Saipan. An actor
portraying him appears in the
Clint Eastwood movie "Flags
of Our Fathers."
88,000 U.S. service members are
listed as missing from
World War II, and JPAC
conducts searches throughout the
world to find them.
government and military are
helping with the search on Iwo
Jima, which this month was
officially renamed Iwo To _ the
island's name before the war.
Japan sent its first
search parties to the island in
1952 and others have followed
every year since Iwo Jima was
returned to Japanese control in
1968. They have recovered sets
of 8,595 remains, Health
Ministry official Kohei Niizu