Denzil R. Caltrider

NAME
Denzil Ray Caltrider
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
250032
UNIT
Intelligence Section
Headquarters & Service
5th Marines
HOME OF RECORD
Route 4, Augusta, Georgia
formerly Vienna, WV
NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Ruth Jordan Caltrider
DATE OF BIRTH
February 3, 1917
ENTERED SERVICE
September 23, 1935
DATE OF LOSS
August 13, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
Declared Dead August 14, 1943

CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Platoon Sergeant Denzil Caltrider was a senior NCO in the R-2 (Intelligence) section of the 5th Marines. During the battle of Guadalcanal, on the night of 12 August 1942, he joined a patrol led by Colonel Frank Goettge, intending to investigate reports of a surrendering Japanese encampment. Caltrider acted as a guard for a captured Japanese sailor who accompanied the Marines as a guide.

The patrol was ambushed, isolated on its beachhead, and all but annihilated. Caltrider survived a night of fighting, only to be hit by machine gun fire just before the position was overrun. Initially listed as missing in action, he was declared dead as of 14 August 1943.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Platoon Sergeant
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

The Caltrider siblings went all in on the war effort. The family was represented in the Marine Corps, the Navy, the regular Army, and the WAC.

2 Replies to “Denzil R. Caltrider”

  1. Denzel’s younger brother Charles George Caltrider enlisted US Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and was deployed to the Philippines.

  2. Many of us have read about the ill-fated foray led by Goettge but this is the first reading where a Marine was brought to life. This fateful journey was a critical scene in the 1943 B&W classic, “Guadalcanal Diary”.

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