Block, Harlan Henry, born on 06-12-1924 in Yorktown, Texas, was a United States Marine during World War II. Block joined the Marine Corps in November 1943 and subsequently saw action during the Battle of Bougaiville and the Battle of Iwo Jima where he was killed in action. He is best known as one of the six men photographed raising the flag on Iwo jima. Block landed as a private first class, on Iwo Jima, 19-02-1945 and was involved in the second flag raising on mount Suribachi on 23-02-1945. As a corporal, he was in second command of his squad to Sergeant Michael Strank
at Iwo jima .
Death and burial ground of Block, Harlan Henry.
He idolized Strank, followed Strank without question. Block assumed leadership of his squad when Strank was killed, at the age of 29, however Block was also killed, at the age of 20, by a mortar blast just hours later on the same day, 01-03-1945, as the squad attacked toward Nishi Ridge. His last words were “They killed me” Block was awarded with the Purple Heart, posthumously, Presidential Unit Citation with one star, for Iwo Jima, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two stars and World War II Victory Medal. Block was originally buried in the 5th Marine Division Cemetery
on Iwo Jima and then re-interred in Weslaco in January 1949. From their landing at Iwo Jima on February 19 until March 26, 1945, the 5th Marine Division suffered more than 8.719 casualties including over 2.482 officers and enlisted men who were killed in action. Block’s body was moved in 1995 to a burial place near the Iwo Jima Monument in Harlingen, Texas, near the Military Academy.