Verlin LeRoy Bassett
|HOME OF RECORD:
|NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. Guy Bassett
|DATE OF BIRTH:
4/12/1939 – 3/21/1947
|DATE OF DEATH:
|LAST KNOWN RANK:
Verlin Bassett was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico in 1919. His parents, Guy and Helen Bassett, had left their native South Dakota to try a new life in New Mexico, but Helen’s death in 1924 put an end to that plan. Guy was left with eight growing children; some chose to return to Hand, South Dakota, while others spread throughout the Southwest as the younger generation married, moved, and found jobs in other states. Verlin was one who moved to South Dakota, but life in a small rural town held little appeal for him, and he joined the Marine Corps in 1939.
After completing boot camp at MCRD San Diego, Private Bassett was assigned to the Second Defense Battalion as an antiaircraft gunner. He spent the years before the war with the Second Battalion, and also with the Seventh Defense Battalion in Samoa, where he earned a promotion to private first class. Bassett’s specialty was that of ordinance technician.
When Pearl Harbor was attached, Bassett’s battalion went on high alert – and as news of Japanese attacks on Wake Island and the Philippines were received, the Marines on Samoa firmly believed they were next. Fortunately this was not the case, and for Bassett the major tragedy of 1942 was losing his PFC rating.
January 1943 saw Bassett transferred from Samoa to Terminal Island, California. He began having health problems around this time, and although he regained his PFC stripe, Bassett spent an inordinate amount of time in Navy hospitals. Although assigned to Company D, First Battalion, 24th Marines, Bassett was only on duty for a short time – two months in the Santa Margarita hospital rendered him unfit for combat duty. He was formally transferred out of the battalion on November 26, 1943.
Although he never went into combat, Verlin Bassett could still serve in the Corps. He spent the rest of the war at bases in Coronado and San Diego, serving with training commands as a driver and field artillery mechanic. By the time of his discharge in 1947, Bassett was rated as a sergeant.
Little information is available about Verlin Bassett after the war. He resided in California for a time, and evidently had a son named Charles, who was born July 2, 1962 and died the same day.
Verlin Bassett died in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, in 1985. He is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.