William A. Smith

NAME
William Albert Smith
aka William Ague
NICKNAME
Bill
SERVICE NUMBER
266865
UNIT
Company B
First Battalion
8th Marines
HOME OF RECORD
Rural Route 1
North Vernon
Indiana
NEXT OF KIN
Friend, Mrs. Artemecia Howard
Sister, Mrs. Christella Price
DATE OF BIRTH
May 15, 1919
ENTERED SERVICE
July 27, 1938
DATE OF LOSS
November 18, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal
CASUALTY TYPE
Killed in Action
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Sergeant William A. “Bill” Smith served as a weapons platoon NCO in Company B, 8th Marines during the battle of Guadalcanal.

On 18 November 1942, B/1/8 crossed over the Matanikau River to patrol ahead of and provide security for an Army unit that would later lead the resumed offensive towards Kokumbona. The Marines encountered no resistance until they reached a point just east of Point Cruz. Hidden snipers killed Sergeant Smith and Corporal Doyle H. Asher in quick succession; the platoon suffered additional casualties while attempting to retrieve the bodies.

Bill Smith was reportedly buried near where he fell. However, the official coordinates were entered incorrectly, making the exact site impossible to find. Subsequent fighting and base construction may have destroyed his actual grave site.

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

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

I heard a couple of shots on my right flank and [one of my squad members] came to tell me that the sergeant – who was another Sergeant Smith, we had two of them in my company, my brother and another one – he said Sergeant Smith was just shot by a sniper, and that was our first contact with the Japanese….

He was definitely dead because the guy from my squad had his pistol. And I said, “You couldn’t even wait for the body to get [cold]?”

– Marshall P. Smith, B/1/8th Marines, interview with Jack Sigler on 18 March 2004


Articles & Records:


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