Service Number: 363649
Birth and Early Life:
Ira was the oldest child of Morris and Bessie Kohler of Chicago, Illinois. He was born around the year 1913.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Kohler joined the Corps on February 3, 1942; after completing his training at MCRD San Diego, he was posted to Company F, 9th Marines.
Private Kohler left the 9th Marines in the spring of 1942; he was reassigned to Company K, 22nd Marines, and sent for duty in American Samoa that summer.
Date Of Loss:
On the evening of August 30, 1942, Kohler and Sergeant James Rall obtained permission from their commanding officer to take a break from their duties and go fishing. They hired a local to take them out in his canoe, and were seen pushing off from shore at about 2130 hours.
Neither Marine was ever seen again. It was assumed that they had drowned on their expedition, but no trace of them could be found. (1)
Next Of Kin:
Wife, Mrs. Esther Elaine Kohler (2)
Status Of Remains:
Presumed lost at sea
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
(1) This unusual cause of death was recorded in the company’s muster roll of October, 1942.
The identity and fate of the canoe’s owner is unknown.
(2) Esther Kohler died in 1999; she evidently never remarried as her gravestone reads “Wife of Pvt Ira Kohler.”