One of the troops photographed raising the US flag on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima in 1945 was misidentified, the US Marine Corp says.
The famous picture was taken by the Associated Press after a fierce battle for the Japanese-held island.
Historians used film footage to identify one of the flag-raisers as Cpl Harold “Pie” Keller – rather than Pfc Rene Gagnon as previously thought.
This is not the first time the list of the six US fighters has been amended.
Cpl Keller is now considered to be the man who is most obscured in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph. Both Keller and Gagnon died in 1979.
Three years earlier, the marines announced that an earlier inquiry found that Pfc Harold Schultz was one of the six flag-raisers, not Navy hospital corpsman John Bradley.
The most recent finding was made by historians Stephen Foley, Dustin Spence and Brent Westemeyer who reviewed film footage of that day shot by a Marine cameraman who was killed in action one week later.
The discovery was confirmed by investigators with the US military and FBI.
“Without the initiative and contributions of both private historians devoted to preservation of our history and the FBI’s Digital Evidence Laboratory, the Marine Corps would not have this opportunity to expand on the historical record” of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi, the Marine Corps said in a statement.
But the statement added that the actual identities is of lesser importance, because all of the Americans who fought there should be considered heroes: “Regardless of who was in the photograph, each and every Marine who set foot on Iwo Jima, or supported the effort from the sea and air around the island is, and always will be, a part of our Corps’ cherished history.”
The US invasion on 19 February 1945 of Iwo Jima – 760 miles (1,220km) from Tokyo – set off one of the bloodiest battles of World War Two.
The daughter of Cpl Harold “Pie” Keller told NBC News that her father had never mentioned his role in Iwo Jima.
Kay Maurer, 70, said: “We knew he fought in the war, we knew he was wounded in the shoulder at one point… But he didn’t tell us he helped raise the flag on Mount Suribachi.”
Another famous Associated Press photo – the so-called Gung Ho shot showing 18 Marines standing on the volcanic summit of Mount Suribachi – hung in her family’s home when she was growing up, she recalled.
“Now we know he’s in that photo, too,” she said.