Jack B. Somers

NAME
Jack Benjamin Somers
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
313893
HOME OF RECORD
10357 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Alice Somers
DATE OF BIRTH
December 1, 1921
ENTERED SERVICE
June 27, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
November 24, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Killed In Action
UNIT
B/1/8th Marines
DUTY
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
On 24 November 1942, with their attack to the west stymied by strong Japanese defenses, the 8th Marines maintained defensive positions and began sending out combat patrols – “the result of which is not in our favor due to enemy snipers” noted the war diary of the First Battalion.The 2nd Platoon of B/1/8 attempted to scale Hill 83, but ran into the same network of hidden machine guns and snipers that defeated previous attacks. One of the casualties was PFC Jack B. Somers, who distinguished himself with three attempts to neutralize an enemy gun emplacement. On his third try, Somers was shot in the head and killed. His remains were buried in the field near the ridge where he died.
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Silver Star, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private First Class
STATUS OF REMAINS
Buried in the field.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private First Class Jack Benjamin Somers (MCSN: 313893), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Acting Squad Leader of Company B, First Battalion, Eighth Marines (Reinforced), in action against enemy Japanese forces on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 24 November 1942. Boldly taking the initiative when several attempts by his squad and platoon to dislodge an enemy machine gun located on a strategic knoll had been repulsed, Private First Class Somers worked his way up the knoll despite the merciless fury of Japanese gunfire and then, attacking single-handed, hurled deadly hand grenades into the deeply entrenched gun position. Undaunted by the stubborn defense of the hostile emplacement after he had waged two furious assaults, he returned under fire to the base of the knoll and replenished his supply of grenades for a renewed attack. Although killed by enemy fire during this third effort to silence the Japanese weapon and thereby enable his squad to secure its objective, Private First Class Somers had rendered valiant service in the face of unrelenting opposition, and his cool courage, unfaltering determination and devotion to duty throughout were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Articles and Records:


Photo Gallery:

Illustration by Herschel “Ski” Wilsky, B/1/8, printed in Dean Ladd’s memoir Faithful Warriors.

This sketch by Guadalcanal veteran Herschel Wilsky shows the ravine in which B/1/8 found themselves on 24 November 1942. Note in particular scene (2) – Somers, killed right beside the artist, and scene (5) – a depiction of his grave just below the crest of the ridge.

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