Pl Sgt Leon Walter McStine
U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Division
1st Marine Regiment, 1st Battalion, Company B (B/1/1)
Missing In Action September 17, 1942
Leon Walter McStine was born April 10, 1913 in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. The family surname was also spelled "Misktine". At age twenty, his family moved to Brooklyn, NY.
U.S. Marine Corps Service
On December 15, 1933 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) with serial number 240905. As a Marine, his surname was spelled "Mc Stine". After recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. On January 25, 1934 qualified as a sharpshooter with the M1903 Springfield, United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903. On January 24, 1935 served in Panama until November 4, 1938. His first period of enlistment ended December 14, 1937 with an honorable discharge and earned the good conduct medal with bar, serial number 100404. He was described as "honest and faithful".
On January 5, 1938 he reenlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) for another four years. On June 15, 1938 he qualified as pistol marksman with the Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911. McStine returned to the United States on November 4, 1938. On June 14, 1939 he qualified as a BAR expert with the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Rifle, Caliber .30, Automatic, Browning, M1918. On May 12, 1939 promoted to the rank of Private First Class at Quantico, VA. On October 21, 1939 promoted to the rank of Corporal at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. On February 23, 1940 promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
On May 2, 1940 qualified as a marksman
with the M1903 Springfield, United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903. On August 17, 1940 demoted to the rank of Private.
On August 17, 1940 promoted to the rank of Sergeant (Regular Warrant). On November 18, 1940 promoted to the rank of Sergeant. On December 27, 1940 he was deployed to Cuba
returning April 7, 1941. During his service, he also served as a Marine recruiter, chauffeur, truck drive and swimmer. His character was listed as "excellent".
World War II
In January 1942 McStine was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines when his second period of enlistment ended and he was honorably discharged with a final pay voucher of $77.10 for pay plus traveling allowance from New River, NC home to New York City. Immediately, he reenlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps with his rank reinstated for another four years of service.
He married Antoinette (Annette/Jeanette) Burnsville, South Carolina. Afterwards, she became pregnant and when McStine. When he deployed overseas in 1942, she moved back in with her parents in Brooklyn.
On January 5, 1942 promoted to the rank of Platoon Sergeant (Pl Sgt). Assigned to the 1st Marine Division (1st MARDIV), 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Battalion, Company B (B/1/1). On June 22, 1942 he arrived in the South Pacific (SoPAC).
On August 7, 1942 participated in the amphibious landing at Red Beach on Guadalcanal. Afterwards, he participated in the defense of the U.S. perimeter until he was Killed In Action (KIA).
On September 17, 1942 part of a patrol on Guadalcanal that followed the Lunga River inland. Ambushed by the Japanese, McStine was hit by Japanese gunfire and killed.
Recovery of Remains
Afterwards, his remains were found and buried in a field burial with the rest of the patrol. Later, his field burial was lost and he remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).
McStine was officially declared dead on September 25, 1942 at age 29. He is memorialized at Manila American Cemetery on the tablets of the missing. During 1999 his daughter Inger Jones had a memorial marker dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery at memorial section F site 25-2.
McStine earned the Purple Heart, posthumously, Presidential Unit Citation (for the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal) ribbon bar with star, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal and World War II Victory Medal.
Annette McStine (widow)
Inger Jones (daughter)
Note, his surname is also spelled "Mc Stine" (two words) in some wartime records and sources.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Certificate of Birth - Leon Miskine April 10, 1913
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. Mc Stine, Military History, January 26, 1934
United States Marine Corps Honorably Discharged - Leon W. McStine, December 14, 1937
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. Mc Stine appointed a Private First Class, May 12, 1939
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. Mc Stine appointed a Corporal, October 21, 1939
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. Mc Stine appointed a Sergeant, February 23, 1940
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. Mc Stine (240905) appointed a Platoon Sergeant, 5 January 1942
"Company 'I', Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Marine Barracks, New River, N.C.
'Temporary' Auth: MGC ltr 2165-15/15-1 over AV-ehk, dated 31 December, 1941"
United States Marine Corps Honorably Discharged - Leon W. McStine, December 29, 1941
Final Pay Voucher - Leon W. McStine, 4 January 1942
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. Mc Stine, Military History, January 4, 1942
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. McStine Reappointment, 5 January 1942
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. McStine, Killed In Action September 25, 1942 at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) -
Leon Walter McStine
Arlington (ANC Explorer)
- McStine, Leon W.
FindAGrave - PL SGT Leon Walter McStine (photo, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Leon Walter McStine (memorial marker photo)
Brooklyn Eagle "Boro Man Re-Enlists" [date unknown]
"After serving in the United States Marine Corps from Dec. 15, 1933, to Dec. 14, 1937, Leon McStine, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter McStine, of 42 Brooklyn Ave., has re-enlisted and has been transferred to the marine barracks in the Philadelphia Navy Yard for duty."
Brooklyn Eagle "30 Boro and L.I. Casualties Named in 16th List of Navy" November 12, 1942
"Dead – McStine, Leon W. Platoon Sergeant; Mrs. Leon W. McStine of 1116 Carroll St.
Brooklyn Eagle "Correction" [date unknown, November 1942]
"The widow of Marine Sgt. Leon McStine who
was reportedly killed in the latest Navy casualty list does not live at 1116 Carrol St., the address given in the casualty list. She is making her home with her parents at 1281 St. John's place, while awaiting the arrival of a child. Mr. McStine said she was married at Burnsville, S.C. and not at New River, N.C. as reported."
Citation in the name of the United States the first Marine Division, reinforced under command of Major General Alexander A. Vandergrift, U.S.M.C.
by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, February 4, 1943
Letter Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps
to Mrs. McStine regarding Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation August 16, 1943
United States Marine Corps - Leon W. McStine Service Record furnished to Mrs. Leon W. McStine (widow), May 9, 1949
Leaving Mac Behind (2019) by Geoffrey W. Roecker pages 107-127 (Chapter 5: An All-Volunteer Patrol: September 17, 1942), 51, 120, 112, 126, 127, 246 (footnote 24), 247, 270
Missing Marines - Leon W. McStine
Thanks to Inger Jones and Geoffrey W. Roecker for additional information
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