Laurence P. Spillan, Jr.

NAME
Laurence Patrick Spillan, Jr.
NICKNAME
Larry
MCSN
339755
HOME OF RECORD
408 Winneconna Parkway, Chicago, IL
NEXT OF KIN
Father, Mr. Laurence P. Spillan, Sr.
DATE OF BIRTH
September 15, 1922
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
January 5, 1942
DATE OF LOSS
November 11, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal / Asamana
(Carlson’s Long Patrol)
CASUALTY TYPE
Killed In Action
UNIT
C/2nd Raider Battalion
DUTY
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
On 11 November 1942, during the Long Patrol, companies of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion sent out aggressive patrols between the villages of Binu and Asamana, Guadalcanal. At about 1100 hours, the point squad of Company C ran into a fortified Japanese unit guarding the approaches to Asamana itself.

Private First Class Laurence P. “Larry” Spillan, Jr. was killed in the initial burst of firing. When his squad managed to extricate themselves after several hours of fighting, his body had to be left behind. The Raiders occupied the Japanese position the following day, and buried their dead in the field.

The exact location of Spillan’s grave was not recorded, and his remains have never been recovered.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
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.

I was in J. D. Bennett’s squad. He was blasted across the chest by a Jap machine gun. We entered that open field of kunai grass with some misgivings and just as we finished crossing the open half mile field we approached more heavy jungle. We could hear the enemy clanking on something and jabbering. J.D. ordered us into a scrimmage line and then all hell broke loose. Larry Spillan and Joe Harrison were killed. Man, I never heard so goddamn much firing. I couldn’t get close enough to the ground. One fucking machine gun didn’t sound too fucking friendly in front of me. Lt. Maitland ordered “Okay men, let’s get up and charge them….” Sgt. “Bull Dog” Evans said “Okay, Lieutenant, you get up first and we will follow you,” but that ended any foolish charge talk.
– Pete Arias, 2nd Raider Battalion, quoted in The Raider Patch, May 1981.

Articles and Records:

The Chicago Tribune, 29 December 1942.

Photo Gallery:

Spillan and his buddies in mid-1942. All four would see action on the Long Patrol. Picture appeared in the Raider Patch newsletter, May 1980.