Former KTVU news director Ray Jacobs — who spent many years proving he was among the Marines in the famous Iwo Jima photo — has died of natural causes at a hospital in Redding at age 82, according to the Chron and AP. Jacobs started at Channel 2 in 1958 and worked as a reporter, anchor and eventually news director. He retired in 1992. Here’s a link to a You Tube video of KTVU’s 30th anniversary special (air date: March 3, 1988) during which Jacobs was interviewed by Dennis Richmond and Elaine Corral.
As for the 1945 Iwo Jima photo, newspaper accounts from the time claimed he was was on the mountain during the initial raising of a smaller American flag, though he had returned to his unit by the time the famous AP photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal of a flag-raising re-enactment later the same day. Jacob’s face wasn’t fully visible in that photo, but other negatives from the same roll of film clearly show his face, according to an expert quoted by the Chron.