National Geographic : 1950 Nov
648 1. S. Marine Corps, Ofcial Iwo Jima's Heroic Flag-raisers Symbolize Marine Valor at Its Finest In a studio in Washington, D. C., sculptor Felix de Weldon (left) and his assistant, Idilio Santini, work on 32-foot plaster figures of five Marines and a Navy pharmacist's mate who braved Japanese fire to plant Old Glory atop Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, February 23, 1945. Cast in 100 tons of bronze, the statue will be erected in the Washington area. A cloth flag will fly from the 110-foot staff. The monument will honor all Marines who gave their lives in the Corps' 175 years. De Weldon's inspiration was the famous photograph by Joe Rosenthal, of the Associated Press. From combat movies made at the same time. the sculptor chose a more dynamic grouping, with the flag nearer the center of the composition. Three surviving flag-raisers were De Weldon's models; the others were killed later.