Robert George Thompson was born in Brooklyn, New York in December 1922. He served as a rifleman in Company C, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines from the fall of 1943 until his death in the battle of Saipan on June 25, 1944.
The circumstances around PFC Thompson’s death are unclear; he was reported missing in action on June 24, 1944 – that day, his battalion had cleared out light resistance on Saipan’s Kagman Peninsula with few casualties. He was evidently not seen again by any of his comrades, as he was listed “presumed dead, remains unknown” the following month.
Thompson’s remains were located while the battle was still raging; he was buried as Unknown X-5 in the 27th Division (Army) Cemetery, Plot 2, Row 2, Grave 439, at 1330 hours on 6 July 1944. He was identified by the WFI Research Group as being buried as an Unknown in Section H, Row 9, Grave 144 of the Manila American Cemetery.
Reasons for Thompson’s burial in the Army cemetery are unknown, although the AAR from the Fourth Division as well as other casualty cards from his battalion suggest that some Marine personnel were buried there as the distance to the 4th Division Cemetery was deemed too great. By chance, he was buried next to Corporal William Ragsdale, of his battalion’s HQ company.
Robert Thompson’s case was submitted to JPAC in June 2011. As of publication, we have received no word as to their intentions.