John Waytow was a native of Kittanning, Pennsylvania. He joined the Marine Corps in August, 1941, and for the early part of his career was assigned to the telephone exchange of MCB Quantico. In December, Waytow and his friend Frank Schnell were reassigned to Headquarters, First Separate Battalion (Reinforced) in Camp New River. He spent the year 1943 training in North Carolina and California before going overseas as a sergeant in charge of the field wiring section of First Battalion, 24th Marines.
Sergeant John Waytow was killed on June 16, 1944, during the battle of Saipan. He was initially buried in the Fourth Marine Division Cemetery, and later laid to rest in Gettysburg National Cemetery.
Photographs provided by Sergeant Waytow’s niece, Janice Hicks.
John Waytow with two unknown acquaintances before the war.
Waytow (left) with unidentified friend at Parris Island, September 7, 1941. Waytow has been in boot camp for two weeks.
Waytow made PFC in April, 1942, while serving with the Service Battalion of MCB Quantico. He operated equipment in the post telephone exchange.
A formal portait of PFC Waytow. He is wearing the sharpshooter’s badge and a weapons qualification device (probably carbine).
Waytow (left), cook John F. Russin, and PFC “Frankie” Schnell, December 1942. “You noticed I banged ears with our cook, Johnny. He was a swell egg. Fed me anytime I was hungry. Incidentally, he is an Ukranian. Kay can tell you about him and our mess hall in Quantico.”
PFC Frank Schnell (left) and John Waytow with seabags packed, December 8, 1942. The two communications specialists were on their way to their new post with the First Separate Battalion.
The camp of the First Separate Battalion (Reinforced) at New River, North Carolina.
Corporal Waytow takes stock of his new living quarters. January 3, 1943.
Getting ready for the boondocks. Camp Pendleton, California, April 24, 1943.
Corporal Waytow puts on his game face for a field exercise at Camp Pendleton, California. April 24, 1943.
Corporal Waytow in the boondocks of Camp Pendleton, California. April 24, 1943.
Frankie Schnell is nonplussed by the Camp Pendleton scenery. April 24, 1943.
Corporal Waytow, back from the field and ready for a 48 in San Diego. April 25, 1943.
PFC Abe Lehrman, PFC Frank Schnell, PFC R. J. Kelly, PFC John Morrison, Cpl. John Waytow. April 25, 1943. Camp Pendleton.
PFC Frank Schnell, PFC R. J. Kelly, Cpl. John Waytow.
May 20, 1943. Camp Pendleton.
John Waytow outside his barracks at Camp Pendleton, June 1943.
July 11, 1943. Camp Pendleton. “Out in the boondocks. (Last row, L to R) PFC Dale Wellington, PFC Joe Teliha, PFC Kenneth W. Jones, PFC Roy Leidhegner, PFC Reginald “Joe” Kelly, PFC Frank Schnell, PFC Abe Lehrman, PFC Arnold E. Thomas
Marines in a fighting position at Camp Pendleton, California.
“A Sunday evening chow formation. August 22, 1943, Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Front – L to R) PFC John J. Murach, PFC Wm. Bigleman, PFC H. W. Van Steenis, PFC Joe Teliha, PFC J. L. “Moon” McMullen, Cpl. Walter H. Prall, Cpl. Donald A. Christiansen, Cpl. John Waytow. (Rear – L to R) PFC R. J. “Joe” Kelly, PFC Frank Schnell, PFC J. J. Priest, [?], PFC Dale E. “Duke” Wellington, PFC K. W. Jones, PFC Abe Lehrman, PFC Vernon Lewis.”
Glenn Neville (left), a friend of John Waytow’s, visited the 4th Marine Division cemetery on Saipan.
“His number is 525 and it has on it June 44.” Grave #525, Row #5, Plot 3
A close-up of Sgt. Waytow’s grave from the previous photograph.
“Taken in the Marianas, Tinian. I ran this bull-dozer for a month there. A scratch on the negative makes it look like I have scars on my face.” Unknown individual.
CVE-106 (USS Block Island), date unknown.
TBF Avenger torpedo bombers, presumably aboard the Block Island.
Two individuals in civilian duds posing with an F4-U Corsair.
Possibly Glenn Neville.
John Waytow’s casket in Gettysburg National Cemetery, 1948.
At Waytow’s grave. The officiating minister and an unknown Marine, possibly a friend of Waytow’s or a member of an honor guard or escort.
John Waytow’s final resting place.
Newspaper clipping reporting on Sgt. Waytow’s death. Note incorrect date.
John Waytow’s youngest sister, Helen Hicks, visits a memorial in Robertsdale, PA.
A closeup of the memorial, showing John Waytow’s name.