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Iconic Image of Cigarette-Smoking WW2 Marine

Started by Deacon , Sep 01 2008 12:44 PM

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#1 Deacon

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:44 PM

Does anyone know where to obtain a print of the famous iconic image of the grizzled WW2 combat Marine looking over his shoulder with a cigarette dangling from his mouth? A member by the forum name of Mathew has this image as his avatar.

Thanks for your input in advance.

#2 Jeremiah

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:55 PM

Try checking the National Archives image website. A Google search should turn up a link and allow you to find an electronic image. As for a paper copy I've never seen one. Good luck!

#3 Matthew

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 11:00 PM

I don't know where you can find a print, but the image was taken by noted photographer W. Eugene Smith.

#4 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:46 AM

Actually the photo is question is of Angelo Spiros Klonis, he was rejected for enlistment in the Marine Corps as he was not a US citizen. In the summer of 42 he was accepted in the US Army providing he passed physical. It ws not until the 70's he became aware of the Life cover photo. Your best bet is to start with the Center for Creative photography (creativephotography.org), University of Arizona, as they now own the collection from W. Eugene Smith. s/f Darrell

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#5 Matthew

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:16 AM

You can buy a print of it here.

#6 Deacon

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:09 PM

You can buy a print of it here.




I appreciate your time gentlemen. And Mathew, thanks for the info! I've been searching for this picture forever.

#7 Deacon

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:17 PM

Teufelhunde: I too had heard that story about Mr. Klonis, who claimed he was the man in this famous picture, and how he'd been rejected by the Marines and had served with the army in Europe. But it's a bit confusing. The photo, titled "Battle Weary Marine" with the notation, "T.E. Underwood," was taken by the noted photographer W. Eugene Smith who'd landed with the Marines on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Theater. Clearly, the camo cover that is on the individual's helmet is Marine Corp issue. And as far as I know, there were very few army infantry units that fought in both theaters, and certainly none of these few units landed on Saipan.

If I'm wrong, please let me know.

#8 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:29 AM

The question of which service has seemingly been a question for many years, the mystery has apparently been solved. The following is an extract from this site: http://www.hellenicc...geloklonis.html

ANGELO KLONIS:
The Real-Life Story of an Army Soldier Turned American Icon
By MARY VIRGINIA SWANSON
Greek American Review


"In the summer of 2004, Zig Jackson, a noted photographer whose work is represented by the Andrew Smith Gallery, happened across the street into Evangelo's and was immediately fascinated by the Smith photographs on the walls. He began talking with Nick about the images. Nick explained that he needed help identifying his father's whereabouts at the time Smith took the photograph. Jackson suggested that Nick contact James L. Enyeart, a respected author /curator and scholar of the history of photography. Enyeart lived in Northern New Mexico, had been a very close friend of Smith's (who passed away in 1971) and served for years as Director of the Center for Creative Photography where many of Smith's negatives and archive items are housed. Jackson thought Enyeart would be able to help Nick in his search for the facts about his father and the Smith photograph.

Nick contacted Jim Enyeart who was very interested in the story of the Smith photograph. Soon afterwards, he and his wife Roxanne Malone had a wonderful time sharing stories with Nick and his mother Kiki. Enyeart reviewed the materials proudly displayed at Evangelo's, including family photographs, documentation of the quest for military records, and letters from the USPS Masters project among other items.

Enyeart concurred that it appeared that the man in the Smith photographs was Nick's father. Nick explained that he needed to submit a letter from an expert to LIFE who would affirm this. Based on the documentation and materials he reviewed, Enyeart agreed to write a statement certifying this fact which was sent to the editors of the Time-Life Photo Library and Life magazine. Enyeart wrote, "I am unequivocally confident that the postal issue stamp of Smith's photograph is a portrait of Angelo Klonisn.". Shortly thereafter, Enyeart suggested to Nick that he was interested in exploring the idea of writing a book about the two Smith photographs.

Having spent a great deal of time with Smith during his career, including the process of installing his archive at the Center for Creative Photography (he was with Smith when he died), Enyeart was the perfect person to continue this research. Soon afterwards, he commenced extensive discussions with the Klonis family and traveled to the Smith Archives at the CCP in the fall of 2004. He found a letter from Smith to his wife, written during the war years, stating he wanted to be at the invasion of France, and would travel onward from that pivotal event.

It was clearly documented that Smith had photographed in both Europe and Saipan, but Enyeart concluded that this discovery made it clear that the photographs were made in Saipan, not Normandy. However, evidence that Angelo was serving in the Pacific Theater had yet to surface. Enyeart was increasingly curious about just what this soldier was involved with on behalf of the U. S. Army. What missions had he been on? Why were there no records? Circumstances have prohibited Enyeart from continuing to research and write the book, but he noted recently that Nick's continued research on his father "appears to have born great benefit in the identity of the photographs."

Spurred by Enyeart's scholarship and genuine interest in the project in late 2004 the family searched for more clues to his military whereabouts. Among Angelo's Army memorabilia, Kiki found a monetary note from the Japanese government that was typically issued to soldiers in the Pacific Theater. The family had never before seen this currency, located at the bottom of a metal box. This was their first indication that Angelo may in fact have been in Saipan!

In early 2005, Enyeart made a second trip to the Center for Creative Photography to review and document the Smith contact sheets and notes from the film rolls featuring Angelo Klonis, particularly the full-frame image showing many people in the frame.

Nick recalled this as the photograph from the book title he had seen years prior, featuring his father holding a cigarette in his mouth, standing with a group of men; he had not viewed this full-frame image since the chance viewing of the earlier book publication.

Enyeart observed that Smith's film notes stated, "I believe that the images 6-8 on Roll on July 8, final days of Saipan Invasion, were 4th Division Marine PFC T.E. Underwood (24th Bat) of St Petersburg, Florida. A portrait of a weary warrior who has been through one of the toughest days of his life. And still at the moment the picture was taken under fire." Upon learning this, Nick strongly replied that it is his father in the image, not someone named Underwood!

Nick notes that the man featured in the Smith photos is obviously a swarthy, dark­skinned, dusky-looking Greek, not an Anglo. It is highly unlikely that he would have been an "Underwood" in the WWII generation of 55 years ago in America, when there was not as much intermarriage as there is today. "Remember," Jere Corlett says, "the armed forces were still segregated then."

In February of this year, Marcia Gonzales, Nick's longtime friend from Santa Fe who is now serving as Army Chief Warrant Officer Three, based in Washington, D.C., contributed research to this project, having the ability to research each Underwood who was in any branch of the military in any war. She identified only one, a T. E. Underwood, who had served in Vietnam. Nick obtained the phone number from the St Petersburg, Florida, telephone directory and on March 31, 2005 called, asking the woman who answered if her husband ever served in the U.S. Army. She replied, "Yes, a WWII Vet" He learned Mr. Underwood had served in Europe and the Pacific, and that he passed away in 1998. Nick explained his curiosity, and asked if she minded if he sent her a photograph of his father in case she could identify him. Upon review of the photo, she regretfully informed him that this was not her husband and she did not know this man. Nick astutely asked if she would send him a photograph of her husband, to see if he is one of the men who appears with his father in the Smith photographs. Nick examined the photographs Mrs. Underwood sent of her husband during his military service, and compared them with the photographs of his father and with the other men featured in family snapshots from his father's war years. He enlarged the photos to review them carefully, and there it was - her husband was featured in the Klonis family snapshots!

Nick telephoned Mrs. Underwood on April 1st to tell her of his discovery and asked if she knew anything about her husband's military experience and whereabouts during WWII. She said her husband spent most of his time in Europe, but served in some special missions in the Pacific, especially in Saipan where he was almost killed. As Underwood told the story, if he had to run 20 more yards he would have died were it not for his "Greek buddy" who saved his life. She shared that her husband had longed to see his friend again. He thought Angelo was from New Mexico, but did not know where and couldn't remember his last name. In 1978, she and her husband traveled west from Florida to New Mexico, getting as far as Albuquerque on their quest but alas they did not find his wartime companion. Throughout his lifetime, Underwood embraced all things Greek ­food, music - and fondly remembering his wartime friend. After listening to her passionate story, Nick replied, "Mrs. Underwood, I am calling you from New Mexico and I'm Greek!" The connection was made.

Nick said he needed more time to look through his father's memorabilia in hopes of finding more photographs of her husband, calling her back with the news that "I think I have at least five photographs of your husband taken with my father!" Nick sent a selection to her to confirm, and she telephoned him right away to say, "Nick, the man with your father IS my husband!"

Her husband was not "T E Underwood" however; she said her husband often talked about how he would change his first initials because he hated to say his name was J. R. as he was teasingly called "Junior." Nick thought about this comment and replied that his dad said his Army buddies used to call him "Crazy Greek," which translated as "TRELOS ELLlNAS" - 'T E." for short and going forward T.E. was used as his nickname. Hence, we have T. E. Underwood noted in the Smith film records - a mixture of the two friend's names. (Mrs. Underwood told him that her husband had emphasized that on special missions they were instructed never to give their real names, hence the initials.)

Nick asked Mrs. Underwood if her husband talked to their family about his war years, explaining that his own father hadn't shared much and never discussed serving in the Pacific Theater. She graciously agreed to be interviewed for an affidavit and confirmed that she had learned from her husband that he and Angelo Klonis were on 13 secret missions together during their wartime service, including Saipan.

Enyeart reviewed all the materials relating to the Underwoods and concluded the puzzle has been solved and no questions remained. Between Mrs. Underwood's statement and the comparison of the Underwood and Klonis family photographs featuring the other soldiers, along with review of the Smith negatives, Enyeart concluded that Nick's father was in Saipan on a secret mission and is unquestionably featured in the famous photograph known throughout the world. Enyeart has since identified a second soldier in the Smith photographs who also appears in Klonis' family snapshots, further substantiating that Klonis was in Saipan at the time W. Eugene Smith was photographing under contract for LIFE magazine."

And more can be found here: http://www.digitaljo...10/swanson.html

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 03 September 2008 - 04:30 AM.


#9 Deacon

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 12:14 PM

It may not conclusively be T.E. Underwood in the photo, but the material above certainly doesn't prove that it was Mr. Klonis, swarthy or not (by the way, the skin tone of the individual in the photo is a judgement call and adds little in terms of evidence). I would still like to know how it is that a U.S. Army soldier who fought in Europe ended up in a Marine Corp uniform in the Pacific Theater, on the island of Saipan. I just can't buy the notion that Mr. Klonis was a member of one distinct orgainization, the Army, dressed in the combat utilities of another organization, the Marines, in order to perform some type of cloak-and-dagger misson during an island-hopping campaign like Saipan, which was straight up combat, with little need or time for intrigue and "special missions." By the way, the photo was part of a group of photos taken of a unit of men during a lull in the fighting--they are clearly U.S. Marines, no question about it. So, Ms. Swanson, the author of the above article, is going to have to come up with some better evidence than the rather convoluted reasoning she's presented thus far, especially that stuff about only using first initials for, again, "special missions."

Edited by Deacon, 03 September 2008 - 12:19 PM.


#10 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 09:16 AM

http://search.ancest...amp;o_lid=33216

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946:

Name: Angelos S Klonis
State: New Mexico
County or City: Santa Fe
Enlistment State: New Mexico
Birth: year
Military: date - city, New Mexico
Residence: location, Santa Fe, New Mexico

#11 bobgee

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 09:56 AM

To me this seems a variation on the "What Sailor Kissed the Nurse in Times Square on V-J Day" discussion, also a Life Magazine pic. The man in the picture sure looks a Marine to me, wearing a USMC camo helmet cover and perhaps a USMC camo jacket, with another Marine in camo helmet in the background . There is a suggestion that there was more than this photo group. I would like to see them.

One of these days I'm gonna figure out how to get my 15 minutes of fame - from yesteryear! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/wink2.gif

My 2-cents! Bobgee

#12 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:22 AM

Courtesy of: http://www.digitaljo...10/swanson.html

NOTE: Jere C. Corlett notes that "Enyeart was able to make the identifications of the unnamed soldiers in the different photos by viewing and comparing the individuals in an uncropped version of the Smith cigarette photo which is available only at the Center (CCP) in Tucson. The uncropped photo shows two more soldiers that are not seen in all of the cropped versions which are published all around the world. Underwood has never been identified in any of the Smith photos by anyone who has viewed them and compared them with other photos. The only reference to Underwood was by [W. Eugene] Smith himself in 1944, which we have now proven to be a wrong identification. But the irony is that Smith's mistake has led us to Underwood's widow 56 years later, and the widow has given us conclusive proof that Underwood was not in any of the Smith photos."]

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Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 04 September 2008 - 10:24 AM.


#13 bobgee

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:32 AM

Sorry - But the more "evidence" I read, the more I see "wishful thinking" embellishing this story. Just call me an old skeptic! In early 1942 the USMC didn't care if you were a citizen or not - warm bodies were highly sought after. The polynesian style bamboo decorations in a bar in Sante Fe holds a subliminal clue to the whereabouts of the owner in WWII? Gimme a break! The man in the picture is "dark & swarthy" so it can't be an Anglo named Underwood. HUH? The soldier tells his family he was in Europe in the war and at Normandy on D-Day June 6th, 1944 never mentioning the Pacific or Saipan and then miraculosly is transported to the Pacific invasion of Saipan on a secret mission within a month in 1944. Yeah, Right???? All this in spite of the photographer's notes that these were Marines from the 24th Bn (probably Regiment), 4th Marine Division.
If someone were to provide Mr. Klonis' sevice number and DOB I bet someone on this Forum could dig some real info on him.
I'm sure Mr. Klonis was a great guy----but I just don't think he was the guy in the photo. But it makes for good saloon publicity!
My 2-cents....Bobgee

#14 Wailuna

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 02:25 PM

Link here to see Angelo Klonis's Army enlistment record (includes his Army serial number and year of birth).

Of course, this record does not prove or disprove the family's Life cover claim but count me among the skeptical.

Edited by Wailuna, 04 September 2008 - 02:27 PM.


#15 craig_pickrall

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 05:34 PM

Does anyone know the date of the original WW2 issue of LIFE that the pic appeared in?

#16 brandon_rss18

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 05:12 AM

I looked at LIFE magazines archives on their website and I cannot find this magazine anywhere on it. Maybe someone else can shine some more light on this. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/ermm.gif

#17 Wailuna

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 10:18 AM

...I looked at LIFE magazines archives on their website and I cannot find this magazine anywhere on it...

W. Eugene Smith took the picture on Saipan, July 15th, 1944. Here is the original caption:

MARIANAS ISLANDS - JULY 15: Grizzled & weary US soldier smoking a cigarette during the final days of fighting to gain control of the island of Saipan from occupying Japanese forces during WWII.

LIFE died a slow and agonizing death before it was finally taken off LIFE support in 2000. Finding LIFE content (other than photography) on the Internet today is difficult to impossible. So, anyone who wants to see this picture as it appeared on the page probably will need to do some old-fashioned research in a library (gasp!) The first LIFE issue after July 15, 1944, was July 17th, which undoubtedly was too soon for this picture to have made it to print, however, that is the place to start page-flipping. Good luck.

#18 craig_pickrall

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 01:30 PM

I have a complete set of WW2 LIFE mags and am willing to take pics of that photo and anything related to it but I do not have time to do the research on which issue. I will be on vacation for a week so I can get into it on my return.

#19 Wailuna

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 05:41 PM

...I have a complete set of WW2 LIFE mags and am willing to take pics of that photo and anything related to it...

Good deal, Craig. I should mention that I had thought it was a cover picture until I tried to find it but I now think it was an inside image...I did get two returns from a restricted keyword search for "Saipan" in July 24th and August 28th issues of LIFE. You might try looking at those first.

#20 Jim Baker

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 08:22 PM

5540002_Battle_Weary_Cigarette_Smoking_Marine_on_Saipan_During_Fight_to_Wrest_the_Island_from_Japanese_Posters.jpg

#21 Wailuna

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 11:00 PM

Yep, that's the picture. The question since Craig's post at #15 has been in which issue of LIFE did it first appear.

#22 Bellumbill

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 05:31 PM

Wondering if Mr. Klonis, assuming this photo is of him, was in the 6th Ranger Battalion or the Alamo Scouts in WWII? There is ample photo evidence of 6th Rangers wearing USMC camo helmet covers in WWII, though not the camo uniform. However, the Alamo Scouts did wear a camo uniform though did not wear helmets. What prompted my thinking that was in one of the other photos in an earlier post shows a certificate stating Mr. Klonis was a Sgt. in the Special Forces - which Rangers/Alamo Scouts became associated with after WWII.

Again, just wild speculation.

Bill K.

#23 Matthew

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 06:35 PM

Good deal, Craig. I should mention that I had thought it was a cover picture until I tried to find it but I now think it was an inside image...I did get two returns from a restricted keyword search for "Saipan" in July 24th and August 28th issues of LIFE. You might try looking at those first.


I found some scans online from the July 24th issue's article "mopping up Saipan" and I did not see this photo among them, unless it was on another page that was not scanned. Could there be a possibility that this photo was not published during the war?

Also in this other photo of him, his "swarthy dark skin" appears to be just a lot of grime.
 

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Edited by Brig, 27 June 2014 - 11:59 AM.


#24 Wailuna

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 07:30 PM

Good work, Matthew. Based on your post, my guess is that the cigarette picture is somewhere in the July 24th issue or it was not used by LIFE during the war.

But the canteen photo is a fortunate find. Compare it with this one of Klonis borrowed from one of the links previously posted (link here to see it in context):

klonis_ETO.jpg

The caption reads: "Nick Klonis on top of an anti-craft machine gun" and the article places him in ETO.

Someone with better imagery skills than mine might want to improve this grainy image and place it in a side-by-side arrangement with the Saipan canteen photo, with each man conveniently showing us his left profile. Are they the same man?

#25 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:05 AM

?

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