Raymond Harold Hesslink
|HOME OF RECORD
304 Haskell Street, Beaver Dam, WI
|NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Rose Hesslink
|DATE OF BIRTH
|DATE OF ENLISTMENT
December 27, 1941
|DATE OF LOSS
November 3, 1942
|CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal / Matanikau Offensive
Killed in Action
|CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
At 0630 on 3 November 1942, the First Battalion, 2nd Marines began advancing west from the Point Cruz area, aiming for an area designated as the O3 Line. Shortly after noon, when about 300 yards short of the objective, they ran into a hornet’s nest of machine gun and mortar fire, and suffered 74 casualties before withdrawing to defensive positions.
Private Raymond Hesslink was shot between the eyes in the opening moments of the fight. His body was left on the field, “presumably buried… at place of death.” The exact location was not recorded, and his remains were never found.
|LAST KNOWN RANK
|STATUS OF REMAINS
“Not recovered, presumably buried in the field at place of death.”
Manila American Cemetery
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I spotted a big tree on a slight bump on the slope so I raced for it, but the last man in the [Cassity] squad, [Hesslink] got there ahead of me…. Things wasted no time in happening. Hesslink stood up behind this big tree and poked his head around to the left of the tree. Almost immediately a Jap rifle sounded. He just seemed to shudder then stiffen like a ramrod and almost in slow motion he fell over backwards with his arms spread out straight from his shoulders. His helmet fell off as he dropped and his head swiveled in my direction, and I looked into a pair of eyes that seemed frozen in their sockets. Right between his eyes was a nasty little red hole. This was the first Marine I’d actually seen killed and I always remembered it.
This was the third platoon’s baptism of fire and we caught hell; the man next to Hesslink was killed…. and when a corpsman with the platoon crept up to see if he could help him, the sniper got him too. I felt the breath of eternity around me, the three men on my left all killed in what seemed a few minutes but was probably more – I’m sure I said a fervent prayer.
– Jim Sorensen, A/1/2, quoted in William W. Rogal’s Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Beyond: A Mud Marine’s Memoir of the Pacific Island War.
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