Blaine G. Walter, Jr.

Blaine Gillespie Walter, Jr.
5th Marines (H&S Co.)
701 Union Street, Millersburg, PA
Mother, Mrs. Nellie H. V. Walter
September 15, 1916
January 27, 1942
August 13, 1942
Solomon Islands
Missing In Action
Declared dead August 14, 1943
PFC Blaine Walter served with the R-2 (intelligence) section of the 5th Marine Regiment during the early days of the battle for Guadalcanal. On the night of 12 August 1942, he joined a patrol led by Colonel Frank Goettge, intending to investigate reports of a surrendering Japanese encampment.

The patrol was ambushed, isolated on its beachhead, and all but annihilated. PFC Walter was one of those who did not return. Initially listed as missing in action, he was declared dead as of 14 August 1943.

Purple Heart
Private First Class
Not recovered.
Lewisburg Cemetery, Union County, PA
Manila American Cemetery
Namesake of the Blaine G. Walter Jr. VFW Post 5507, Millersburg

Temporarily removed for editing and updating. Contact the webmaster for information on this Marine.

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4 Replies to “Blaine G. Walter, Jr.”

  1. Since Blaine Gillespie Walter, Jr. was born 15 September 1916 in Sunbury, Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and he died 13 August 1942 along the Matanikau River in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, he would have been 25 years, 10 months, and 29 days old when he died, not 17 years old as suggested in this article.

    1. Thank you for the correction, Eileen! Looks like I made a typo from Pvt Robert Wood Lovelace (who was 17 years, 7 months old when he died on Guadalcanal). I’m sorry for the mistake, and have made the corrections.

      1. Thank you for correcting the record, but also for opening up the greater detail of what happened to him and those that were massacred with him. His brother and sisters were close friends and associates of my husband’s family, but they never shared this detail with us, even if they knew it themselves. You gave me several resources to research this further. I have found several areas that can be used to teach our youth about lessons that will help them survive and thrive in the dangerous world we have today. As an educator, I feel it is important for youth to discover the story as well as the statistics of those they are directly connected to as family or community members. This is the most important thing we can do to honor the ultimate sacrifice of these heroes and perpetuate these true principles. Thank you for your dedication to this cause.

      2. Cheers for the kind words, Eileen. You’re spot on about the need to educate not just future generations, but present ones as well. In some cases, only a little extra legwork is needed to locate burial or crash sites, or to match the graves of unknowns with names on the list of the missing. This is not to say it’s a simple task by any means, but certainly one that can be done – and we owe those missing at least our best attempts to bring them back. For the WW2 generation, time becomes an issue as family members or comrades who knew the missing personally grow older. Once they’re gone, the extra connection is lost.

        Sadly, for those on Col. Goettge’s patrol, what little hope there was of finding remains grows ever dimmer. There have been many attempts to locate a reported burial trench in the area over the years, but more recent stories from eyewitnesses indicate that instead of being buried, the bodies were scattered around the area. Patrols that found remains were under orders – just whose remains unclear – not to touch or bury them, and eventually they were lost. Imagine the frustration and anger of those men, some of whom were seeing the remains of Marines they knew, unable to help and then to know for decades the dead were unrecovered.

        It is stories like these that will keep the memories of the Greatest Generation alive for generations to come, and for your work educating those future generations, I applaud you. If I can be of any further help, please email me at and I’ll be glad to do what I can.

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