Service Number: 309310
Birth and Early Life:
Bruce Rankin was born around the year 1924; he was raised by his parents, Bruce and Marine Rankin at 914 Eagle Avenue in the Bronx, New York. (1)
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Rankin joined the Marines on June 3, 1941. After Parris Island and Sea School, he was sent to the Boston Navy Yard, where he joined the Marine detachment of the cruiser USS Quincy.
Private Rankin was still new to the Quincy when Pearl Harbor was attacked; his first wartime cruise was to Iceland on a convoy escort. The ship returned to New York for a refit, and joined the American Pacific Fleet in the summer of 1942. She sailed for the Solomon Islands where she fired some of the first rounds of the Guadalcanal campaign while supporting the Marine landings on August 7. Quincy’s Marines continued the fight the following day, helping to ward off a Japanese aerial attack; they then took up a patrol station to guard the unloading transports from danger by sea.
Date Of Loss:
Unfortunately for the Marines aboard the Quincy, the American task force was surprised by a Japanese fleet shortly before 2 AM on the morning of August 9. Caught completely off guard, there was little they could do to defend their ship, and she sank after only twenty minutes of furious fighting.
Private Rankin was among those lost at sea during the battle of Savo Island; his remains were never recovered. (2)
Next Of Kin:
Wife, Mrs. Bruce J. Rankin (3)
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
(1) Census and Marine records differ on the spelling of Bruce’s name – the census names him as “Bruce Rankin Junior” while Marine and postwar MIA sources are either “Bruce J. Rankin” or “Bruce Junior Rankin.” For the sake of simplicity, he is referred to by the name accepted by the DPMO.
(2) Bruce J. Rankin was not the first Marine by this name to go missing. A Sergeant Bruce Reyburn Rankin of 95th Company, 6th Marines, was killed during the battle of Soissons on July 19, 1918. It is not known if the two men were related.
(3) Mrs. Rankin’s name and the date of their marriage are currently unknown.