Charles Lindberg Oral History
Charles “Chuck” W. Lindberg, was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He was a United States Marine Corps corporal in an elite outfit called Carlson’s Raiders who fought in at least three island campaigns - (Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Iwo Jima) during World War II. During the battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945, he was a member of the patrol that captured the top of Mount Suribachi, where he helped raise the first U.S. Flag on the island. Just days later he was wounded in action, resulting in him earning a Purple Heart and the Silver Star for valor.
He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1946 where he would eventually marry his wife, Vi, and moved to Richfield, Minnesota, in 1951. He worked as an electrician for 39 years, which during that time he began to tell his story of the first flag raising resulting in controversy and debate over the topic. He continued to advocate for the recognition of the first flag raising in which was eventually successful. Lindberg passed away on June 24, 2007 at the age of 87 and was laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Charles Lindberg served in the Marine Corps during World War II, in which he was part of an elite outfit called Carlson’s Raiders who fought in three island campaigns at Guadalcanal, Bougainville and Iwo Jima. While on Iwo Jima in February 1945, he manned a flamethrower in which he earned the Silver Star for his valor. Later on Iwo Jima, he was evacuated after being wounded, shattering his right arm. He received a Purple Heart. During this time, he discussed his training and combat experiences throughout his service during World War II.
In the second part of the interview, Lindberg discussed the first and second flag-raisings on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. During this time, Lindberg showed the interviewer original photographs from both flag-raisings – Lindberg participated in the first one on February 23, 1945. After leaving Mount Suribachi, a second flag was raised later that day, replacing the first flag. The second flag raising overshadowed the first flag-raising. Lindberg spent his final years raising awareness of the first flag-raising.
Interview by Karen Wenz
St. Cloud State University, "Charles Lindberg Oral History" (1991). World War II Veterans. 18.