Veterans of Peleliu, especially of C/1/1, First Mardiv

Information about veterans of the Second World War in the Pacific, including friends and family.

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Veterans of Peleliu, especially of C/1/1, First Mardiv

Post by 8Greatworks »

I am looking for information from veterans and their family members, especially those listed below, in connection with a new account and detailed of the Peleliu battle which has recently come to light. It covers the fighting from the perspective of Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, from the landing on September 15 to the afternoon of September 20, when the remnants of Charlie Company were withdrawn from the line. I hope to get further information from the Company's muster rolls, filling in missing first names. Please contact me at if you have any information to share about these Marines. My intention is to publish the entire narrative, 56 pages in the original typescript, as a monument to the brave men of Charlie Company and their comrades on Peleliu:

-- First Sergeant Ainsworth, C/1/1, the author of the account, "Top" to the men.

-- Technical Sergeant Baure, who remained on board the transport to "watch over the extra gear that the men are leaving behind".

-- Lt. Mueller, "shot and killed just a few seconds after alighting from his tractor", on D-Day.

-- Sgt. Austin M. Wortley, "badly wounded a few moments later by the same sniper that killed Lt. Mueller". (He survived, and Eric Mailander found his dog tags on White Beach in 1996.)

-- Pharmacist's mate third class Auerbach, killed while attempting to render aid to Lt. Mueller.

-- Pfc John H Brown, wounded during the landing by enemy grenade shrapnel.

-- Sgt. Mike (K?)atyas, wounded in the left hand by shrapnel during the landing. (The first letter in his last name is obscure, could be Matyas.)

-- Sgt. Charles Monarch, leader of the assault team, posthumous Navy Cross recipient, last seen leading his team in the assault on Hill 100 on September 19

-- Lt. Stanford, Naval Forward Observer, "slightly wounded" on September 15, but stays with the company, calls in naval gunfire from the USS Mississippi on D+4/5.

-- Pfc Matelle, slightly wounded on September 15, but "sticking it out".

-- Ack. (Assistant Cook) Harvey, wounded on D Day by shrapnel, evacuated.

-- Pfc Nick Vitetta, who took out a Japanese tank with a bazooka during the combat at the airfield.

-- Cpl Edwards, who manned the bazooka with Pfc Vitetta, subsequently wounded by shrapnel, but "sticking it out with the company".

-- Pfc Gordon Davidson, "little Davey, the baby of the company", seriously wounded on 9/15.

-- Pfc Hall, "hit in the legs by small arms".

-- Pfcs Maguire and Byrd, D.D. (demolition?), missing since 9/15, last seen on the beach pinned down by sniper fire.

-- Lt. Currier, "in charge of the 81s".

-- Lt. Peck, "spotting for the Charlie Company 60's".

-- Lt. Schall, also an artillery spotter?

-- 1st Lt. Walter Shaffner, posthumous recipient of the Navy Cross, killed on 9/19.

-- 1st Lt. Francis (Frank) Burke, recipient of the Navy Cross, took charge of the remnants of C/1/1 on 9/20.

-- Pfc Fonda, messenger and dog handler, wounded by another Marine when he failed to identify himself with the password, expected to survive.

-- Corporal Arthur Simpson, Jr., "shot through the left shoulder by fire from within our own lines".

-- Gunnery Sergeant Pyles, "suffering from the intense heat", ordered to stay behind, but recovers and rejoins the company.

-- Captain Rach, executive officer, C/1/1, felled on D Day by a piece of coral "from a cave blown up by our demolition crew", evacuated and carried to the rear on D+2.

-- Pfc. Clemmer, "hit and pulled out of the fight" on D+2.

-- Gunny McHugh, wounded on D+2.

-- Sgt. Rapacz, wounded on D+2.

-- Sgt. Fontaine, wounded on D+2.

-- Pfc. Lockamy, wounded, D+2.

-- Pfc. Lee, wounded, D+2.

-- Platoon Sgt. Misiak, wounded D+2.

-- Lt. Weldon Longbotham, wounded in the foot on D+2.

-- Captain James M. Rogers, Bn. 3, 1/1.

-- Lt. Hilliard, forward observer with C/1/1, 11th Marines.

-- Pfc Jurgens, who "goes down under a hail of gunfire" from Marine tanks on D+2.

-- FM (Field Musician) first class Wagner, sent by Sgt. Ainsworth as a runner to Captain Pope with the forward platoons during the morning of D+4.

-- Ltc Russell E. Honsowetz, Commanding officer, Second Battalion, First Marines.

-- Pfc Christner, with Sgt. Ainsworth on D+4.

-- Sgt. James P. McAlarnis, Navy Cross recipient, ensures that the wounded are evacuated from Hill 100 on D+4.

-- Pfc. Hallowell, radio operator with Captain Pope, wounded in the eye on Hill 100, D+4.

-- Pfc. De Hart, left hand blown off by Japanese grenade, D+4.

-- Pfc. Leccadditto, hit and carried to the rear, D+4.

-- Lieutenant R. J. Powell, commander of the first platoon, Reconn. Company, sent to reinforce C/1/1 on D+4.

-- Sgt. Andress, Company A, who brought cigarettes to Charlie Company during the night of September 19-20.

-- Lt. Trout of A Company, who headed a working party which attempted to resupply Charlie Company on the night of September 19-20.

-- Pfc. John C. Maguire, who located a machine gun on the morning of 9/20, one of the few men remaining as (absurdly) C/1/1 was again ordered into the attack.

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Re: Veterans of Peleliu, especially of C/1/1, First Mardiv

Post by Timerover51 »

I am not sure if you have seen the book, Marine at War, by Russell Davis. Mr. Davis served on Peleliu with the 1st Marines, and wrote a very vivid account of the fighting on the island. I would have to check my copy as to which unit he served with precisely, and then post it here as well.

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Re: Veterans of Peleliu, especially of C/1/1, First Mardiv

Post by 8Greatworks »

Yes, thanks, I know the book well. It is a fictionalized account, though Davis does refer to C/1/1 in one harrowing passage.

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Re: Veterans of Peleliu, especially of C/1/1, First Mardiv

Post by fjcsr »

My name is Frank Crisafulli. I just found this site and have some questions that you may be able to help me with. My uncle Cpl Patrick F. Crisafulli USMC # 00807787 HQ/S 3rd bat, 5th reg. 1st div was wounded on Peleliu on Sept 20, 1944, he was taken to the USS Ormsby where he died and was buried at sea on the 20th. I am trying to find out exactly where my uncle was on Peleliu, where and on what date he landed, what platoon he was in, his movement on the island and anybody that may have known him. I noticed that you mention Company Muster rolls in your post. Will they give me info that I am seeking? If so where do I find them.
Thank you,
Frank Crisafulli

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