Raymond Jacobs, USMC
He was born on January 24, 1926 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1933. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in May 1943 at the age of 17, and needed his mother’s written permission prior to going to boot camp.
Raymond entered boot camp in July 1943 in San Diego and graduated in September 1943. He was given a choice of assignments and he volunteered for Raider training. He was assigned to Raider Training Battalion Tent Camp 1, in Camp Pendleton. In the spring of 1944 the Marine Corps disbanded the Raiders and was sent to Tent Camp 3 as a founding member of the then forming ‘F’ Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, and joined the ‘F’ Company’s 60mm Mortar Section.
In the fall of 1944 the 5th Division was shipped to Hilo, Hawaii and trucked to Camp Tarawa to begin training for the Iwo Jima operation. While at Camp Tarawa he was assigned to be trained as the company radioman. He participated in the battle for Iwo Jima landing in the third wave on February 19, 1945.
Raymond was a member of the patrol which raised the first American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. He was wounded and evacuated on March 10, 1945. He returned to the states and was discharged, but remained in the inactive reserve.
He married Joanne Le Brinson, started a family and began a career in broadcasting. They have four children (Michael, Nancy, John, and Robert) and three grand children. His first job in radio was at a small radio station KGAK, in Gallup, New Mexico, and later with KOB radio in Albuquerque. In 1948 the owners started a television station KOB TV, which started his career in Television. He originated the first local news program in New Mexico. He received a recall notice ordering him to Camp Pendleton during the Korean War and was assigned to the Infantry Training Regiment. He trained Korean bound draftees in winter and guerrilla warfare. Raymond was discharged in August 1951, and returned to Albuquerque, and back to his job with KOB TV.
The family moved to Fresno, California in 1953. Raymond began working for KJEO TV, and again, the first prime time local news program.
In 1958 the family moved to Walnut Creek, California and he started working at KTVU in Oakland. He held many jobs as a reporter, anchor, news director, news operation director and editorial director. He retired from KTVU on July 1, 1992 after 34 years. Since 2002 he now resides in South Lake Tahoe.
Raymond Jacobs dies January 29,2008
Edited by R.R. Keene
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Sergeant Raymond Jacobs – the last known surviving member of a group of leathernecks photographed during the first U.S. flag raising atop Mount Surbachi on Iwo Jima during World War II – died of natural causes Jan. 29, 2008 in Redding, Calif. He was 82.
On Feb. 23, 1945, then-Private First Class Jacobs, a radioman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 28th marine Regiment, accompanied 3d Platoon, “Easy” Co, 2/28 as it worked its way to the summit of Mt. Suribachi. At the summit, the patrol raised the American flag and was photographed by Leatherneck magazine photographer Sgt. Louis R. Lowery. Jacobs on the left is barely visible. His radio is more identifiable than he is. For years, that was the cause of disputes (See “Unraveling the Mysteries of the First Flag Raising, “October 2006 Leatherneck.)
The Feb.3 Associated Press obituary stated, “Newspaper accounts from the time show he was on the mountain during the initial raising of the smaller American flag, though he had returned to his unit by the time the more famous AP photograph was taken of a second flag-raising later the same day.”
A forensic scientist, Dr. James I. Ebert, Certified Photogrammetrist and Fellow, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, examined the photos in 2004 and said the similarities between the “known” Ray Jacobs and the photos of the radioman in Lowery’s photos are “striking.” He went on to say, “more germane: whether, given the physical evidence that is available – i.e., the photographs – there is any reason to believe that the radioman is not Ray Jacobs.”
Jacobs was honorably discharged in 1946 and was recalled during the Korean War. He retired in 1992 from KTVU in Oakland, where he worked for 34 years as a reporter and news director.