"From Butte to Iwo Jima" is dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Russell Mitchell, who gave his life for his country in Iwo Jima at the age of 23. He is missed, honored and remembered very fondly by his fellow Marines and friends of The Forgotten Battalion .
It took 20 years to find out that an Iron Mountain, Michigan, war hero played a part in the Iwo Jima event......
Marine Sgt. Russell Mitchell, of Iron Mountain, Michigan, had the flag that flew over Iwo Jima, on Feb. 20, 1945. The flag flew over Iwo Jima on Feb. 23. Sgt. Mitchell never saw the flag fly....he was killed on Iwo on Feb 21, 1945. This was unknown to Sgt. Mitchell's family until twenty years later.
The 20 year-old story came from a Marine Private, Fred Huffman, of Rochester, N.Y. who was seeking the address of Sgt. Mitchell's family in a letter to the News.
Pvt. Huffman was given the Iwo flag to hold by Sgt. Mitchell, who went back for his canteen. Sgt. Mitchell never returned.
Sgt. Mitchell was buried in the Iwo Jima cemetery, but his remains were shipped back and buried at Cemetery Park, Iron Mountain, Michigan, May 12, 1948. He was the son of Mrs. Gunnard Wickman and Charles Mitchell of Iron Mountain.
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