Marvelle William Mershon

Marvelle William Mershon

Birth
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 24 Feb 1945 (aged 19)
Japan
Burial Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot Section N, Grave 275
Memorial ID 9206627 · View Source
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Aviation Radioman 3rd class, US Navy, captured on Chichi Jima Island (in the Bonin Islands Group) when his SB2C Helldiver airplane was shot down during World War II. On February 24, 1945, Marve was executed by beheading on orders of Japanese Major Sueo Matoba, Commander of the 308th Infantry Battalion. He was taken to the Chichi Jima Cemetery, where a grave had been dug for him, and beheaded by Lieutenant Hironobu Morishita. Parts of his body were removed and later served as food to high ranking Japanese officers, as part of the spirit warrior indoctrination (the Japanese Army on Chichi Jima had plenty of food). After the war, his remains were recovered by American soldiers, and returned to New Mexico. Major Matoba, the Japanese officer who ordered his death and dissection, was tried for War Crimes in 1947, executed by hanging, and buried in an unmarked grave on the island of Guam (where the trial was held); Lieutenant Morishita, who actually beheaded him, spent several years in prison for his role. Marve was friendly and outgoing, and well liked by his fellow sailors. His life and death are described in the book, "Flyboys" by James Bradley. He was 19 years old when he died, and his death had great impact upon his parents and older brother.


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  • Created by: Kit and Morgan Benson
  • Added: 31 Jul 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9206627
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Marvelle William Mershon (21 Aug 1925–24 Feb 1945), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9206627, citing Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Kit and Morgan Benson (contributor 46483611) .