Service Number: 353549
Birth and Early Life:
Haven Grover was the son of Akron, Ohio residents William and Olga Grover. He was born in 1918, and grew up in Youngstown.
Grover visited occasionally with his uncle and namesake, Haven Hendrix Grover. Uncle Haven had served in the Great War with a Marine heavy artillery unit; though his battalion had barely left Quantico, let alone been to France, it is likely that he influenced the younger Haven’s decision to enlist in the Marine Corps after graduating from high school.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Grover enlisted in Chicago on December 3, 1936, at the age of eighteen. He was sent to MCRD San Diego for boot camp; after finishing his initial training, he was chosen for sea school.
Service Prior to 1941:
Private Grover was assigned to the Marine detachment of the battleship USS Pennsylvania in the spring of 1937. He would sail aboard her for the next two years, earning a ship’s warrant promotion to Private First Class.
Grover lost his rating when his hitch aboard the battleship expired. After a two-week furlough, he reported to the service battalion at Quantico, Virginia, and was sent to the mess hall as a messman – a combination cook’s assistant and waiter. The duty was fairly easy, and provided ample opportunities for extra rations, but did not last for long – Grover transferred in early August to the 15th Marines.
The 15th was a unit somewhat in flux – they had been active in the Great War and in the Dominican Republic but now, as part of the First Marine Brigade, they were being restructured as an artillery unit. (1) Grover was detached to help set up a training camp in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but after only a few days was ordered to Battery H, Fourth Defense Battalion, on Parris Island. He didn’t complain; on October 19, the battery commander reinstated Grover as a PFC, with the corresponding raise in monthly pay.
Battery H was responsible for .50-caliber anti-aircraft machine guns along the coast of Parris Island; with German U-Boats prowling the Atlantic and tensions between the Axis Powers and America increasing, the defense battalions served a practical purpose. However, Grover’s four-year enlistment was running out. He was transferred to an ordnance plant near Charleston, West Virginia for a few weeks, then to Washington DC, where he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal for his first hitch.
Grover reenlisted, and was assigned to the general service unit at USNTS Great Lakes, Illinois. He was with this organization when Pearl Harbor was attacked in December, 1941.
As a seasoned Marine, PFC Grover quickly became a valuable asset. He was assigned to headquarters of the Second Battalion, First Marine Regiment in April, 1942, then promoted to Corporal while in New Zealand that summer. He landed on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942, and fought in several of the campaign’s early battles.
Date Of Loss:
Haven Grover was killed in action on September 14, 1942. No information is available about the circumstance of his death.
Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Olga Grover
Status Of Remains:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.
(1) 15th Marine Regiment. The 15th would be best known as the artillery regiment of the 6th Marine Division.