|Birth: ||Jan. 21, 1922|
|Death: ||May 3, 1993|
East Feliciana Parish
Merriell Shelton was a Louisiana Cajun. He was a gambler prior to his enlistment into the Marine Corps and was a lifetime smoker of non-filter cigarettes. He spoke with a thick Cajun accent which at times made him difficult to understand until you got used to hearing it. Later in life he worked on repairing and installing air conditioners and was considered a quiet man with a hard look about him. Some consider him to have been somewhat of a loner outside of his family.
As a young man during the Depression, Shelton served in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He joined the Marines during WWII and fought with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and was given the nickname, "SNAFU", a military acronym for "Situation normal, all fouled up", (thats the cleaned up version) which was not the case at all with this brave young man.
After the battle of Cape Glouchester, which Shelton had participated in, a replacement named Eugene B. Sledge joined the unit and after a brief time, he and Shelton became friends. Shelton gave Sledge the nickname of "Sledgehammer". Shelton and Sledge's exploits on Peleliu and Okinawa are chronicled in Sledge's 1981 classic memoir, "With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa." Additionally, his relationship with Sledge was also written about in Iain C. Martin's book, "The Greatest U.S. Marine Corps Stories Ever Told." The HBO special "Pacific", produced by Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks, relates some of SNAFU and Sledgehammer's story as well as those of other Marines who served in the Pacific during the war. When Shelton died in 1993, Sledgehammer was one of his pallbearers.
Merriell A. Shelton was awarded the following decorations for his World War II service:
-Combat Action Ribbon (awarded in the 1960's to all combat Marines back to 1941)
-Presidential Unit Citation (Navy/Marine Corps)
-American Theater of Operations Campaign Medal
-Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars (for Cape Glouchester, Pelelilu and Okinawa)
-World War II Victory Medal
Gladys Bowman Shelton
Floyd Shelton (1960 - 1990)*
West Feliciana Parish
Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
Originally Created by: Mamaquilts
Record added: Apr 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67861972