Private Charmning W. Rowe

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NAME:
Charmning W. Rowe
NICKNAME:
Willie
SERVICE NUMBER:
347368
HOME OF RECORD:
20 Country Road, Orlovista
NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. Theodore (Lesber) Rowe
DATE OF BIRTH:
~1922
ENLISTED:
October 11, 1939
DATE OF DEATH:
September 24, 1942
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal A/1/7 Private KIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
Unknown
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Buried in the field, vicinity of Matanikau River, Guadalcanal
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial

Birth and Early Life:
Charmning Rowe was born in Florida around the year 1921. The origins of his unusual name are unknown; to his parents, Katie and Theodore Lesber Rowe, he went simply by “Willie.” (1)  The Rowe family worked in citrus groves around the town of Orlovista.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Willie Rowe joined the Marine Corps Reserve on January 20, 1942; within three months he was on his way to American Samoa as a private with Company A, First Battalion, Seventh Marines.

Wartime Service:
Following a few months of training in Samoa, Rowe’s regiment sailed for Guadalcanal to reinforce the First and Fifth Marines, who had landed on August 7, 1942. The Seventh Marines arrived on September 18, and while their newness made them objects of amazement and ridicule from the veterans who had been fighting for over a month, they immediately were put to work patrolling the jungle near the Lunga River for Japanese patrols. The inexperienced troops were almost more of a danger to themselves than they were to the Japanese, but experience was the only teacher they would find on Guadalcanal.

Date Of Loss:
Willie Rowe was killed on September 24, 1942. His battalion was tasked with probing into the jungle near the Matanikau River; after a full day and a half of struggling through rough terrain, advance scouts from Rowe’s Company A surprised a Japanese outpost. The resulting firefight pinned Company A until they could be pulled back in the gathering darkness.

Rowe was buried near where he fell, along the trail to the Matanikau River. The location of his grave was lost after the war.

Next Of Kin:
Father, Mr. Lesber Rowe

Status Of Remains:
Buried on Guadalcanal

Memorial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
_____
(1) Rowe’s father evidently preferred his middle name and appears as “Lesber Rowe” on official documents from the 1930 census to his son’s casualty report. Charmning is listed as “Willie Rowe” on the 1930 census.

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