Weapons Platoon Photos


George “Gunga” Smith, Howard “Howie” Haff, and John “JJ” Franey were all members of the same training platoon at Parris Island. They were sent to New River, North Carolina, where they trained on the heavier weapons of an infantry company – Smith on machine guns, Haff and Franey on mortars. They trained and fought together on Namur and Saipan where Smith and Franey were wounded; Haff was wounded during the invasion of Tinian. They remained friends for the rest of their lives. JJ died in 1996, Howie in 2003. George Smith resides in Cape May, New Jersey.

All images on this page are courtesy of George Smith, Able Company veteran.

7 thoughts on “Weapons Platoon Photos

  1. My father served as a marine during WWII. I have photos, telegrams, etc. that I would like to add to the site. How do I contact the site administrator?

  2. Thank u so much for posting these. My grandfather Howard Haff told me so many stories and these pics help paint the mental image. RIP Howard love u!!!!!

    1. Hi Kelly – glad you found them! My grandmother’s cousin was Howard’s platoon leader until he was killed on Saipan. There are some more pictures of Howard over in the section “Phil Wood’s Pictures” – apparently they got on very well. Most of these photos came from George Smith; he was good friends with Howard from the 1940s and still loves telling stories about their adventures during and after the war.

      I’m working on biographies of every marine from this battalion; if there’s anything you’d like to contribute to Howard’s, please let me know!

  3. My friend’s father, Henry R Schramm, passed away today in the Portsmouth, NH area. He was with 1- 24 on Tinian and retired out of the Corps early in the 1960s as a GySgt. The funeral service will take place in Hanover, NH where he lived for many years while working at Dartmouth College. I do not have any details yet, but if the Rand Funeral Home has a website, they might be posted there.
    SF-Master Guns Warren Coughlin

    1. Mr. Coughlin – thank you very much for letting me know about Henry Schramm’s passing. I will keep an eye out for any obituaries and will update his biography page here on the site accordingly. Odd to think, I may have run into him many years ago – I have some family up near the Hanover area and used to visit Dartmouth in the summers – and never knew.

      Thank you again and, if you have a chance, please extend my sympathies to your friend.

      Geoffrey Roecker

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