|HOME OF RECORD:
|NEXT OF KIN:
Parents, William & Emma Bainbridge
|DATE OF BIRTH:
February 1, 1939
|DATE OF DEATH:
October 13, 1942
|CAUSE OF DEATH:
Unknown. Killed on Goettge Patrol
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
|STATUS OF REMAINS:
Buried on Guadalcanal
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Service Number: 270005
Birth and Early Life:
William Bainbridge was the oldest child of William and Emma Bainbridge of Hillside, New Jersey; he was born around the year 1921.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Bainbridge joined the Marine Corps Reserve on February 1, 1939. He was not far from home; his reserve unit was based out of the post office building in nearby Elizabeth, New Jersey. He attended weekly drills and was promoted to Private First Class by January, 1941.
In the spring of 1941, Bainbridge was assigned to Battery D, Second Battalion, Eleventh Marines. He was not long before transferring to Headquarters and Service company of the Fifth Marines. In October 1941, the young serviceman was promoted to corporal.
Bainbridge was a member of the regiment’s intelligence section; he served in that capacity through training and in the landing on Guadalcanal. On August 12, 1942, he was picked by Colonel Frank Goettge to accompany a patrol to capture a Japanese garrison near Point Cruz. They set out in the evening; dark forced the patrol to land from their boat in the wrong location, and the Japanese attacked just as the Marines began to move off the beach.
Date Of Loss:
The Japanese gunfire killed Goettge right away; command passed to Captain Wilfred Ringer. As more Marines dropped, killed or wounded, Ringer called for Bainbridge and ordered him to head back along the beach to the American perimeter to get help. Bainbridge set off at a run and disappeared into the darkness. He never made it to friendly lines.
A week later, a patrol from Item Company, Fifth Marines, made a probing attack along the same beach near Kokumbona. On the beach, they found the bullet-riddled body of William Bainbridge. Their leader, Marine Gunner Bill Rust, had Bainbridge buried where he fell; the location was lost as the battle continued. (1) Corporal Bainbridge rests today in his temporary grave on Guadalcanal.
Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Emma Bainbridge
Status Of Remains:
Buried on Guadalcanal
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
(1) Hammel, Eric. Guadalcanal: Starvation Island, pg 143.