Baker Company Portrait

So that we will remember!

First Battalion, 24th Marines

baker_groupshot

Photo Source: Martindale Family Tree, uploaded by user “plaxamate1”

A neat souvenir photo of four Baker Company Marines, probably taken late in 1943, and a good representation of the casualties suffered by 1/24 during the war. None of these four men was in combat for more than five cumulative days, yet two were killed and the other two received crippling wounds.

Standing at left is Edward Duclos of West Springfield, Massachusetts. PFC Duclos was killed on Saipan, June 16 1944.

Beside him is Homer L. “Drummer” Hager. Hager, a bazooka man, was wounded in action on Namur, February 1 1944. He returned to the company as a bazooka team leader in a demolitions squad, but was hit a second time, also on June 16, and was permanently removed from combat.

Squatting at left is Ellis Thomas. “Wiley” Thomas, a rifleman, was promoted to corporal following the…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on October 22, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. Excellent re-post on the deeds of these four Marines gp, the bond ships made in uniform, are truly remarkable and last a lifetime. Their short time in combat provides proof of the savagery of the actions they participated in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. it’s been too long since I’ve been able to visit and this post really struck me.
    The photo shows such youth, strength, pride, and smiles.
    Yet what devastation followed.
    Just awful

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good to see some pictures where the names are known – so many of them are just forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing these phenomenal letters.You are keeping memories alive. How righteous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think the statistics ever really set in for me until I read Antony Beevor’s D-Day book. I could only read in small doses because of the death tolls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are horrific, RoseMary, I can certainly understand that. Some battles are so horrendous I tone down the info because they would make everyone cringe. I appreciate your time and effort in reading our history.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These stats are so sad and the photo drives it home. All the of young lives potential of lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The ancient Greeks had a saying—

    ‘In time of peace, the young men bury their fathers. In time of war fathers bury their sons …’

    And with any due apologies, I still don’t like the idea of sending women off to war.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those are terrible stats. MMII was devastating.

    Like

  9. It’s hard to give a ‘like’ to something so distressing …

    As a child even, I thought “if you really have to have a war, why not each nation field a team of (say) fifty men, with identical weaponry and kit—send ’em in from opposite ends of an identically formed forest and let ’em have at it?”.

    But it occurred to me that the losers(politicians safe at home) would always declare the winners to be cheats. And then they’d go to war proper over who really won …

    The only good news is that these days the manpower pool is doubled in size, so we can all have bigger and better wars.

    Hollywood should make a killing …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ‘Every day should be Veteran’s Day. They are the reason we still have a country’ – Amen to that GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As a family member of 5 Marines, wife of a Korean vet, and father in WWII, I vividly know the heartbreak of losing some of them to war. You are so right GP. It is extremely hard on the families left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We must listen to the Veterans they know what war is can and how difficult it was to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Indescribably sad. I wonder how their families coped. I have just started reading a thesis about the effect on (Australian) parents losing their sons in WWI and how many ended in mental hospitals, or took their own lives, on account of the grief.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unfortunately, I know how they feel. It’s not easy surviving.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh dear, my apologies GP, I did not mean to be thoughtless there. Losing a child is a pain that time does not heal, and I feel for you. Your blog is a tremendous tribute, and brings comfort to many.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh no, Gwen, you were not thoughtless and I did not mention it to instill pity. I merely wished to say that I could relate to what those people felt and how heartless the politicians have been about war these past years. Even back in Vietnam, men were not ordered to go on second and third tours of duty – today it not uncommon to hear a soldier has been over 4 and 5 times! (and then they wonder why all the PTSD)

          Liked by 1 person

    • GG, as one who lost 2 family members to war, I can only tell you the survival is so very difficult to deal with. It’s something you never really get “over”. You are just left with heartbreak and pain. It gets easier as time goes by, but it is never forgotten.

      Also the PTSD suffered by every member of my family never goes away for the warrior and it is very difficult to watch that person suffer for the rest of their lives. My brother a Marine who served in Nam, has never recovered fully from his PTSD although he had enough strength to go to work every day and raise 4 great children.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My girlfriend recounts the trauma of being a teller in the bank that handled the servicemen’s pay and being amongst the first to know of a death. Twice they were former schoolmates. In my memoir I mention that the young men sent to Vietnam were old enough to fight, but not to vote. One of the young editors thought I had made a mistake, but I had to assure her that was not the case. We lived in fear of the “marble” – a kind of conscription lottery. None of the men I knew were ever the same on their return. Now in Australia we are seeing increasing numbers of homeless men who have served in Afghanistan. They are not getting enough support, and I am sure it is the same in the States. It is so hard on the families – as you say, you find a place for your emotion, but you never lose it.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. A moving reminder of the cost of freedom, especially w/ the approach of Veterans Day. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That is amazing to drill down like that. My heart goes out to their families.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Fine looking men, how sad that they were not allowed to stay that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Thank you, great tribute and remembrance!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. So sad.
    Yes, we must remember these brave men and all of those who fought for us. It is the best reminder to see photos. Even better to see faces. I had dinner out with friends last night and at another table were 5 well-seasoned (I don’t say “old” 🙂 ) gentlemen who all had hats on that said they were Korean War Vets. We thanked them for their service. These men brought tears to my eyes.

    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Seeing these four young men and knowing their fates, really personalises the awfulness of their experiences. And reinforces how important it is that we do not forget.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And that’s just one reason I continue this site, Su Leslie. Are politicians so eager to have a war if their own sons and daughters are fighting in it? Or how about we send the politicians themselves to duke it out!!

      Liked by 3 people

  20. That mad me feel so sad, GP. The young men smiling in that photo, unaware of their tragic fate.
    Enough said, I think.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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