Who was Michal Strenk?

BORN: 10th of November 1919

When he was six years old together with his parents he went to the USA. He graduated from high school in Pennsylvania and in October 1939 he joined the Marines. He became famous during the battles of Iwo Jima and through an image of Associated Press reporter, Joe Rosenthal, who captured the Second raising of
the American flag on the top of mount Suribachi on volcanic island Iwo Jima. ( the first flag risen two hours before the commander’s arrival was too small) He did not live to see the complete conquest of the island, where he famously erected

the flag. He fell on 01 of March in 1945 after being hit by shrapnel from an American ship, when he was sketching a new manoeuvre in the sand. His brother Peter Strank served during the war in the South Pacific on the aircraft ship USS Franklin.


During his life he was given following awards:

Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, America Defense Service Medal, American Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area campaign with four stars, World War II. Victory Medal and more. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, grave no. 7179, Section 12th.

In 2008 an American soldier Gunnery Sergeant Matt Blais assigned with the Security Service of the American Embassy in Slovakia, found out that Michael Strank was not native American. He acquired US citizenship through his father’s naturalization in 1935. However he never received a proof.

Therefore Matt Blais applied once more to Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) with the request for issuing documents about Strank’s citizenship and it was granted.

On 29. of July 2008 Strank’s youngest sister Mary Pero received the documents confirming his American citizenship in a ceremony infront of American Marines memorial in Arlington.

In Jarabina Michael Strank’s birthplace

is a memorial plate attached to his native house.