Service Number: 394489
Birth and Early Life:
William Pollock was the son of Charles and Amanda Pollock of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was their oldest child, born around the year 1922, and eventually left the cold North for the warmer climes of Alabama.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
On July 26, 1941, William Pollock enlisted in the Marine Corps from Birmingham. Within days, he was a member of the Fourth Recruit Battalion at MCRD San Diego.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Private Pollock was assigned to Company M, Third Battalion, Second Marines. The regiment trained through the spring and early summer in the United States before shipping out to Samoa, and then on to the invasion of the Solomon Islands. They were assigned to take the island of Gavutu, just off the coast of Guadalcanal; the First and Second Battalions landed on August 7, 1942, while Pollock and the Third Battalion waited aboard the transport to be landed if needed.
Date Of Loss:
Pollock’ Company M – the weapons company of the battalion – struggled under the weight of their heavy machine guns and mortars as they splashed ashore on Gavutu, August 8. Their task was to help in the mopping up of Gavutu (where resistance had proven stronger than expected) and then assault tiny Tanambogo, barely large enough to house a Japanese seaplane base.
Although Gavutu/Tanambogo would eventually become a footnote in the history of the Guadalcanal campaign, it was no less a dangerous place. When Company M withdrew from the conquered island, they left some of their Marines behind. Among them was Private William Pollock. Nobody was sure what had happened to him; he was carried on the company’s muster roll until October, when he was officially declared to be Missing In Action. He, along with his comrades William James and Merlyn Thompson, were considered dead one year and one day after their disappearance. (1)
Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Amanda Pollock
Status Of Remains:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
(1). “Company K moved up the hill to relieve parachute battalion elements in positions there. At 1330 Company K had just accomplished its mission when as SBD pilot dropped a bomb within company positions on the northwest nose of the hill. Three men were killed and nine wounded. Eight of the casualties were men of the supporting platoon of Company M.” Pearl Harbor to Guadalcanal: History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, Volume I