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PFC Franklin Runyon Sousley
Birth: Sep. 19, 1925
Hill Top
Fleming County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Mar. 21, 1945
Iwo Jima
Tokyo Metropolis, Japan

World War II United States Marine, Iwo Jima Flag Raiser. He served during World War II as a Private in the United States Marine Corps, and was assigned to E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division during the Battle for Iwo Jima. He was one of the six men who were immortalized in Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal photo of the United States Flag raising on Mount Suribachi, just after noon on February 23, 1945, for which Rosenthal was awarded the Pulitzer Prize (the five other men were Corporal Harlan H. Block, Sergeant Michael Strank, United States Navy Corpsman John H. Bradley, Private Rene A. Gagnon, Private Ira H. Hayes). Born in Hilltop, Kentucky, when his father died in May 1933, oldest son eight-year old Franklin Sousley became the man of the family as his mother struggled to keep the family together. After school, he would work the family farm until his graduation from high school in June 1943. To help with the family finances, he worked at the Frigidaire plant in Dayton, Ohio, until he received a draft induction notice in January 1944; rather than become an Army infantryman, he immediately joined the Marines. Following basic training, he was assigned to the newly forming 5th Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, and slated for the upcoming invasion of Iwo Jima. A force of 70,000 marines landed on February 19, 1945, on the south side of the island, with the platoon of Sergeant Strank (which Private Sousley was a part of) landing at Green Beach, closest to Mount Suribachi. On the fourth day of the invasion, the Marines captured Mount Suribachi and raised the American flag. Following the capture of Mount Suribachi, the 28th Marine Regiment was redeployed to the west coast of the island to continue the capture. Private Sousley was killed in action by a Japanese sniper 31 days after he landed on the island. Shot in the back, he at first appeared annoyed but then collapsed as other marines hit the ground; when a marine asked how he was doing, he replied "Not bad, I don't feel anything." Seconds later, he was dead. Initially buried in the Iwo Jima American Cemetery, he was reburied on May 8, 1947, in the Elizaville, Kentucky Cemetery at the request of his family. Author James Bradley described Franklin Sousley's story in 2000 work "Flags of Our Fathers". (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
Family links: 
  Merle Duke Sousley (1899 - 1934)
  Goldie Mitchell Price (1904 - 1988)
  Malcolm Brooks Sousley (1923 - 1928)*
  Franklin Runyon Sousley (1925 - 1945)
  Julian Martin Sousley (1933 - 1951)*
*Calculated relationship
Elizaville Cemetery
Fleming County
Kentucky, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 38.41478, -83.82607
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Erik Lander
Record added: Jan 20, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6104206
PFC Franklin Runyon Sousley
Added by: Eddie Donlin
PFC Franklin Runyon Sousley
Added by: Eddie Donlin
PFC Franklin Runyon Sousley
Added by: Ron Moody
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- Mary Walton
 Added: Mar. 26, 2017
Always loved and forever remembered ~ rest in eternal peace, Private Sousley. Semper Fi!
- sjm
 Added: Mar. 21, 2017

- In Memory of You
 Added: Mar. 21, 2017
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