Hugh Bosworth at Princeton, 1944.
Hugh Humphreys Bosworth
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Parents, Millard & Eleanor Bosworth
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7/6/1942 – 11/1945
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Hugh Bosworth was born in Shelby County, Tennessee in 1923. He was raised at 78 Morningside Park in Memphis by his parents, Millard and Eleanor, but was schooled at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, graduating with the class of 1940. With his education and prospects, college and a good career seemed like a sure bet. However, the start of World War II derailed any plans Bosworth may have had.
When Bosworth enlisted on July 6, 1942, he also applied for officer’s training. He was accepted, promoted to Private First Class, and assigned to the Platoon Leader’s Unit training at Pensacola, Florida. Bosworth stuck with it for a year, but on July 1 1943 was reduced in rank to private and sent to Princeton University, where he participated in the V-12 Navy College Training Program as one of its first students.
After finishing the program and obtaining his degree (Princeton, ’45) Bosworth reported to Parris Island for boot camp, where he qualified as a sharpshooter. As promised by V-12, he was given another shot at Marine officer training, but his hopes were dashed once again in July of 1944. He washed out of the program with the rate of corporal; accompanied by fellow former classmate Dalton Criswell, Bosworth set out for the West Coast. They joined up with Company A, First Battalion, 24th Marines, and were posted to the company mortar section.
Corporal Bosworth became a squad leader with the mortars; the section had been hit hard in the Marianas fighting, losing their lieutenant, section sergeant, and two of their three squad leaders. He was temporarily detached to the 14th Marines in October, but upon his return resumed training with the 60mm gunners.
For all his years spent in various training programs and regimens, Hugh Bosworth’s time in combat was quite short. After landing on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945 and surviving an artillery barrage that wreaked havoc among the mortar teams, Bosworth was hit and evacuated on February 20. He was put aboard a hospital ship for transport back to Hawaii.
Released from the hospital in April 1945, Bosworth returned briefly to Company A but his still-healing wounds prevented him from taking an active part in field exercises as the Fourth Division prepared to invade Japan. He would spend much of the rest of the year under medical treatment, gradually working his way closer to his home in Tennessee. In October 1945, with the war finally over, Bosworth was awarded his Purple Heart at a Naval Hospital in Memphis. He was honorably discharged soon after.
Hugh Bosworth finally won his commission as a second lieutenant in the Volunteer Reserve from 1952 to 1953; however, he did not serve on active duty during the Korean War. He married Eleanor Erwin Hussey; they raised a family while Hugh worked as president of Bosworth Realtors and served on the Board of Education for Memphis city schools. The former Marine passed away on June 1, 1996.