Corporal Charles H. Waldron

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NAME:
Charles H. Waldron
NICKNAME:
Bud
SERVICE NUMBER:
298548
HOME OF RECORD:
Oolitic, IN
NEXT OF KIN:
Mother, Mrs. Edward Waldron
DATE OF BIRTH:
February 16, 1901
ENLISTED:
January 29, 1932
DATE OF DEATH:
September 27, 1942
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal G/2/5 Corporal KIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
Machine gun bullet wounds
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Corporal
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Unknown
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines


Birth and Early Life:
Charles “Bud” Waldron was born in Indiana around the year 1917. He was the oldest child of Edward and Neuell Waldron of Oolitic, and worked as a laborer before deciding to join the service.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Waldron enlisted on September 10, 1940, and trained at Parris Island. After completing boot camp, he was transferred to the First Marine Brigade, becoming part of Provisional Company U, stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Service Prior to World War II:
On January 1, 1941, Private Waldron reported to Company G, Second Battalion, 5th Marines; he left Cuba for Puerto Rico, and within a few weeks was back in the United States at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Waldron was promoted to Private First Class that summer, and spent the rest of the year on duty at Quantico and at New River, North Carolina.

Wartime Service:
G Company spent the first few months of the war building up their strength and participating in some final training exercises at New River before shipping out for the South Pacific. Waldron, who was promoted to corporal amidst all the commotion, was probably in charge of a fire team of three other Marines.

Corporal Waldron first saw action in the invasion of Tulagi on August 7, 1942. Two weeks of garrison duty and patrolling elapsed before Second Battalion boarded destroyers and were shuttled to Guadalcanal. There, they participated in more patrols, nighttime defense of the Marine perimeter, and even helped the Marine Raiders fight off a determined enemy attack in the battle of Bloody Ridge.

On September 25, Waldron left the comparative safety of the Marine lines. His battalion made its way towards the Matanikau River, where they would relieve a friendly unit and continue the advance into enemy territory.

Date Of Loss:
Charles Waldron was killed in action as his company tried to cross the Matanikau River on September 26, 1942.

His company commander, Captain Harold T. A. Richmond, wrote the following letter of condolence to Waldron’s family back in Indiana.

Dear Mrs. Waldron:
Please accept my deepest sympathies on the bereavement of your son, Charles. As his commanding officer, I know that I have lost both a good friend and an excellent member of our company.

While leading his men in an advance of our battalion against Japanese positions at the mouth of the Mantanilsau [sic] river, Guadalcanal, in the afternoon of September 25, Corporal Waldron was shot by enemy machine gun fire. He died instantly.

Corporal Waldron had been in action on two previous occasions, one being our attack on the island of Tulagi, and the second being a battle defending our airfield here on Guadalcanal. As in his last battle, he led his men in a most commendable manner.

Corporal Waldron was well liked and respected by all his men. Fellow members of our company ask me to convey their condolences. We are grateful to him for all he has contributed to the company through his comradeship, loyalty and bravery. He will always be remembered as a good friend and excellent Marine and we like to feel that he is still with us as our campaign continues. (1)

Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Ed Waldron

Status Of Remains:
Unknown

Memorial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
_____
NOTES:
(1) Cited in the Daily Times Mail, Bedford, Indiana. Captain Richmond is mistaken about the exact date – September 26 was the day his company tried to cross the Matanikau – but the rest of the sentiment is undoubtedly accurate.

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