Monday, September 19, 2016


On this day in 1944.  My grandpa was killed by Japanese forces.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity.  The Silver Star.  Semper Fi.

Peleliu.  HQ company for his battalion.  1/7.  Hanneken commanding the regiment.

I get my height from him.  No one else in my family is as tall as us.

Enlisted 2 June 1942.  Mom was born 30 May 1942.


Old NFO said...

May he rest in peace.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Well, I know I don't want to make his spirit angry. Look at him! He looks like he'd beat me bloody with a sjambok. That look is why I'll never buy a Japanese car. Out of fear of his ghostly wrath.

Windy Wilson said...

Is it Japanese if it was made in Ohio?
Who won that war, anyway?

But seriously, my grandpa fought at Caporetto, and would have been at some other battle his regiment was destroyed at had his gums not swollen to the point that he could not open or close his mouth. I remember a lot of things about him, and things he said while raising my mother, things you and your mother never had.
My father enlisted in the Seabees a month after your grandfather enlisted, due to colorblindness keeping him out of the Navy. Just before his battalion was to ship out to the South Pacific (August 1942, where in the South Pacific is left as an exercise for the reader) he had pneumonia (the real disease, not the 48 hour kind racing through the DNC) and then appendicitis (or vice versa, I forget now). He was out long enough that when he was fit to return his unit had already shipped out, so they attached him to a different battalion that went to the Caribbean to build the barracks for the people building the airports for the Air Transport Command to ferry airplanes across the Atlantic to Britain. He did this in Trinidad and one of the Guianas, and the Canal Zone. My mother said that one of his female relatives did not consider his service to be hard enough compared to her son/father/brother who apparently served closer to the front.

I'm sorry your mother never knew her father. Some losses are worked-around, but never really gotten-over. My father and your grandfather both wrote checks up to and including their lives, and pure dumb luck gave my dad his check back uncashed yet required your grandfather to pay full freight.
I hope he's enjoying "Fiddler's Green", he deserves it.

NotClauswitz said...

I have (and read) "With the Old Breed" and the tales of Peleliu are harrowing. Godspeed the Marine, we hardly deserve the sacrifice.