Aaron Leslie Gelzer
|HOME OF RECORD
300 North 3rd Street, Harrison, NJ
|NEXT OF KIN
Parents, Joseph & Pauline Gelzer
|DATE OF BIRTH
|DATE OF ENLISTMENT
August 21, 1940
|DATE OF LOSS
August 13, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal / Matanikau-Point Cruz
August 14 1943
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Corporal Gelzer served with the R-2 section of the 5th Marine Regiment on 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.
The patrol was ambushed, isolated on its beachhead, and all but annihilated. Corporal Gelzer was one of those who did not return. Initially listed as missing in action, he was declared dead as of 14 August 1943.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
Observed on Guadalcanal, but not recovered.
Manila American Cemetery
Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.
On the afternoon of August 12th, I along with two of my section watched the embarkation of Colonel Goettge’s patrol. It was an odd collection of personnel including a Navy doctor, Japanese prisoner and for the most part the remaining personnel were certainly not combat marines.
We recognized a member of the patrol – Corporal Gelzer. We talked with him and he was in high spirits – like the others he had volunteered to make the patrol. I recall some discussion about his being awarded with a medal. As we left Gelzer and returned to our position we talked about the odd absence of fighting troops with the patrol.
– Sergeant Benjamin Selvitelle, L/3/5
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