Birthday Update

Colonel Walter I. Jordan cuts the cake for the Marine Corps Birthday, 10 November 1944. Looking on is Major Paul Treitel, commanding 1/24.

Yesterday was the 244th birthday of the United States Marine Corps and today, of course, is Veteran’s Day. I was looking for an appropriate photo and remembered the one above, which I scanned during a research trip to Quantico a few years ago. And that reminded me of a few other updates I’ve been meaning to make. No time like today, eh?

There are three new galleries up on the Photos page.

brunelli_galleryThe largest and most extensive belonged to LtCol. Austin R. Brunelli, who rose through the ranks over a thirty year career to retire as a brigadier general in 1962. Brunelli served as a temporary CO of 1/24 not once but twice – first on Saipan, and later on Iwo Jima – both times when the battalion was in serious distress and without a leader. Although he only led 1/24 in combat for twenty-four days total, Brunelli was arguably their most effective combat commander. Of his many decorations, two – the Navy Cross and the Silver Star – were earned while he was skipper of 1/24. Early in the war, Brunelli also served as aide to Commandant Holcomb and went on a tour of the South Pacific to visit the battlefield of Guadalcanal. His photo collection is held by the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections, Quantico, Virginia.

Check out the gallery.

(Brunelli is the source of the birthday photo. Wikipedia has the same picture and claims that Brunelli is cutting the cake, but this is wrong; it’s Colonel Walter I. Jordan. Incidentally, Brunelli would take over command of 1/24 from Major Treitel on Iwo Jima.)


Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Owen, 1945. Courtesy Bill Powers.

The next one is an interesting story. I got an email from a gent named Bill Powers who was hired to clean out a house in New Hampshire prior to demolition. Bill found a WWII-era ID tag, a letter, and some photographs. These proved to belong to PhM1c Amos A. Owen, a corpsman who joined 1/24 right at the tail end of the war. While he never went into combat with the battalion, Owen saw plenty of activity as a corpsman with V Amphibious Corps, and treated casualties from Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

Bill did some digging and found that the home once belonged to Hazel Owen, Amos’ wife. He’s looking for members of the Owen family who might want some of these family mementos.

Might be a long shot, but if any Owens from Newton, New Hampshire see this – contact me!

Check out the gallery.


“One of the better nights.” Joe Hines in pleasant company, c. 1943.

And I’ve been sitting on PFC Joseph M. Hines for almost two years and finally, FINALLY got his photos up. Joseph served with Company C as a rifleman and scout, and made it through all four campaigns without getting hit. However, his main interest was in entertainment. He was a talented musician and performer who became part of the traveling “Just 4 Fun” talent show which performed across the Pacific. Joseph’s daughter Susan was kind enough to provide a few photos; she digitized the rest, along with her father’s letters, for the Shenandoah County Library. They are definitely worth a read.

Check out the gallery.

Finally – for those who follow along here but not on MissingMarines – I now have a book. Yep, an actual book, in actual print. It’s called “Leaving Mac Behind: The Lost Marines of Guadalcanal,” and it’s a big part of the reason that this site has been so quiet for so long. You can get some more information about it here, or pick it up on Amazon or from Casemate Publishers.

It looks like this.


3 thoughts on “Birthday Update

    1. Congratulations on your book! I love getting your updates and emails. My mother’s 1st husband Eugene Nesbit died in Iowa Jima. She went on to marry my father a 30!lifer in the Air Force. God Bless America and Happy Veterans Day to all🇺🇸 Thank you for serving our country!

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