|Lt. Armstead Ross was with the 2nd Marine Regiment that landed on Tarawa on the first day of the battle.|
Armstead Earl Ross could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on April 13, 1917 in Alabama. His mother was also born in Alabama. His father was born in Mississippi and worked as a farmer and later as a retail groceries merchant and even later as a men's clothing salesman. Armstead had five older brothers and an older sister.
Armstead enlisted in the Marines on May 28, 1940 as private. By April 1942 he was corporal. Within a year he rose to the rank of 2nd lieutenant and in July 1943 was assigned as a replacement to Company A, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. By November he was a 1st lieutenant.
Lt. Armstead participated in the Battle of Tarawa, where for the first time Japanese forces contested an invasion at the beaches. Lt. Armstead was among the 5,000 Marines that landed on November 20, 1943, the first day of the attack. The Marines were pinned to the beach from the start and advances were costly and limited. The first-day Marines suffered 30 percent casualties. Lt. Armstead was one of those killed in action.
His remains were returned to be buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Lt. Ross is the 100th serviceman or woman profiled so far by the WW2 Fallen 100 project. These 100 people are represented by just one of the 4,048 gold stars in the Freedom Wall at the National World War II Memorial.
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