Douglas Thomas Jacobson was born in Rochester, New York on November 25, 1925. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve at age 17 on January 28, 1943. After his recruit training he was placed on active service with the United States Marine Corps in the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment of the 4th Marine Division.
Tony Stein was born on September 30, 1921 in Dayton, Ohio. He was working as a machinist after graduating from high school and volunteered to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on September 22, 1942. Stein served with the elite Paramarines in the 3rd Marine Division during the Vella Lavella and Bougainville campaigns on active wartime duty with the United States Marine Corps.
Darrell Samuel Cole was born on July 20, 1920 in Esther, Missouri, today part of Park Hills. He graduated from high school in 1938 and was both an athlete and a musician. Cole joined the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, spending a year with them before leaving for a job in industry. That didn’t work out either in the long run, and Cole joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve on August 25, 1941.
As regular readers know, I’ve been blogging every World War II Medal of Honor recipient on their 70th anniversaries, and I have to offer my apologies because it appears I missed one!
Richard Edward Kraus was born on November 24, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was on his 18th birthday in 1943 that he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve. His first combat action was during the Marine Corps‘ assault on Peleliu in the fall of 1944 as part of a unit attached to the 1st Marine Division.
Wesley Phelps was born on June 12, 1923 in Neafus, Kentucky. After graduating from high school in 1942, he began studying the trade of radio equipment repair. That career wasn’t to be as he was called by his nation for World War II service and inducted into the United States Marine Corps Reserve on April 9, 1943.
Charles Howard Roan was born on August 26, 1923 in Claude, Texas. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in December 1942. After his training as a Marine rifleman, he joined the active Marine Corps’ 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division. Like Arthur J. Jackson, Roan’s first combat experience was during the Battle of Cape Gloucester.
On September 15, 1944, the United States Marine Corps‘ 1st Marine Division began the assault on the island of Peleliu. Peleliu was identified as a necessary target to seize as both flank protection and staging area for later attacks on the Philippines and on to Japan.
Two Marines – both from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment – received the Medal of Honor for their heroism on the first day of the assault. Both were awarded because the Marines smothered grenade blasts with their bodies.
Frank Peter Witek was born on December 10, 1921 in Derby, Connecticut. He moved as a child with his family to Chicago, Illinois, and it was from there that he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on January 20, 1942.
After training, Witek was assigned to the active Marine Corps as an automatic rifleman armed with an M1918 BAR with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment as a component of the 3rd Marine Division. He fought with 1/9 on Bougainville, and then landed with them on Guam on July 21, 1944.
Joseph William Ozbourn was born on October 24, 1919 in Herrin, Illinois. At the outset of World War II, he was working as a coal miner and was not subject to being drafted as that was considered a war-essential occupation. Nonetheless, he felt the call to bear arms and volunteered for the United States Marine Corps on October 30, 1943.
Louis Hugh Wilson, Jr. was born in Brandon, Mississippi on February 11, 1920. He graduated from Millsaps College (Jackson, MS) with the class of 1941 and immediately enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
Wilson was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in November of 1941, and at some point in his early service his commission became with the regular Marine Corps. After his initial officer training, he was assigned to the 9th Marine Regiment at San Diego which was being formed between 1942 and 1943 for combat in the Pacific as part of the 3rd Marine Division.