Marin Schramm enlisted in the Marine Corps on November 8, 1943 in Tampa, Florida. He reported to MCRD Paris Island for boot camp on November 23.
After graduating boot camp and earning his Eagle Globe and Anchor he reported to the 45th Replacement Battalion in New River, NC on January 31, 1944. While in North Carolina he received more training earning MOS 794 (Bazooka Operator). He was assigned to the 47th Replacement Battalion. He was transferred to the 57the Replacement Battalion on March 16.
On May 13, 1944, a PFC assigned to the 57th Replacement Battalion, we boarded the USS Rochambeau (AP-63) Troop Transport, at San Diego, California, and sailed that day, leaving the continental limits of the United States. We arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia on June 1, 1944 that served as the Headquarters for all Pacific Operations at the time. We went ashore and waited for further orders.
On June 11, 1944, we boarded the USS Naos (AK-105) Troop Transport and departed the next day for Pavuvu, the largest island of two islands that make up the Russell Islands, which is part of the Central Solomon Island chain in the South Pacific. We arrived on June 16 and went ashore the next day. On that day, I was transferred to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
On August 25, 1944, we boarded an LCT and traveled a short distance around Pavuvu Island to Banika Island, the smallest island in the Russell Island chain. From Banika Island, we boarded the USS Leedsdown (APA-56) Attack Transport and set sail the same day for Guadalcanal.
Guadalcanal is located about 30 miles southeast of Pavuvu Island. We conducted combat and landing exercises at Guadalcanal until September 8, 1944 and then we set sail for our final destination, Peleliu, Palau Islands. We arrived offshore on September 15, 1944.
The battle in the Palau Group would be an infantry battle, and the Japanese High Command placed the combat hardened 11,000 soldiers of the Fourteenth Infantry Division on Peleliu.
The island of Peleliu was dominated by a long ridge called the "Umurbrogol," honeycombed with caves and masked by dense jungle growth. A coral reef, intermittently backed by mangrove swamps, ringed the entire island. These features were very effectively utilized by the Japanese in constructing exits, fire ports, and artillery positions through a network of caves and tunnels.
It was to be one of the most difficult invasions of the war. For the first time, all three Regiments of the 1st Marine Division were to land at once; 1st Marines to the north, 5th Marines in the center, and the 7th Marines to the south. On September 15, 1944, the Marines landed. In the south, the 7th Marines were met by intense artillery and mortar fire from Japanese positions that had not been touched by the pre-invasion bombardment. The 7th Marines managed to scratch out a beachhead and slowly begin to work their way inland. Advances were measured in feet and every inch was fought for ferociously.
On September 20, the 7th Marines broke out of their beachhead and linked up with the 1st Marines. After taking the lead, the 7th Marines, joined by a fresh Regiment, the 321st Infantry of the Army 81st Infantry Division began their assault on the Umurbrogol pocket, the main line of resistance for the Japanese defenders.
The fighting lasted for eight weeks and the Japanese fought with everything they had. Each and every cave seemed to be filled with Japanese and each one had to be fought for. Using a combination of explosives and flamethrower teams, the Marines began the systematic destruction of the defender's positions. Once the Japanese forces had been eliminated, the 1st Marine Division was officially relieved by the 81st Infantry Division. During the fighting on Pelelieu, 4 Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor from the 7th Marines.
* John Dury New, Private First Class, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He received the MOH for His actions on September 25, 1944.
* Wesley Phelps, Private, 3rd Battalion,7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He received the MOH for his actions on October 4, 1944.
* Charles Howard Roan, Private First Class, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine, Division. He received the MOH for his actions on September 18, 1944.
* Arthur Jackson, Private First Class, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He received the MOH for his actions on September 18, 1944.
When given the order, Martin Schramm boarded the landing craft and assaulted the beach with the Marines of F Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Three days later he lay mortally wounded with a gunshot to the abdomen. He was evacuated from the battlefield on September 18 to the USS Samaritan (hospital ship). He succumbed to his injuries and gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He was buried at sea on September 20, 1944.
PFC Schramm earned the following awards:
Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal
He left behind a wife, Mattie and very young son Marty in Tampa, Florida. His son followed in his footsteps and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1963 and served in Vietnam and was honorably dischaged a Corporal in 1969.
Contributor: GaryG (48171665)
Entered the service from Florida.
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