Though his face isn’t on the Iwo Jima memorial in D.C., Alan Wood played a role in one of the most iconic images of World War II.
Wood, a former Navy officer, provided the flag raised over Iwo Jima. He died April 18 at the age of 90, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Wood was in charge of communications on a landing ship off the coast of the island. During the battle, a Marine boarded the ship and asked for the biggest flag he could find. Wood gave him a 37-square-foot flag from a Pearl Harbor Navy depot, the Times reported.
That was the second, larger flag raised at Iwo Jima, and the one captured in Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer prize-winning photograph. It is also on a rotating display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia.
Though many over the years have claimed to be the one who handed over the flag, Marine Col. Dave Severance, the commander of the company that took Mt. Suribachi, said that it was Wood, the paper reported.
“He didn’t talk much about it,” Wood’s son Steven told the paper. “He didn’t draw attention to himself. He was just there when someone needed a flag and he gave it to them.”