William F. Buchman

NAME
William Francis Buchman
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
224 00 15
UNIT
Company H
Second Battalion
1st Marines
Corpsman
HOME OF RECORD
102 East 176th Street, Bronx, NY
NEXT OF KIN
NEAREST RELATION
DATE OF BIRTH
August 23, 1923 (actual)
April 19, 1921 (military)
ENTERED SERVICE
December 19, 1940
DATE OF LOSS
August 7, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Accidental Death
(friendly fire incident)
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Hospital Apprentice William Buchman was a Navy corpsman assigned to the Second Battalion, 1st Marines for the Guadalcanal campaign. He was attached to his battalion’s Company H.

On the night of 7 August 1942, the first night ashore, Buchman was assigned to guard duty at his battalion’s position. In the confusion, he challenged a fellow Marine, who in turn shot the corpsman in the chest. Buchman died of his wounds within minutes – the first American to die on the island of Guadalcanal.

The next morning, Buchman was buried in the field. The location of his grave was not recorded.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Hospital Apprentice, First Class
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered
“Buried in the hills with no
record of location of grave.”
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Note: Buchman was portrayed as “Corpsman Lewis” in Episode One of The Pacific. The role was played by Brynn Loosemore.

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.

Once there came a burst of gunfire. It shattered the night. We leaned over our guns, mouths agape in the darkness. But then the night closed in again. Darkness. The trees dripping. The jungle whispering. No one came.

At dawn we learned the import of the gunfire. A medical corpsman had been killed. He had been shot by his own men.

When the sentry had challenged him as he returned from relieving himself, he had boggled over the password “Lilliputian” and so met death: eternity at the mercy of a liquid consonant.

I shall never forget the sad faces of the friends who buried him. In that dismal dawn, the scraping of their entrenching tools was as plaintive as the scratching of a mouse.
– Robert Leckie, Helmet For My Pillow


Articles & Records:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.