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Tarawa KIA USMC Purple Heart Group-very extensive

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A great grouping with an excellent write up! Well done!



In Memory Of......
Pte Harold Griffiths, 1805, 1/6th Manchester Regt, KIA June 4th, 1915 in Gallipoli
Cpl Isaac Judges, 40494, 6th East Yorkshire Regt, KIA October 3rd, 1917 in Ypres
May they rest in peace.....

MSgt - USAF Retired




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Outstanding, Kurt! Congrats! Semper Fi......Bob

"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Who or what is HOA?


You can find my post on "New Members". The story of Kenneth has obsessed me for the past 18 months. I helped my wife's cousin clean out his basement (he was 90 years old and passed away about 6 months ago). All of the items in the group that Kurt has were in the basement, except the snake box and the home made archery bow. Those were in his garage. I first found the snake box and I asked Russell (the cousin) what it was and he told me that it had belonged to his wife's aunt's son, who was killed during the invasion of Tarawa. I later found the bow and Russell told me it belonged to Kenneth as well. I still did not really know who Kenneth was at that time.


After we got the garage cleared out we tackled the basement. The basement was about 2000 sf and it was packed wall-to-wall with stuff. In one box I found the Purple Heart and I asked Russel about it and he said it was Kenneth's. I laid it aside and kept on digging through the hundreds of boxes and Kenneth's name kept popping up. I found envelopes full of pictures and documents Kenneth's mother had kept and I found a box of his high school papers and articles about his snake collecting. Then I found the box with the Foxton banner in it and Kenneth's pile kept getting bigger and my interest kept expanding as well. I found his dairy he kept during boot camp in San Diego.


After a lot of research, I started piecing the story of Kenneth together and what you see on Kurt's post is the result. I know of only one of Kenneth's surviving relatives (Russell's daughter). She didn't really know Kenneth as he died before she was born. I had lunch with her this past Thursday and she is thrilled to death that Kurt now has the group. We know that the story has found a good home. Thank you, Kurt and thanks to Russell for living long enough to tell me what he knew about Kenneth. BTW, I put flowers on Russell's grave at National Cemetery # 1 in Fort Scott, Kansas today.


Pete Allen

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Will try to get some shots of the snake cage and hand made bow up soon; the news paper article describing the military grave registration return of the snake cage is quite unique in my opinion.


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor




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  • 3 months later...

Very complete grouping. I'm not really active collecting these days but had a similar Tarawa posthumous USMC PH grouping from out-of-the-woodwork fall into my lap this past week. A 3/2 Marine who was KIA on Nov 21st and buried at sea.

"We Polish soldiers, for your freedom and ours, gave our souls to God, our bodies to the soil of Italy, and our hearts to Poland"


-- inscription at the Polish cemetary - Monte Cassino

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