“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Monticello in Jefferson County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Ernest I. Thomas Memorial

Ernest I. Thomas Memorial Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, April 2, 2010
1. Ernest I. Thomas Memorial Marker

In recognition of Platoon Sergeant Ernest I. Thomas U.S.M.C.R. who, on February 23, 1945, led his platoon to raise the first flag on Iwo Jima, the first Japanese territory taken in World War II. On March 3rd, eight days after the first flag raising and ten days after he earned the Navy Cross for heroism in action, he was killed leading his men in combat.

March 10, 1924 - March 3, 1945

Iwo Jima
On February 19, 1945 after months of bombardment, culminating in 74 days of continuous air strikes, the largest Marine combat force ever assembled landed on the eight square mile Japanese island of Iwo Jima. At the southern tip a 550 ft. volcano, Mount Suribachi, was isolated the first day. The base of Suribachi was surrounded on D plus 3 and on the next day at 10:20 a.m., Marines from Company E, 3rd Platoon raised the Stars and Stripes on its summit. Hours later a picture of the second flag raising was to become the most famous single photograph ever taken.

On March 26, following 36 days of the bloodiest battle in Marine history, the most heavily fortified island in the world was
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secured. The island cost 6,821 U.S. Marine lives and more than 20,000 enemy lives. However, 2,251 B29 bombers and their crews ultimately found refuge on battle scarred, ash laden Iwo Jima.

"Uncommon valor was a common virtue"

Erected 1981.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, World II. In addition, it is included in the Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross/Air Force Cross Recipients series list.
Location. 30° 32.715′ N, 83° 52.739′ W. Marker is in Monticello, Florida, in Jefferson County. Memorial is on West Washington Street (U.S. 90) 0.1 miles west of Mahan Drive, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Monticello FL 32344, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Constant Attack (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Perkins Opera House (approx. half a mile away); "Meeting Oak" (approx. half a mile away); The Town of Monticello (approx. half a mile away); Jefferson County Florida Confederate Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Jefferson County Sesquicentennial (approx. half a mile away); Howard Academy High School on Chestnut Street (approx. one mile away); The Girardeau House (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monticello.
Regarding Ernest I. Thomas Memorial.
Ernest I. Thomas Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, April 2, 2010
2. Ernest I. Thomas Memorial
The memorial face is an etched representation of the Lou Lowery photograph of the first flag raising on Iwo Jima and lists the five "Flag Raisers": 1st Lt. Harold Schrier, Pl. Sgt. Ernest Thomas, Sgt. Henry Hansen, Cpl. Charles Lindberg, Pfc. Louis Charlo, Pfc. James Michels. The base of the memorial states,

U.S. Marines First Flag Raising — Iwo Jima
Mt. Suribachi — Feb. 23, 1945
Lou Lowery, Photographer
Ernest I. Thomas Memorial image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, April 2, 2010
3. Ernest I. Thomas Memorial
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 24, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 604 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 24, 2012, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 2, 2023