Rene Gagnon Jr. still struggles with the news that his father was not one of the six Marines pictured in the famous photograph that showed the raising of the U.S. flag after the battle of Iwo Jima. Last October the Marine Corps officially announced the results of those pictured on top of Mount Suribachi after an investigation. Cpl. Harold “Pie” Keller was actually one of the six, not Pfc. Rene Gagnon. His son has commented on how he spent his whole life believing that his father was one of the Marines pictured, saying “I looked up to my Dad for that.” While it is still unclear as to why Rene Gagnon had maintained the fictitious story, some believe he was ordered to identify as one of the Marines due to the immense pressure placed on finding them after the image was released.
The Crossroads of Special Operations