Bernard Elissagaray saved multiple documents from his time in the Marine Corps.
All images on this page are from the collection of the webmaster.
Bernard Elissagaray was issued this document after enlisting in the Marine Corps in San Diego, California. He had turned seventeen – the minimum legal age to join – the day before.
Elissagaray’s official ID card. Note that his year of birth is listed as 1923 – whether this is a typo or the result of a lie at the recruiting office is unknown.
Elissagaray was given this card for crossing the equator; his status as a “shellback” would come in handy for his future career as a sailor.
The 24th Marines, as part of the 4th Marine Division, received the Presidential Unit Citation for their part in the Saipan campaign.
Bernard was personally congratulated for his efforts in the battle of Saipan; his green and white Commendation Ribbon was second only to his Purple Heart.
The dreaded yellow telegram: given the alternatives, the news that a loved one was wounded was by far the preferred option.
Mary Elissagaray was certainly concerned for her son after receiving the Western Union telegram; this terse yet reassuring letter may have assuaged her worries somewhat.
It was one of the most common decorations, yet also one of the hardest to earn.
On November 5, 1945, Corporal Elissagaray was formally discharged from the service.
The back of Elissagaray’s discharge. Note that the date of birth has been obviously corrected.