Private First Class Wencel William Kust

Service Number: 272764

Birth and Early Life:
Wencel Kust was born to Wencel J. and Mary Kust of Brazeau, Wisconsin on August 3, 1918.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Kust joined the Marine Corps on June 14, 1940, at the age of 21. After completing boot training at MCRD San Diego, he joined the recruit depot’s Sea School.

Wartime Service:
Private Kust was assigned to the Marine detachment of the USS Astoria at Pearl Harbor on August 31, 1940. He was promoted to Private First Class the following April, and served solidly without any great distinction or disciplinary action through the attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequent campaigning at the Coral Sea and at Midway. In August 1942, as Kust celebrated his 24th birthday, the Astoria set a course for Guadalcanal, where she supported the Marine landings and patrolled to protect the fleet.

Date Of Loss:
Wencel Kust was killed on August 9, 1942, when the Astoria was sunk during the battle of Savo Island. His remains were never found.

For more information on the USS Astoria, please visit

Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Mary Kust

Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

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