Melvin Pinkerton was one of the “plank owners” – original members–of Company D, 24th Marines. He fought in the battle of Roi-Namur as a machine gunner, but when the spring of 1944 brought about the dissolving of his company, Pinkerton was reassigned to the rear echelon. He spent the next year and a half at Camp Maui, serving as a carpenter for the battalion’s headquarters. Sergeant Pinkerton was hospitalized in July, 1945, and transferred back to the States; he was back in his native Pennsylvania when the war ended.
Below are some of the items that Melvin Pinkerton carried with him through his sojourn in the Pacific. All of these artifacts are provided through the generosity of collector and historian Eric Wisbith.
Pinkerton’s M1941 haversack, the “upper” of his 782 gear.
Interior of the haversack.
Pinkerton inked his name and service number on his haversack.
Pinkerton’s seabag, featuring his name and UNIS designation (Headquarters, 1/24) stenciled on per regulation.
The more stencils the better. Seabag theft was a perennial problem.
Stenciling one’s seabag with one’s duty stations was a popular pastime.
Roi-Namur was Pinkerton’s first (and only) combat experience.
A stealthily stenciled opinion on the state of the world. FUBAR.
Pinkerton’s seabag still has the luggage tags from his sea voyage from Hawaii to New York at the end of the war,
A Red Cross bag, presumably acquired by Pinkerton in 1945.
A pair of covers. The lower one is stamped to John J. Duemler, another rear echelon Marine. How his cover wound up in Pinkerton’s possession is unknown.