PFC William P. Duckworth

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NAME:
William P. Duckworth
NICKNAME:

SERVICE NUMBER:
344037
HOME OF RECORD:
Crossville, IL
NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. D. A. Duckworth
DATE OF BIRTH:
May 20, 1921
ENLISTED:
January 13, 1942
DATE OF DEATH:
September 26, 1942
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal F/2/5 Private KIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
Unknown
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Unknown
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

Birth and Early Life:
William was born in Illinois; he was raised in Crossville, and attended Crossville Community High School. No other information is available about his early life.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Duckworth enlisted on January 8, 1942, and was sent to Parris Island for training; he did well and was promoted to Private First Class shortly after bidding goodbye to the 9th Training Battalion. His first assignment after boot camp was to Company F, Second Battalion, 5th Marines, then stationed at New River, North Carolina.

Wartime Service:
After several months of additional training, and an interminable time spent at sea, PFC Duckworth experienced his baptism of fire on the island of Tulagi, near Guadalcanal, on August 7, 1942. Although Fox Company experienced little fighting in the two-day skirmish, and little more in their one-company takeover of tiny Mbangai, the experience would still serve them well – especially when they were boarded onto destroyers for the short voyage to Guadalcanal. There, the company participated in familiar patrols and defensive actions, but on a much larger scale. The other two battalions of the 5th Marines had landed on Guadalcanal on D-Day, and were more often used for complicated missions while 2/5 was held in more of a support role. That would change on September 25, when they were ordered to march towards the Matanikau River in support of a battalion from the 7th Marines, which had run into more resistance than they could handle. They arrived that night, and a plan was made to advance in force the following morning.

Date Of Loss:
William Duckworth was killed in action as his battalion attempted to force its way across the Matanikau River on September 26, 1942. No details are available as to the circumstances of his death, or the disposition of his remains.

Next Of Kin:
Father, Mr. D. A. Duckworth

Status Of Remains:
Unknown

Memorial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

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