Original U.S. WWII US Marine Corps Large 3rd Battalion, 22nd Marines, 5th Amphibious Corps Grouping For Sergeant Eugene C. Harrington, Wounded During Battle of Eniwetok
Original Items: Only One Grouping Available. This is a rather extensive United States Marine Corps grouping, belonging to Sergeant Eugene C. Harrington. Sergeant Harrington was a member of the 5th Amphibious Corps who fell under command of the 3rd Battalion, 22 Marine Regiment during WWII. He served with this unit up until he received unknown wounds during the Battle of Eniwetok on February 20, 1944. The wounds were serious enough to where he was sent home where he served the remainder of the war and after as a Marine Corps “Combat Instructor” for new Marines receiving infantry training in San Diego, California.
Harrington was born on September 9, 1922 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He graduated in 1940 from East High School in Des Moines and enlisted in the Marine Corps on April 28, 1941 and we are unsure as to when he was discharged.
The Most Notable Items In This Grouping:
- Dress Blues With Trousers and Barracks Cover (Peaked Visor): The uniform itself is a lovely example, I mean what’s better looking than a set of dress blues? The dress blues coat features a beautiful 5th Amphib Corps shoulder insignia on the left shoulder, faded but still easily discernible. Also present are Sergeant chevrons on each sleeve as well as a single service stripe above each cuff. The left breast has a beautiful ribbon bar featuring Wolf Brown large ribbons for the Purple Heart, American Defense and Asiatic-Pacific with 3 Stars (one missing).
- Service Alphas With Coat, Trousers and Wool Overcoat: The overcoat and Alphas coat both feature a 5th Amphib Corps on each left shoulder, Sergeant chevrons on each sleeve as well as a single service stripe above each cuff. There is no extensive damage present or moth nips but there is one missing button on the jacket.
- Leatherbound Hawaii Painted Photo Album (100 Photos): This is a fantastic album offering a slight glimpse into the personal life and service life of Sergeant Harrington. There are 100 photos exactly and they feature family, friends and “island” life while serving overseas in the Pacific. One of the best photos present in the album is one of Harrington crouched down with a skull in his hands posing for a picture. Almost every page and photo has some sort of marking or writing present on them, many of full names, perfect for researching.
- Grass Skirt, Mat and (2) Fans: These items were all handmade by the indigenous people of Wallis Island, a Polynesian atoll/island in the Pacific Ocean. During World War II the island's administration was pro-Vichy until a Free French corvette from New Caledonia deposed the regime on 26 May 1942. Units of the US Marine Corps landed on Wallis on 29 May 1942, Harrington among them. One of the best items in this lovely little collection is the grass/reed mat because Harrington as well as the other Marines used these to line their cots to add a better level of comfort.
- Various Photographs: The photographs include what appears to be an award ceremony where Harrington was formally presented with his Purple Heart but unfortunately you cannot see what medal is being pinned on his chest. Other photos include a Recruit Training Platoon picture from May 1941 and another that appears to be a Company photo from a schoolhouse, which would make sense because he was an instructor.
There are dozens of other items featured in this grouping that include paperwork and course curriculums/classes for when he was an instructor, US Navy radio headset, his Red Cross Convalescent Kit bag, various overseas caps, uniform items like belts/patches/chevrons, multiple stencils, books/pamphlets and other Marine Corps related paper material.
To say this grouping is amazing would be selling it short! These items deserve to be displayed proudly and Sergeant Harrington’s story to continue being told. Comes more than ready for further research and display.
Collar to shoulder: 9"
Shoulder to sleeve: 26”
Shoulder to shoulder: 15”
Chest width: 17.5”
Waist width: 16"
Hip width:20 ”
Front length: 32"
Collar to shoulder: 9"
Shoulder to sleeve: 27”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16”
Chest width: 18”
Waist width: 20"
Hip width: 24”
Front length: 47.5"
Collar to shoulder: 9"
Shoulder to sleeve:26.5 ”
Shoulder to shoulder: 14.5”
Chest width:16.5 ”
Waist width: 16"
Hip width: 17”
Front length: 31.5"
Battle of Eniwetok
The Battle of Eniwetok was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought between 17 February 1944 and 23 February 1944, on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The invasion of Eniwetok followed the American success in the Battle of Kwajalein to the southeast. Capture of Eniwetok would provide an airfield and harbor to support attacks on the Mariana Islands to the northwest. The operation was officially known as "Operation Catchpole", and was a three-phase operation involving the invasion of the three main islands in the Enewetak Atoll.
Vice Admiral Raymond A. Spruance preceded the invasion with Operation Hailstone, a carrier strike against the Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. This raid destroyed 39 warships and more than 200 planes.
Eniwetok Island is a long, narrow island, widest at the western end, and very narrow on the eastern end. A road existed on the lagoon shore on the western half of the island, where the settlement was located. This topography meant that defense in depth was impossible. On Eniwetok itself, the Japanese had 779 Army troops, 24 civilians, and five naval personnel, all under the command of Lt Col. Hashida Masahiro. The defenders had two flame throwers, 13 grenade launchers, 12 light machine guns, two heavy machine guns, one 50mm mortar, eleven 81mm mortars, one 20mm automatic gun, three 20mm cannons, and three Type 95 light tanks. Most defenses were foxholes and trenches. Work had also begun on some concrete pillboxes, which were not completed.
At 07:10 (UTC+12) on 18 February, two cruisers and two destroyers opened fire on Japanese positions from the lagoon side of Eniwetok. At 07:40 (UTC+12), a third destroyer opened fire to the east of the landing beaches and, at 08:10 (UTC+12), a fourth destroyer also commenced bombardment. At 08:10 (UTC+12), naval gunfire halted for 15 minutes to allow carrier aircraft to attack. The first troops landed at 09:17 (UTC+12) but the initial landings immediately ran into problems. The short naval bombardment left many Japanese positions intact, and the American LVTs could not scale an 8 feet (2.4 m) sand dune just inland. These early problems were quickly overcome, and the Americans reached the island's ocean shore by 11:45 (UTC+12). A Japanese counter-attack, carried out by 300–400 men, hit the western part of the American line, which was supported by mortar fire. The attack was over by 12:45 (UTC+12), and had failed to break the Americans.
At 14:25 (UTC+12), the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Marines landed. They pushed towards the western end of the island. By nightfall, they had reached the southwest corner of the island. The Marine commander, Colonel Ayers, ordered that the attack continue through the night, to eliminate the Japanese pocket in the northwest corner. A Japanese counterattack at 09:10 (UTC+12) on 19 February reached the Marine battalion command post but was repulsed. The 3rd Battalion continued to press the attack south, along the east coast. The Japanese spider hole defensive positions were intact, with heavy undergrowth providing good defensive cover. Progress was slow, as spider holes had to be eliminated one-by-one.
The fighting in the west came to an end on the morning of 20 February; however, the island was not declared secured until 21 February. 37 Americans were killed or missing and 94 wounded. The Japanese had 800 dead and 23 prisoners.
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