This WWII USMC Australian made uniform belonged to a member of the Marine 4th Raider Battalion and is part of a larger grouping that I own from this Marine. During the early part of World War Two, American made dress uniforms were impossible to acquire for Marines stationed in Australia and New Zealand. So these Australian made battle dress uniforms were obtained by the Marines. They were usually worn like this, with only a shoulder patch and rank insignia. Early in the war, Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGAs) collar insignia and ribbon bars are usually not seen in period pictures on these uniforms. The small twill Raider patch like the one shown, were often seen on Raider dress uniforms during the War.
The Marine that owned this uniform was with the 4th Raider Battalion from 1942 until their disbandment in early 1944. He was next transferred to the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division and he fought with that unit on Guam and Iwo Jima.
The letters and documents I obtained with this grouping tell a really sad story regarding this particular Marine and his family. He was wounded but survived while fighting on Guam, but his family was incorrectly notified that he was killed in action by the Marines. His parents believed he had been killed for a month and a half until they started receiving letters from him that were dated after the date that had been reported to them that he was KIA. There are several letters I have with him writing to his parents assuring them he was still alive. It looks like somebody just notated his file incorrectly.
Unfortunately, his parents had to go through this again just a few months later. They were notified in March 1945 that this brave Marine had been killed while fighting on Iwo Jima. This time the information was correct, he had been KIA. I can’t begin to imagine the pain his family endured going through this twice.
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