Merlyn L. Thompson

ega-xz_nophoto NAME
Merlyn Lyle Thompson
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
328785
UNIT
Company M
Third Battalion
2nd Marines
HOME OF RECORD
Dexter, IA
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Dora L. “Zella” Thompson
DATE OF BIRTH
January 20, 1922
ENTERED SERVICE
December 15, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
August 8, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Gavutu
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing in Action
Declared dead August 9, 1943
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS
Private Merlyn Thompson served as a machine gunner with Company M, 2nd Marines, during the invasion of Gavutu in the Solomon Islands.

 

At 1025 on 8 August 1942, Private Thompson’s 4th Platoon came ashore and was attached to Company K, 2nd Marines, to assist with mop-up operations around Hill 148. As they relieved another Marine unit at the top of the hill, an American dive-bomber pilot mistakenly dropped a bomb on their positions. Five men were killed;
Privates Thompson, William James, and William Pollock were all but obliterated by the blast.

The three privates were listed as Missing In Action, and declared dead on 9 August 1943

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Private
STATUS OF REMAINS
“Missing as result of aerial bomb his position.
Body not recovered.”
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

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


Articles & Records:

2 Replies to “Merlyn L. Thompson”

    1. Thanks very much for sharing, John. I recently got a copy of “The Leathernecks Come Through” by Lt. W. Wyeth Willard of the 2nd Marines. Chaplain Willard was tasked with creating the Gavutu cemetery with a team of volunteers, some of whom “fainted because of the heat or the sight of the bloody and stiffened bodies of their friends.” Considering the size of the task at hand – and that he had no trained help, or previous experience in creating a military cemetery – he did quite a remarkable job. (He was also involved in recording burials at Tarawa; the “Willard List” in his diary is at times more accurate than the official records.)

      He also has some very vivid descriptions of the battle itself, and of daily life during the long Guadalcanal campaign. Highly recommended read if you can find a copy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.