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4th Marine Division Uniform, WIA at Saipan 76 Years Ago Today


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This uniform belonged to Nicholas J. Todaro, who enlisted on December 12, 1942, at Syracuse, New York.

 

The muster rolls are kind of spotty, but from what I can tell, he was a private with Battery "B", 4th Special Weapons Battalion, 4th Marine Division in July of 1943. By January of 1944 he had made Private First Class, and is listed as having served in the "battle of Ennugarret, and Namur, Kwajelein Atoll, Marshall Islands". His MOS at this time was "521", which I find listed as "Basic [Miscellaneous]" online. Does anybody know what exactly that means?

 

In April, 1944, he's listed as a PFC with Battery "D", 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines, 4th Marine Division, and an MOS of "606", which I find listed as "Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Crewman". On June 27, 1944, 76 years ago today, he was wounded in action while serving on Saipan, still with Battery "D", 2/14. After coming home, it looks like he got a couple weeks of furlough, and then spent the rest of the war stateside. 

 

I haven't been able to get his casualty card yet, but I'm looking forward to getting it and his full record. 

 

His uniform only came with one rank insignia on the sleeve, which I understand was implemented as a cost-saving measure. The EGAs look to be some kind of an economical version, though I'm not sure of the details on them. His name is stemped in one sleeve, and handwritten in the other. 

 

I'm very pleased to be the caretaker of this uniform!

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donation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

Always looking for items from these men (family members):
Even if not to buy, to know where they are would be great.
Cornelius Doherty - 108th Field Artillery, Pennsylvania NG, WWI Joseph A. Doherty - 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ID. KIA March 3, 1944.
Harry Riley - 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn, Died August 13, 1944. Robert Lester Mahler - I/3/24, 4th Marine Div. WIA March 8, 1945.
Thomas R. Riley - USAAF Joshua L. Doherty - With a Seabee Unit, I believe.
Ens. Alex A. Gorski, USNR - Died as a POW, January 28, 1945. Capt. Henry Gorski, USN (ret.)
Remembering their service and sacrifice.

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Congratulations on a nice uniform. 

The following details the circumstances and action in which your Marine was likely wounded.  It is excerpted from my own work in progress supplemeted with relevant day of the official report:

 

"Breakout from NAFUTAN – 26- 27 June

While occupying positions near Aslito Airfield, the 14th Marines were frequently engaged by groups of Japanese soldiers coming up from Nafutan Peninsula to the south.  This often happened at night.  Nafutan was supposed to be ‘closed off’ by elements of the U.S. Army’s 27th Division, but insufficient manpower, difficult terrain, and a larger than reported enemy presence forced the soldiers to stretch their lines too thin to prevent the Japanese from passing through them north into the artillery positions. 

            In one instance, low on food and water, Captain Sasaki of the 317th Independent Infantry Battalion, 47th Independent Mixed Brigade, issued orders for a fighting withdrawal from Nafutan in an attempt to reach the Brigade headquarters on a feature called Hill 500.  Under cover of night on June 26 and 27, Sasaki’s force numbering some 500 men slipped through the army lines, split into several groups and headed north.  One group succeeded in destroying American aircraft at captured Aslito field, while another ran into the artillery positions of the14th Marines, set up between Aslito and Hill 500.  In the ensuing battle the Marines sustained 33 casualties and the Japanese force 143 killed."

 

DIARY- SAIPAN OPERATION    27 June, 1944

At 0115 condition red was passed.  Bombs were droppd on Aslito Airport.  VMO-4 received 4 casualties.  At 0640 one enemy sniper was killed by the 1st Battalion, 14th Marines.  Japanese units that broke through the lines at NAFUTAN Point infiltrated the regimental area.  As a result, 12 enemy were killed in the 3rd Battalion area and 130 enemy killed in H&S, 2nd Battalion area.  In this action, 1st Battalion 14th Marines had 2 enlisted wounded.  2nd Battalion, 14th Marines had 2 enlisted killed and 8 enlisted wounded.  3rd Battalion, 14th Marines had 2 enlisted killed and 19 enlisted wounded.

 

The following link is to a thread about a another Marine wounded in the same action.  If link breaks search 'Kachadorian'.

 

https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/287750-usmc-hbt-shirt/&tab=comments#comment-2408222

 

Regarding his previous combat in the Marshall Islands, Ennugarret (codename: Abraham) was the closest reef island to Namur.  These islands were captured in advance of the main attack on Roi and Namur to deny them to the enemy and to emplace Marine artillery on several to support the invasion.   

 

Please share whatever you learn as your research progresses.  Good Luck!

 

 

ACTIVELY SEEKING INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS, STORIES, NARRATIVES, COPIES OF PHOTOS, RELATED TO:

V AMPHIBIOUS CORPS ARTILLERY, WWII

* 14TH MARINES, 4TH MARINE DIVISION

* 4TH 105mm HOWITZER BATTALION

* 4TH 155mm HOWITZER BATTALION

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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Wow! Thank you for that fantastic information! I really appreciate it.

 

I’ll be sure to keep this updated as I learn more.

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gif

Always looking for items from these men (family members):
Even if not to buy, to know where they are would be great.
Cornelius Doherty - 108th Field Artillery, Pennsylvania NG, WWI Joseph A. Doherty - 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd ID. KIA March 3, 1944.
Harry Riley - 62nd Armored Field Artillery Bn, Died August 13, 1944. Robert Lester Mahler - I/3/24, 4th Marine Div. WIA March 8, 1945.
Thomas R. Riley - USAAF Joshua L. Doherty - With a Seabee Unit, I believe.
Ens. Alex A. Gorski, USNR - Died as a POW, January 28, 1945. Capt. Henry Gorski, USN (ret.)
Remembering their service and sacrifice.

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