Gerald Paul Hopkins
|HOME OF RECORD
1612 Gibson Street, Scranton, PA
|NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. William C. Hopkins
|DATE OF BIRTH
September 17, 1921
November 20, 1940
|DATE OF LOSS
September 26, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Killed in Action
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
On 26 September 1942, the Second Battalion, 5th Marines attempted to cross Guadalcanal’s Matanikau River as part of an offensive aimed at Japanese forces west of the Marine perimeter. G/2/5 attacked through another company that had been fought to a standstill and attempted to cross a sandbar at the river’s mouth.
PFC Gerald Hopkins was one of seven G/2/5 Marines who lost their lives in the failed attack. Their remains were buried together on the western end of the sandspit; subsequent fighting and natural terrain changes over the years obliterated any trace of their graves.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
Private First Class
|STATUS OF REMAINS
“Remains interred on the West end
of a sandspit along the Matanikau River
about 1000 yards West of a road
along beach at Guadalcanal, B.S.I.”
Manila American Cemetery
Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.
Hopkins was a young kid (weren’t we all) with a good sense of humor. He was very well liked in the platoon and he took a little kidding because he had prominent front teeth, And like a good Marine he gave it back. He was killed on Sept. 26, 1942 when we made three attacks trying to get across the sandspit at the mouth of the Matanikau River. Second Platoon lost Waldron, Hopkins, Kennedy, Thresher, and Vignovich, all on the same day at the same place and quite a few wounded… the platoon was pretty chewed up that day. We never got across the sand spit either, and it was only a few hundred yards long. The sandspit divided the river from the sea, and Hopkins was killed right at the water’s edge on the ocean side.
I didn’t bury him or take part in his burial. To be honest, his body, and those of the other killed may have washed to sea during the night after the attack. If his body was recovered and buried on the sand spit, it would have been buried within just a few yards above high tide, and of course over the years anything could have happened to it.
– Edward Newell, G/2/5th Marines
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All photos kindly provided by Trish Berne.