Feb. 28 – RELATED STORY: Not sold! Rene Gagnon’s Iwo Jima Knife now available for private sale.
Information from the Nate D. Sanders auction site:
Rene Gagnon’s personally owned Marines-issued knife, likely used in the highly fatal Battle of Iwo Jima, during which the U.S. took back the island from Japan.
Gagnon was one of the six WWII soldiers who became an icon after appearing in the famous photograph ”Raising The Flag on Iwo Jima”, taken by Joe Rosenthal on Mount Suribachi on 23 February 1945. The image won the Pulitzer Prize and served as the template for the sculpture of the Marine Corp War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
Of those pictured in the photo, just three survived the battle, and the others, including Gagnon, reportedly suffered greatly from survivor’s guilt after the war. In a letter during his training, Gagnon references his military issued weapons: ”…it certainly gives you a funny feeling to know that in my hands I hold two means of killing a person…stabbing him…or shooting him…Those are the things we’re fighting for…when I was a kid I never realized that I one day would actually kill a man, as a matter of fact none of us really like the idea of killing, but if that’s the only language the Axis understand then that’s what it will have to be…”
Metal knife on a wooden handle is printed at the base ”Camillus, New York / U.S.M.C.” Measures 12” in total length. Tarnishing to blade and paint splatters to base of handle, else fine. From the estate of Rene Gagnon and accompanied by a COA from his son.
You’re one click away! Sign up for our free eNewsletter and never miss another thing