World War II

Rene Gagnon Iwo Jima flag raiser, WWII signed letter proposing marriage!

Rene Gagnon Iwo Jima flag raiser, WWII signed letter proposing marriage! 


Single page typed letter, 5" x 8" with strips of clear tape in rows across the letter. Dated "Dec 29, 1943", and signed in type by Gagnon as "Rene". With humorous WWII envelope hand-addressed, and signed in type by Gagnon


Gagnon was one of the six soldiers pictured in "Raising The Flag on lwo Jima", arguably the most famous photograph of all time. In the autograph letter signed, Gagnon writes to girlfriend Pauline Harnois on 29 December 1943, while guarding the Naval Prison Camp in Charleston, South Carolina, expressing his desire to get home so he can marry her: "...I'm coming home in a couple of weeks little darling now what do you suppose your father would say if I brought you a ring and you know what kind I why not in January when I come home on furlough, if you still don't know what I'm talking about, I mean an engagement ring..." Signed in type, "Love as Ever / Rene".

Written only a few years before the famous flag raising at IWO Jima. On February 23, Bradley and Navy corpsman, PhM2c. Gerald Ziehme (replaced PhM3c. Langley who was wounded in action on February 21), were part of the 40-man combat patrol (mostly from Third Platoon, Easy Company) were sent to climb up the east slope of Mount Suribachi to seize and occupy the crest and to raise an American flag to signal that the mountaintop was captured. On top, the Marines found a steel pipe to attach the flag unto. The flagstaff was taken to the highest position on the crater.  Seeing the raising of the national colors immediately caused loud cheering from the Marines, sailors, and Coast Guardsmen on the beach below and from the men on the ships near the beach. After the flag was raised, Bradley, who was with the group of Marines near the flagstaff, pitched in to help the flagstaff stay vertical in the terrific winds on the volcano.


Rene  Gagnon is best known for being one of the six flag-raisers who helped raise the second U.S. flag at IWO Jima; which was the one memorialized by the Pulitzer prize winning photo, and initiated using a larger flag in order for the American flag to be seen more easily from the ships, beaches, and land off and around Mount Suribachi. Marine Sgt. Michael Strank was ordered to ascend Mount Suribachi with Marines from his squad and raise the replacement flag and return with the first flag that was flying on top.


The IWO Jima flag raising was a moment of enormous historical importance.  Of the six men who participated in the raising of the flag, three were killed in action and died over the next few days and did not come back.


Item: 64683

Price: $1,500.00
 World War II World War II World War II
World War II
Click above for larger image.