Randolph Ray Edwards
|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
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Killed In Action
|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.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Buried in the field.
“Hill X, Aerial Mosaic Map, Ref. 1-20,000, Grave 1”
Manila American Cemetery
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
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