George Polus Asack, Jr.
|HOME OF RECORD:
West Bridgewater, MA
|NEXT OF KIN:
Parents, George & Libby Asack
|DATE OF BIRTH:
4/30/1943 – 1/10/1945
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
George Asack was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1923. The son of Syrian immigrants, he grew up in a working-class household and had just finished high school when Pearl Harbor was attacked, dragging the United States into the Second World War.
Asack’s Selective Service number was called early in 1943, and he elected to join the Marine Corps. He excelled at training while at Parris Island and was promoted to Private First Class upon graduation – an honor reserved for only 10% of all Marines to pass through boot camp – and was a favorite of the instructors, who recommended that Asack join their ranks. The twenty-year-old Asack brought a platoon through training as an assistant DI, and then received orders to report to the Fourth Marine Division in California. He crossed the country and reported for duty at Camp Pendleton in September, 1943.
PFC Asack’s first duty with his new unit – Baker Company, 24th Marines – was that of “property NCO.” On paper, this was an administrative rather than combat assignment, but in the end Asack’s posting was with a rifle company, and with his experience as an instructor he probably played a role in teaching the more junior members of the company, who kept trickling in from training detachments on the West Coast. He went into combat in February, 1944, during the invasion of Roi-Namur; his company took the heaviest casualties by far of any in the battalion. Asack was speedily promoted to corporal, and placed in charge of a fire team of three other Marines. With Corporal Asack, this team made up a third of one rifle squad, which was in turn one third of a rifle platoon.
Asack landed on Saipan on June 15, 1944, but was badly wounded on June 17. He was evacuated to a hospital ship, then sent to the Naval Hospital #10 at Aiea Heights, Hawaii. Finally, he returned to the United States for treatment at Shoemaker, California. Asack had plenty of war stories to tell; when a reporter for the Marine Corps Chevron newsletter came to his ward, Asack told him about the Japanese artillery on Mount Fina Susu, which included antiaircraft guns firing directly at the Marines. (1)
After his release from the hospital, Asack served briefly with Fifth Amphibious Corps headquarters, but his wounds continued to trouble him. On January 10, 1945, Corporal Asack was honorably discharged for reasons of disability. He returned to his home in Bridgewater; nothing else is known of his life prior to his death in 1998.
(1) Marine Corps Chevron, Volume 3, Number 33, 19 August 1944.