Joseph F. Smith

NAME
Joseph Francis Smith
NICKNAME
MCSN
332048
HOME OF RECORD
16 Golden Hill Road, Saugus, MA
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Mary F. Smith
DATE OF BIRTH
March 15, 1920
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
December 18, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
November 3, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal / Matanikau Offensive
CASUALTY TYPE
Killed in Action
UNIT
F/2/5th Marines
DUTY
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
In the November 1942 Matanikau Offensive, three Marine battalions trapped several hundred Japanese in a shrinking pocket west of Point Cruz. The final phase began on 3 November with an attack by 2/5th Marines that drove north to the beach. In the desperate fight, several Marines were killed and the Japanese were annihilated.

Private Joseph F. Smith of F/2/5 was killed in action during this assault. His body was buried along the beach trail west of the Matanikau River, along with three others from his company. Subsequent campaigning may have destroyed the grave site, as none of the remains have been accounted for.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS
Buried in the field.
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

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

This was on the third of November, 1942. We came down the line of skirmishers. One person would walk abreast of another, not actually walking but crawling and then some jumping up and running and hitting the deck behind a log or in some protected place – the front platoons would advance in that fashion. We had some supporting artillery before we went down, some mortar fire, and then we had automatic weapons giving us fire cover as we approached the beach. We got within a hundred yards of the beach, just short of the road…. It was a rather open area, with just a log or two here or there, and so my men started getting lacerated by machine guns, Japanese machine guns. I lost four or five men and two or three others wounded, so the platoon was down to about seven men at this point and the platoon sergeant and I were still going….
– 2Lt. Paul Moore, Jr. F/2/5, in Pacific War Remembered, An Oral History Collection ed. John T. Mason, Jr.

Articles and Records:


Photo Gallery:
Coming soon.

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