Robert Lee Wilson was born to a farming family in Centralia, Illinois on May 21, 1920. He was working with his father on the farm when he decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps on September 9, 1941.
Grant Frederick Timmerman was born in Americus, Kansas on February 19, 1919. In the summer of 1937, he moved from his native Kansas to California, where he found employment as a welder.
Welding didn’t hold his fancy though, and on October 28, 1937 Timmerman enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After recruit training and a brief stint serving on the west coast, he was assigned for duty in China, where he would spend nearly three years from May 1938 until April 1941. After his discharge from his four-year enlistment on October 27, 1941, he returned to work as a welder.
Five weeks later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the United States was plunged into World War II.
David Monroe Shoup was born on December 30, 1904 in an Indiana town whose name portended his future: Battle Ground. His family was poor, and after graduating from high school in 1921, he was able to attend DePauw University thanks only to a scholarship. While at DePauw, he joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps to earn extra money for living expenses.
Shoup graduated from DePauw and received a commission in the Army Reserve as a Second Lieutenant in 1926. Around that time, he had seen United States Marine Corps Major General John A. Lejeune, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, speak and offer opportunities and positions with the Corps for officer candidates. Shoup applied for transfer to the Marines, was accepted, and began serving with them on August 26, 1926.
He served two tours of duty overseas in China druing 1927-28 and in 1934. In between them, he was assigned to the Marine detachment aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) from 1929-31.
In May 1941, Shoup arrived in Iceland as part of a provisional Marine brigade sent there to deter a possible Nazi German attack on the strategically located island in the Atlantic. He was there on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States was plunged into World War II.
He would soon leave Iceland for the United States and California, and from there, to war in the Pacific with the rest of his Corps. Continue reading TFH 11/20-22 Part 2: Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC