Malcolm L. Pratt

NAME
Malcolm Lewis Pratt
NICKNAME
Doc Pratt
SERVICE NUMBER
11361
UNIT
H&S/5th Marines
Navy Medical Detachment
Surgeon
HOME OF RECORD
300 North Main Street, Bellefontaine, OH
NEXT OF KIN
Wife, Mrs. Katharine West Pratt
DATE OF BIRTH
August 5, 1891
ENTERED SERVICE
March 27, 1917 – October 13, 1919
reentered service
May 2, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
August 13, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
Declared Dead August 14, 1943
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Lieutenant Commander Pratt, a decorated veteran of WW1, was the regimental surgeon of the 5th Marines. Hoping to see some action on Guadalcanal before poor health forced him home, he volunteered to accompany a patrol led by Colonel Frank Goettge to investigate reports of a surrendering Japanese encampment.

The patrol was ambushed shortly after making an amphibious landing on the night on August 12, 1942. As the only medical specialist, Pratt had his hands full taking care of wounded men. He was reportedly giving aid to a comrade when he was himself mortally wounded.

Initially listed as missing in action, he was declared dead as of 14 August 1943.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Navy Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Lieutenant Commander (MC)
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered.
MEMORIALS
Namesake (with son) of USS Pratt (DE-363)
Bellefontaine City Cemetery, Logan County, OH
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.


Articles and Records:

Photo Gallery:
Coming soon.

2 Replies to “Malcolm L. Pratt”

    1. Yes, I’ve seen the account in the monograph. It strikes me as weird that Pratt would bring his dispatch case along on the patrol (as the only medical specialist he surely had more important things to carry) and even more weird that the Japanese would not have claimed it for its potential intelligence value. Especially since they had several days of unopposed access to the area.

      This, plus the fact that the monograph makes the (obviously false) claim that no bodies of the Goettge Patrol were ever found, makes me wonder if this is a bit of fabrication. I believe several veterans took issue with the way the monograph described the aftermath of the patrol. See Thurman Miller and Jim McEnery (K/3/5) memoirs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.