Charles Hollis Ferguson
|HOME OF RECORD
Route 1, Bloomington, IN
|NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Sophia A. Ferguson
|DATE OF BIRTH
December 12, 1920
May 27, 1942
|DATE OF LOSS
January 5, 1943
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Killed In Action
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
On 5 January 1943, Company A of the 2nd Marines were situated in reserve positions along the north coast of Guadalcanal. Dusk was just falling when the first mortar round exploded on their lines. “I don’t know how long it lasted but it seemed to span lifetimes,” said one veteran. “The night of January 5 was among the worst I have spent on this earth.”
The barrage – likely fired in error by a friendly unit – caused three casualties in A/1/2. One of the dead was Private Charles H. Ferguson, a new replacement who had just reported for duty a few hours before. His remains were buried in his foxhole.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Rose Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, IN
Manila American Cemetery
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At about dusk that evening, a new private reported to me…. I told him it didn’t matter where he dug his foxhole. He chose a spot about ten feet to the right of my spot. At about eight o’clock the first round arrived. It exploded 20 or 30 yards from my hole…. Shell fragments saturated the air and made a mess out of the poncho I had erected on sticks over my hole. Romkosky began screaming and blubbering. I could hear shouts from other men on the hillside….
When it was over I took a fast check of the platoon and found one badly wounded in the legs and two missing, including the new man who reported in the early evening. The missing were found the next morning. But the discovery was as gruesome as it gets. Both men had suffered direct hits that had literally shredded their bodies into fragments scattered all over the hillside. We gathered up the pieces with entrenching shovels and buried them in their former foxholes.
William W. Rogal, A/1/2, Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Beyond: A Mud Marine’s Memoir of the Pacific Island War.
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