Brigadier General Evans Fordyce Carlson

Gen Evans Carlson


Carlson's Marine Raiders 

Carlson's Marine Raiders - 1942 - Solomon islands - On the Job


May 22

Received an Admiral and his staff along with 200 tough Marines. Each is equipped with knife, pistol, etc. Others have goverment issued rifles, Tommy-guns, and Browning automatic's. 

The company of the 2nd Marine Raider battalions embarked aboard the USS Gwin (DD-433), the USS Case (DD-370) and the USS St Louis Cl-49, at Pearl harbor, sailed and arrived on the 25th of May, 1942, disembarked at Midway Island

May 23

Underway from Pearl Harbor at 0500. Steaming at flank speed of twenty-three knots on a northwesterly course, accompanied by USS Case (370). Literally armed to the teeth, "C" and "D" companies of the famed Second Marine Raider Battalion line the main deck of St. Louis from foremast to aft of turret five as the ship departs Pearl Harbor. Destination: Midway. Mission: A last ditch stand on Midway by the Raiders if the Japanese attack, expected in five days, is, successful.

Their arrival on Midway is described by Walter Lord in his book "Incredible Victory". He was still at it when some trucks roared up, throwing sand in all directions. A gang of men piled out, howling slogans and singing Chinese communist songs. Carlson's Raiders had arrived. This outfit-officially known as the 2nd Raider Battalion -- was something of an experiment.

Organized by Major Evans F. Carlson, training reflected many ideas he had picked up with the communist forces in North China. It had the White House blessing, but its gung-ho philosophy smacked of indiscipline to too many old Marines. To say the least, Carlson's Raiders were controversial,but there was no doubt about their fighting qualities, and when Midway's hour came, Nimitz hurried out two companies.

Arriving on St. Louis, along with Captain Miller's guns, "D" company went off to Eastern Island, while "C" joined Miller in the the Sand Island woods. Both were a wild-looking lot. Bandoleers of cartridges hung from bronzed shoulders. Their pockets bulged with grenades. Their belts bristled with knives which they flung at the trees with casual skill. Even the medics were armed --- no stenciled red crosses for this bunch.

By May 1942, the crew of St. Louis had settled down to a new routine: long patrols of wartime steaming with condition watches, general quarters, air defense calls, little or no liberty, infrequent mail deliveries, and ship's work and routine to be carried out.

The mess decks at meal times became the meeting ground for sailors who had made liberties together. These groups more or less sat regularly at the same tables. The mood was punctuated with gusty humor.

For the first two days the Marine Raiders were aboard, one of the young Raiders a Corporal regularly joined one of the tables of petty officers from several divisions. The Marine always ate in silence. Quietly, the sailors would pass all the salt, pepper, sugar, canned milk and whatever condiments were on the table in front of him. When he finished his meal, always ahead of the sailors, he would be urged to go first even though the crew was still lined up for their "first chow". Always, he declined

Just before arriving at Midway, right smack in the middle of a meal, the ship went to general quarters. "Airplanes?" someone asked. "No, we would go to air defense," someone reminded him. "Must be the Jap fleet ahead of schedule," someone suggested as everyone scrambled for their battle stations............. A ship paired against a fleet.

A few minutes later, the ship was secured from general quarters and everyone returned to the table. The Marine Raider was already there. He sat in silence while those at the table finished their meal. The corporal, tray in hand, stood up and said:

I want to tell you men something. We Raiders have been watching your every move since we came on board. Just now, while you were at general quarters, we sat here, below decks, scared as hell not knowing what was going on and no place to dig in. We voted to tell you this and I'm the one elected to make this speech.

When they told us we were coming aboard St. Louis, they told us we were lucky because we would be aboard the best and "most fightingest" ship in the Navy. They told us a little about you people and how lucky we would be to be with you. We thought that was just a lot of crap like a lot of things they have been telling us. So we watched you from the moment we came on board.

While you were at general quarters, we discussed how you treated us. Gave us everything we wanted, let us ahead of you in the mess lines, let us have seconds before you had your firsts. Every one of us resented that, and we want you to know. We decided that we should not have taken advantage of that. We should have been the one who treated you like you treated us.

We want you to tell your shipmates that we all have agreed that St. Louis is the best ship in the Navy. We hope we never see the Japs on Midway. Not because we are afraid of meeting them in hand-to-hand combat, in a last ditch stand that will be our job. We're the best there is at that, but we know that if the Japs ever land on Midway, it will only be because St. Louis is sunk and all of you are dead.

We want you alive.

Midway Island

Carlson's outfit hardly had arrived in Hawaii when Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet and the Pacific Ocean Areas  (CinCPac/CinCPOA),   ordered two companies of raiders to Midway to reinforce the garrison in preparation for an expected Japanese attack.

They arrived on 25 May. Company C took up defensive positions on Sand Island, while Company D moved to Eastern Island.   Trained to fight a guerrilla campaign of stealth and infiltration, these raiders had to conduct a static defense of a small area.

In the end, Navy and Marine aircraft turned back the invading force in one of the great naval victories of the war.

Combat for the Marines on the ground consisted of a single large enemy air attack on the morning of 4 June.  Although the Japanese inflicted considerable damage on various installations, the raiders suffered no casualties. 

Not long after the battle, the two companies joined the rest of the battalion back in Hawaii.

Members of Companies "C" & "D", 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet and accompanying Navy Medical Personnel

Transported to Midway Island 23 May - 25 May 1942 by USS St. Louis (CL-49)

Company “C”

Capt. Donald H. Hastie, USMC


Alger, Warren Glen-Pfc, USMCR - KIA 1 Apr 1945 Okinawa

Anklee, Robert Jack-Pvt, USMCR - KIA 9 Nov 1943 Bougainville

Barber, Owen Merton-Pvt, USMC - KIA 11 Nov 1942 Guadalcanal

Bauer, Otto P.-Pfc, USMCR

Bowman, David C.-Pfc, USMC

Buckman, Thomas M.-Pvt, USMCR

Bulger, Lowell V.-Pvt, USMC

Cianci, Joseph J.-Cpl, USMC

Cogswell, George T.-Pfc, USMC

Corbett, Howard N.-Pvt, USMCR

Cottrell, Frederick J.-1st Sgt, USMC

Dean, Russell E.-Pvt, USMCR

Dyson, Wayne W.-Pvt, USMC

Farmer, Robert L.-Pvt, USMCR

Ferentz, Fred M.-Pvt, USMC

Foster, Merill L.-Pfc, USMCR

Fuller, William A., Jr.-Pfc, USMC

Green, Paul A.-Cpl, USMCR

Hagen, Thomas E.-Pvt, USMC

Hagemeister, Archibald B.-Pfc, USMC - KIA 23 Feb 1945 Iwo Jima

Hallmark, Floyd Vaughn-Pvt, USMC - KIA 1 Mar 1945 Iwo Jima

Hansen, Andrew-Pvt, USMC

Harrison, Joseph H.-Pfc, USMCR - KIA 11 Nov 1942 Guadalcanal

Hathaway, Wayne C.-Pvt, USMC - KIA 25 Feb 1945 Iwo Jima

Hayes, Neal Y.-Pvt, USMC

Hermanek, Thomas J., Jr.-Pvt, USMCR

Heuman, Werner J.-Pfc, USMCR

Holly, Harland L.-Pvt, USMC

Holmes, Paul H.-Pfc, USMC

Ivers, James-Pfc, USMCR

Johnson, Clarence P.-Sgt, USMCR

Jones, Carlton Jr.-PlSgt, USMC

Keller, Harold P.-Pvt, USMC

Kutter, Kenneth W.-Pfc, USMC

Lamers, Leo G.-Pvt, USMCR

Latham, Cecil W.-Pvt, USMC

Loney, Robert T.-Cpl, USMC

Lutey, Cecil F.-Pfc, USMCR

Malone, Joseph-Cpl, USMC

Mann, Andrew G.-Pfc, USMC

Mann, Howard J.-Pfc, USMCR

Martel, Alphonse-Cpl, USMC

McClintock, Earl R.-Pfc, USMC

Meland, Kenneth M.-Pvt, USMC

Mesics, Frank-Pfc, USMC

Meyer, William E.-Pvt, USMC

Miller, Ralph C.-Cpl, USMC

Mislinski, Joseph P.-Pfc, USMC

Moore, James D.-Sgt, USMC

Morrell, Paul D.-Pfc, USMCR

Morrow, Lawrence-Pfc, USMC

Mundo, Joseph D.-Pvt, USMCR

Muth, John W., Jr.-Sgt, USMC

Naylor, Gillis B.-Pvt, USMC

Oleson, Robert N.-Pvt, USMCR

Ott, William M.-Pvt, USMC

Payne, Robert F.-Pvt, USMC

Pitt, William E.-Pvt, USMC

Portscheller, Elmer R.-Pvt, USMCR

Price, Clifford D.-PlSgt, USMCR

Ramirez, Michael-Cpl, USMCR

Rapley, John H.-Pfc, USMC

Rich, Daniel T.-Pvt, USMCR

Rushing, Winfred E.-Pvt, USMCR

Sauve, Noah T.-Pfc, USMC

Shepard, Kenneth S.-Cpl, USMCR

Shivers, Clyde, Jr.-Pfc, USMCR

Sladky, Francis J.-Pvt, USMCR

Studer, John W.-Pvt, USMCR

Sullivan, John-Cpl, USMCR

Swanson, John M.-Pvt, USMC

Tassone, Frank F.-Pfc, USMCR

Tobin, Thomas P.-Pfc, USMCR

Volz, Charles R., Jr-Pvt, USMCR - KIA 10 Mar 1945 Iwo Jima

Watson, Owen A.-Pvt, USMC

Webster, William D.-FldCk, USMC

Wiseman, Emmett Paul-Pfc, USMC - KIA 1 Nov 1943 Bougainville

Wolcott, Charles M.-Sgt, USMC

Wood, John L.-Pvt, USMC

Woyak, Simon-Cpl, USMC

Zedekar, Stanley L.-Cpl, USMC

U. S. Navy Medical Personnel

Curley, Allen LeRoy-PhM2/c, USN

Dowson, Warren S.-PhM3/c, USN

Company “D”

1st Lt. Bernard William Green, USMC - KIA 15 Apr 1945 Okinawa

Aspel, Paul W.-Pfc, USMC

Baker, Chesley A.-Pvt, USMCR

Barritt, Earl Elmer-Pvt, USMCR - KIA 24 Nov 1943 Bougainville

Bassett, Henry D.-1st Sgt, USMC

Bennett, Donald E.-Pfc, USMC

Bindrum, Louie R.-Pvt, USMCR

Blake, Robert J.-Pfc, USMCR

Bressler, Robert F.-Pvt, USMC

Browning, James L.-Cpl, USMC

Buchert, Leslie C.-Pvt, USMC

Byczek, Stanley F.-Cpl, USMC

Cason, Aldo J.-Pvt, USMCR

Chapman, Robert L.-Pvt, USMCR

Christy, Milton G.-Pvt, USMCR

Cotter, John M.-Pvt, USMCR

Duda, John-Pvt, USMC

Dwyer, Robert E.-Pfc, USMCR

Erb, John W.-Cpl, USMCR

Evans, Jack W.-Pvt, USMCR

Evans, William C.-Pvt, USMC

Faltyn, Hubert J.-Pfc, USMC

Fanslow, LeRoy Irvin-Pfc, USMCR - KIA 11 Nov 1942 Guadalcanal

Fowler, Charles E.-Pvt, USMC

Greenlee, Woodrow O.-Pvt, USMC

Hangge, Herman J.-PlSgt, USMCR

Henry, William P.-Pfc, USMC

Higgins, Hugh B.-Pvt, USMC

Honor, James R.-Cpl, USMC

Jerden, Stewart-Pvt, USMCR

Johnson, Woddie A.-Sgt, USMC

Jolly, William T.-Pfc, USMCR

Jones, James L.-Pvt, USMC

Kienast, Joseph P.-Pfc, USMCR

LaVigne, Arthur T.-FldCk, USMCR

Leary, John J.-Pfc, USMCR

Leisner, Kenneth L.-Pfc, USMC

Lerma, Ernest A.-Pfc, USMCR

Mathews, Harold V.-Pvt, USMCR

Melton, Harold L.-Cpl, USMCR

Mendenhall, Cecil R.-Pfc, USMCR

Mergado, Frank S.-Pvt, USMC

Metcalf, Harold R.-Pvt, USMCR

Middlebrook, John T.-Pfc, USMC

Mihelic, Joseph J.-Pvt, USMCR

Moore, Robert H.-Sgt CP, USMCR

Morley, Neil V.-Pfc, USMCR

Mueller, Glenn F.-Pvt, USMC

Nelson, Everett W.-Pvt, USMC

O’Brien, James E.-Sgt, USMC

Onstad, William J.-Pfc, USMC

Pauly, George W.-Pvt, USMC

Pearce, Allen A., Jr.-Pfc, USMC

Picotte, Eugene J.-Pfc, USMC

Place, John E.-Pfc, USMC

Preston, George C.-Pvt, USMCR

Renner, Russell-Cpl, USMCR

Rix, John B.-Pvt, USMC

Rokaski, Charles-Cpl, USMC

Russell, Robert R.-Pvt, USMC

Sands, Kenneth D.-Pfc, USMC

Schone, Magnus D.-Sgt, USMC

Setescak, George J.-Cpl, USMC

Shawlee, Ralph F.-Pvt, USMC

Sherwood, Homer W.-Pvt CP, USMC

Sibert, Raymond P.-Pvt, USMC

Smith, Harry W.-Sgt, USMC

Snyder, Howard M.-Pvt, USMCR

Spangler, Lee E.-Pfc, USMC

Stocker, Harvey C.-Pfc, USMCR

Thomas, John D.-Pvt, USMCR

Torrey, Cleston E.-Pfc CP, USMC

Tosch, Robert W.-Cpl, USMCR

Utke, Harold C.-Pfc CP, USMC

Van Hoose, Charley C., Jr.-Pfc, USMC

Vickers, Leonard R.-Pvt, USMC

Wark, John-Pfc, USMC

Weiford, Robert H.-Pfc, USMCR

Wheaton, Richard W.-Pvt, USMC

Wieland, John J.-Pvt, USMCR

Wise, John F.-Pfc, USMC

Young, Charles W.-Cpl, USMC

U. S. Navy Medical Personnel

Desmarteau, Edward M.-PhM3/c, USN

Lemon, Howard E.-PhM2/c, USN

Schaap, Warne N.-PhM3/c, USN