Chapter 9

Return to USA and Subsequent Deactivation

The Rudyard Bay left Kahului on October 25, 1945, for an unusual trip as far as the returning troops were concerned - we could smoke and make noise, and there were no blackouts - different than any other ocean voyage we ever took. Our 236 men who left the USA in January, 1944 as C-1-23 had reduced in number to 58 men. Of these 58 men:

    • 6 did not generally participate in battles

    • 4 had been wounded twice

    • 30 had been wounded once

Of the original 58 men who formed "C-D" Company, nine returned on the Rudyard Bay:

Charter members returning on the Rudyard Bay

    • Gordon Kraft Joe Bright **

    • George Ritchie (D) Bruce Rogers **

    • Earl Wacaster (D) Angus MacCorquodale **

    • *John Seymour Lloyd Givens

    • *George Anderson **

    • * Still alive November 2000

    • ** Had been wounded

We docked in San Diego on October 31, and separated into groups that would be sent home almost immediately and groups that still had time to serve. I had enlisted as a "regular" for four years and still had two months to serve. The 23rd Marines ceased to exist on November 15, 1945. The telephone company set up three booths right on the dock, and we were each to get one free three-minute telephone call home. I followed Gus Lucito in line.

    • After Gus gave the operator his number, I heard him say "Hello Ma, this is Gus."

    • Then silence.

    • More silence.

    • More silence.

    • More silence. The three minute time had to be nearly over?

    • Then, "Ma! Will you stop crying and say something!"

The War was over!

A few statistical summaries:

    • Although the average strength of C-1-23 and most line companies was about 236 men, 867 men passed in and out of "C" Company between July 22, 1942 and November 15, 1945. This includes 44 officers. (Normal strength - 7.)

    • We participated in four major battles in a fourteen month span of time. (Feb 1944 to March 1945)

    • 80 men were KIA/DOW. Click here to see the KIA/DOW list.

    • (15 men were WIA before receiving a second or third hit which made them KIA.)

    • 29 other men were WIA twice.

    • At least 170 other men were WIA once. (Some not reported.)

    • 32 men were SK & Evac.

    • Total casualties 311, which is 138% of a full-strength company.

We have never learned the extent or magnitude or seriousness of approximately 130 of the casualties.

During the time the Company was in existence during WWII, the Company spent substantial time aboard ship. Only a handful of our members were actually with the Company continuosly during the entire period, but in any event we often found that we had more time aboard ship than the ship's crew. The following table shows the ships we traveled on and the period we were embarked.

Total Days at Sea: 221


Enroute to Iwo Jima for part of company.

Transferred to LST on 2/15/1945.

These days not counted in the total.


Charter Members - joined from 9th Marines 7/20/42 = 4 Marines

    • George Anderson (x,y)

    • John Seymour

    • Rowland Lewis (x,y)

    • Bill Smith (x)

Joined in North Carolina 7/20/42 to 7/6/43 = 9 Marines

    • Russell Gross

    • Ray Secules (x)

    • Carlos Showalter

    • Forrest Southwick (x)

    • Lou Klins (y)

    • Ernie Dobrante (y)

    • Paul Viel (y)

    • Bob Fletcher

    • Pete Pino

Joined in Camp Pendelton 7/7/43 to 12/31/43 = 16 Marines

    • Norbert Adamski (y)

    • Harry Hansen (x,y)

    • Mike Carrera (x,y)

    • Elvin Johnson (y)

    • Willard Dart (y)

    • Orvel Johnson (x)

    • Bill Finnerty (x,y)

    • Ed McNamara (y)

    • Carroll Gregory

    • Ed McNamara (y)

    • (Harold Gregory)*

    • Ed Rajkowski (x)

    • Wayne Griggs (x)

    • Bill Pearce (x)

    • Dave Utley

    • Fred Schmidt (x,y)

Joined in 1944 Before Saipan = 0 Marines

Joined (temp) for Tinian = 1 Marine

    • Walter Donanhue (y)

Joined after Tinian, before Iwo Jima = 10 Marines

    • Henry Burns (y)

    • Delmar Gibson (y)

    • Richard Cassidy (y)

    • Richard Lowe

    • Richard Cooper (y)

    • John Mattson

    • Ray Daley (y)

    • Bob Socia (y)

    • Harvey Franks (y)

    • Nick Zingaro

Joined During the Battle of Iwo Jima = 7 Marines

    • John Cave

    • Darvin Richards

    • Bill Crumpacker

    • Earl Roll

    • Merle Guenther

    • Guy Rowe

    • Ken Polen

Joined on Maui after Iwo Jima in preparation for Japan Invasion = 9 Marines

    • Gale Abbott

    • Thomas Coley

    • Steve Biondo

    • Thomas Coley

    • Stan Buch

    • Gene Rackovitch

    • Dale Button

    • John Wittich

    • Russ Dahl

Total: 56


    • x = WIA Saipan or Tinian

    • y = WIA Iwo Jima

    • * = There are no statistics for Harold Gregory as he was in a different company in the 23rd Marines. Captain Eberhardt split up the Gregory brothers as customary.

The following individual is on our current roster but was never in C-1-23, therefore there are no statistics for him.

    • Pat Bagby