Randolph R. Edwards

NAME
Randolph Ray Edwards
NICKNAME
Ray
MCSN
364854
HOME OF RECORD
2253 Brainard Street, New Orleans, LA
NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. Benjamin H. Edwards
DATE OF BIRTH
August 30, 1919
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
February 2, 1942
DATE OF LOSS
September 24, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Killed In Action
UNIT
D/1/7th Marines
DUTY
81mm Mortars
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Private Edwards was a mortarman serving with D/1/7th Marines. His squad was attached to a combat patrol led by the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Lewis “Chesty” Puller. When the patrol was ambushed in the late afternoon of 24 September 1942, Puller called for his mortars to deploy and cover the withdrawal. Edwards stepped into a fire lane and was killed by a Japanese machine gun.

The following morning, Private Edwards’ body was buried with four of his comrades in a small plot on “Hill X” in Guadalcanal’s backcountry.  Multiple post-war searches of the area failed to locate these graves.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS
Buried in the field.
“Hill X, Aerial Mosaic Map, Ref. 1-20,000, Grave 1”
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

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


This kid Randolph that had just gotten in our outfit… didn’t last too long. That happened a lot with the new recruits who were coming in with no battle experience. Having been in the island for a little bit, [I] had already learned a lot about different things, and [I] tried to pass on some knowledge to the new guys. But no one can take a standard ten or twenty minutes, or even two hours, to explain… what’s going to happen in a battle. Even if you had all the time in the world to explain it, there’s always a new situation that you’ve never been in before. You just told the new guys to keep their heads low and stay away from going up any paths. Once you were in actual battle conditions, you had to learn a lot of things real fast, and your previous training was never enough.
Anyway, this kid Randolph… I had just gotten to know him. You don’t get to meet too many of the guys enough to know them because once you get used to them, it’s like everything else; you get to know them, and they’re gone. Randolph got hit when they called for the small mortars. He had the mortar base plates, and he made the mistake of going up the path. As he went, geez, they just riddled him right down the side with a machine gun. He really got it….
After the battle was over, I had to identify Randolph’s body. When you saw a dead marine, it was really a tough situation. But you were glad it wasn’t you. Afterwards a group of us buried Randolph. [We buried] anybody that was killed… right on the spot. Someone would make a map of the graves so they could go back and dig our guys up. We always went back for the fallen when we had the chance. A lot of times… [they would] bury the marine in his poncho  and take his canteen and put all the information in the canteen and bury him with it.
– PFC Ed Poppendick, D/1/7


Articles and Records:

Photo Gallery:

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s