Biography of William Elliot Fitzpatrick
Sgt., G Co., 2nd Bn, 21st Regt., 3rd Marine Division, Guadalcanal Canal, WWII
My dad, William Elliot Fitzpatrick, 6.1.1921 was born in Fayette City, PA. Enlisted in the Marines @ 21 in 1942. Was shipped off to Parris Island and onto New River. From there it was onto Camp Elliot and Pendleton and then on a ship headed for places unknown. He was 3rd Marine Division, 21st Regiment, 2 Battalion, G Company. So few of these guys made it out...heavy causalities for that company on Iwo Jima.
This group was training on sites in NZ and landed on Guadalcanal late in that campaign. They stayed there often times training for missions that were cancelled, postponed, or rerouted until the word came out for movement to Bougainville. They hit Bougainville before TGiving under heavy artillery and mortar fire and moved inland onto the Numa Numa trail. That group stayed out on the front lines for 3-4 months. Some respite came and it wasn't long before they moved onto and were one of the first to hit Guam...in mid-July. On day one my dad was field promoted to sgt (received cpl promoton earlier on Guadalcanal) to lead his platoon.
Again, under heavy fire they advanced up a rather significant mountainside and on the third day my dad took a mortar shell to the back of the leg...it took them nearly two days to get him off the mountain and onto a Navy hospital ship where he was operated on, recouped for a while before he was sent to New Zealand for more recovery. Eventually got to San Diego during Christmas and New Year's...actually saw Michigan play in the Rose Bowl back in 44?....eventually moved to Mechanicsburg, PA...MP duty till being honorably discharged in 45.
Lots more details...would love to hear from anyone else who's dad was active Marine in his Company....My dad at almost 91 still tells the stories and I still love listening. My only regret that after it took him probably 40 years to start to talk that I didn't have a recorder with me every single time he did!!
EMAIL - kfitzpa AT uark.edu
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