Service Number: 334714
Birth and Early Life:
Theodore Raht was born on February 8, 1920. His father, Theodore Sr, had been a successful cotton manufacturer in Chattanooga, Tennessee before relocating to Columbus, Georgia around 1910; Theodore Junior was raised on the paycheck of Swift Spinning Mills, Inc.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
One month and one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Raht enlisted in the Marines. Within six months, he was a corporal serving with the Intelligence section of the Fifth Marine Regiment. (1)
Corporal Raht trained in North Carolina and New Zealand before landing on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. He was on the island for five days before being chosen for a night patrol led by Colonel Frank Goettge, the division’s intelligence officer.
Date Of Loss:
Theodore Raht was killed in action in the early morning hours of August 13, 1942, when the Goettge patrol was ambushed by a Japanese garrison near the Matanikau river. His remains were never recovered.
Next Of Kin:
Parents, Theodore Sr. & Catherine Raht
Status Of Remains:
Buried on Guadalcanal
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
Riverdale Cemetery, Columbus, GA. Plot 63 Section 13.
(1) This was an unusually fast rise through the ranks. Raht may have had some previous civilian experience that applied to his Intelligence assignment, or he may have simply been very, very good at his job.