William F. Seiverling, Jr.

NAME
William Frank Seiverling, Jr.
NICKNAME
MCSN
369132
HOME OF RECORD
354 Blanchard Road, Drexel Hill, PA
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Grace Seiverling
DATE OF BIRTH
September 22, 1920
DATE OF ENLISTMENT
February 2, 1942
DATE OF LOSS
November 1, 1942
REGION
Solomons
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Guadalcanal / Matanikau Offensive
CASUALTY TYPE
Killed in Action
UNIT
C/1/5th Marines
DUTY
BARman
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
On 1 November 1942, the First Battalion 5th Marines crossed the Matanikau River and attacked Japanese positions in the vicinity of Point Cruz. Company C ran into a strongpoint in a ravine and was stopped cold, and repeated attempts only drove up the casualty rate. By nightfall, 27 Marines of C/1/5 were dead or mortally wounded – one of the highest fatality rates any Marine company suffered in a single action on Guadalcanal.

One of the company’s automatic riflemen, Private William Seiverling Jr., distinguished himself by covering the withdrawal of a trapped platoon and the evacuation of several wounded Marines. Although wounded, he continued to fight “with grim determination” until hit a second time while making his own escape. Seiverling received a posthumous Navy Cross for “extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty.”

The following day, thirty Marines from 1/5 were buried in the field at a site 400 yards west of Point Cruz and 600 yards from the beach. Only seven were recovered after the battle; the remainder, including Private Seiverling, were classed as non-recoverable.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Navy Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS
Buried in the field.
“about 400 yards West of Point Cruz, about 600 yards inland from the sea.”
MEMORIALS
USS William Seiverling (DE-441)
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 Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Private William F. Seiverling, Jr. (MCSN: 369132), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with Company C, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces west of the Matanikau River in the Solomon Islands Area on 1 November 1942. When ordered to fire on the enemy, Private Seiverling unhesitatingly ran down the hill, directly in the face of enemy fire, and attacked the Japanese, killing one sniper and possibly many others. During the organization of the platoon, he covered the evacuation of the wounded and then hearing that the Second Platoon was also in difficulty, he voluntarily ran between the enemy and the platoon and covered its withdrawal, killing several Japanese before he, himself, was hit by machine gun fire. Although suffering from his injury, Private Seiverling managed to locate the enemy position and with grim determination continued to deliver heavy fire from his automatic rifle. As he started back over the ridge, he was fatally wounded. By his great personal valor, aggressiveness and fine spirit of self-sacrifice he was an inspiration to his comrades and undoubtedly saved the lives of many while giving his own life in the defense of his country.

Articles and Records:


Photo Gallery:

William Seiverling’s enlistment picture. Photo source and more info at ABMC Education.

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