Corporal John Edward Edwinson, Jr.

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NAME:
John Edward Edwinson, Jr.
NICKNAME:

SERVICE NUMBER:
299874
HOME OF RECORD:
Bay State Road, Tewkesbury, MA
NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. John Edwinson, Sr.
DATE OF BIRTH:
~1921
ENLISTED:
October 22, 1940
DATE OF DEATH:
September 24, 1942
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal A/1/7 Corporal KIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
Unknown
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Corporal
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Buried in the field, vicinity of Matanikau River, Guadalcanal
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

Birth and Early Life:
John Edwinson was born in Massachusetts around the year 1921; he was the son of John Sr. and Vera Edwinson of Wilmington. Vera died in the 1930s and John Junior, as the eldest son, left school after his freshman year to work as a laborer in a Tewkesbury box factory.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Edwinson joined the Marines on October 22, 1940. He trained at Parris Island and showed great skill on the target range, earning the badge of expert rifleman, then was kept on with a provisional company at the recruit depot for several weeks before being assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment. 

Service Prior to World War 2:
Private Edwinson was posted to First Battalion, 7th Marines stationed at New River, North Carolina, in early 1941. He spent the rest of the year with Company A, rising in rank to Private First Class.

Wartime Service:
Edwinson made corporal on January 23, 1942; with his expert shooter’s rating, he was probably an NCO in charge of a fire team in one of the company rifle platoons. His regiment left the States for American Samoa that spring, and after completing their final training and acclimatization to the tropics shipped out for Guadalcanal.

Corporal Edwinson first set foot on foreign soil on September 18, 1942. For the next six days, his battalion pulled guard duty, went on combat patrols, killed their first Japanese and suffered casualties – the mark of a unit attaining veteran status.

Date Of Loss:
Edwinson’s company was in the vanguard of a reconnaissance mission undertaken by Chesty Puller’s rifle companies on September 24, 1942. After a day of trekking through the jungle in search of the Matanikau River, scouts from Company A stumbled upon a Japanese outpost and sparked a firefight that quickly grew out of their control. As darkness fell, the Marines managed to get out of their trap and fall back 300 yards to count casualties and tend to the wounded.

One of the dead was Corporal John Edwinson; he was buried where he fell not far from the Matanikau. The location of his grave was lost in the months following the fight, and has not been found to this day.

Next Of Kin:
Father, Mr. John E. Edwinson Sr.

Status Of Remains:
Buried on Guadalcanal

Memorial
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

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