Sunday, July 23, 2017

WW2 Fallen - James Elvington, 4th Marine Division

Pvt. James Elvington, Sr. landed on Iwo Jima with the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment marines in this photo. 

James G. Elvington, Sr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on July 23, 1917 in South Carolina. His father was also born in South Carolina while his mother was born in North Carolina. His father worked as a farmer and died in 1939. James had six older brothers, an older sister and three younger sisters. By 1940 James was married to his wife Geritlee and they had a one year old son - James Jr. Over the next few years they would add two more boys and a daughter. He worked as a salesman and later worked in a service station.

He enlisted in the US Marines on May 11, 1944. He was assigned as a replacement private to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.

The 4th Marine Division took part in the battles of Kwajalein, Saipan, and Tinian before its final battle on Iwo Jima. I don't know if Pvt. Elivington was with the 2/23 before Iwo Jima.

The battle began on February 19, 1945. Pvt. Elvington would have landed with the first wave. His regiment's mission was to capture Airfield #1 the Airfield #2. Within two days the 4th Marines had suffered 32% casualties but still managed to be in control of both airfields by February 22. The tenacious defenders continued to inflict horrific casualties day after day (or at night from regular Banzai attacks). By March 3, the 4th Marines were under 50% combat efficiency. On D+15: March 6, the 4th Marines was still on the attack, though on this day the average daily advance was only 200 yards. Pvt. Elvington died on this day.

His grave is at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Columbia South Carolina. His widow never remarried and died in 1981. His four children are quite possibly still living since they would be in their seventies.

Thank you James for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for James.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

To mark having over 100,000 visits to my project to honor the fallen of WW2 on their 100th birthdate, I created this video to share.

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1 comment:

  1. Everyone knows about the Marines and Navy Corpsman who raised the larger flag and then survived the rest of the battle. It's nice to get to know a little bit about some of the others, too. I sure hope James's young widow and four children got by OK. I don't know if they had any benefits to surviving children, then, or if the $10,000 life insurance policy was all they got. There was a man who used to live here in Box Elder county who had been over there with his identical twin brother. Just hours after they took the beach, his brother had been killed. After burying his brother in that "awful, hot, STINKING, black sand", he had joined in with the rest, and survived the battle. He tried to talk about it one night, at a July fourth observance, about 60 years later, but was so overwhelmed that he couldn't say more than a couple of words. I should have written down his name so I wouldn't have forgotten it. I've never forgotten the story, though. May the sacrifices that were made in that war never be forgotten!