Himelrick, John Robert, PFC

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
Private 1st Class
Last Primary MOS
2512-Field Wireman
Last MOSGroup
Primary Unit
1942-1944, 2512, Prisoner of War - Japan
Service Years
1938 - 1944

Private 1st Class

One Hash Mark


 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by PFC James E. Franklin (Slim) to remember Marine PFC John Robert Himelrick.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Seattle, Washington

Casualty Date
Apr 26, 1944
Hostile, Died while Captured
Intentional Homicide
Not Specified
Location of Interment
Golden Gate National Cemetery - San Bruno, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
C, 37

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar
Rifle MarksmanPistol Sharpshooter

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1940, Boot Camp (San Diego, CA)
 Unit Assignments
2nd Defense Bn1st Defense BnPrisoner of War
  1940-1941, 2512, 2nd Defense Bn
  1941-1944, 2512, 1st Defense Bn
  1942-1944, 2512, Prisoner of War - Japan
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Wake Island
  1941-1945 World War II
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
PFC John Himelrick died as a POW of the Japanese at Fukuoka POW Camp #3, Japan. The prison was located at the northern end of Kyushu, known as Camp 3-B, Yahata Seitetsu. 

He had manned a machine gun on Wake Island and was captured there.
He died of maltreatment, but is listed as "acute pneumonia".

He began his service 9 March 1938 with Comapny A, 11th Battalion, Fleet Marine Corps Reserves,  Canadian National Dock, Seattle, Washington with rank of Pvt. Also with Company B, 11th Battalion, Organized Marine Reserve, Aberdeen, Washington. To active duty at MB, PSNY, Bremerton, Washington in September 1938. Boot at San Diego RD, 4 January 1940.
Following Field Signal School, joined with 2nd Defense Battalion, FMF In July 1940. Hq and Service Battery, 2nd Defense Battalion. In San DIego.

October 1941, on Oahu, 5" Artillery Group, 1st Defense Battalion, FMF, Pearl Harbor. PFC.   Transferred to Wake Island, sailing aboard the USS Castor, 18 October 1941.

By January 1942, his entire unit was either killed in action or in the hands of the enemy.
John R. Himmelrick,  Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps 1st Defense Battalion, Naval Air Station, Wake Island
Date of Action: December 8 - 23, 1941

Blue Cross

The Navy Cross is presented to John Roberts Himelrick, Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Telephone Lineman in a .50 caliber Anti-aircraft Machine-Gun Battery of Marine Detachment, First Defense Battalion, in action against enemy Japanese forces at Wake Island, from 8 to 23 December 1941.

Intrepid and steadfast in the discharge of his assigned duties during the epic defense of Wake Island, Private First Class Himelrick not only consistently exposed himself to intense enemy shellfire to maintain vital communications between his battery and the Island Command Post, but also voluntarily manned a perilous spotting post for artillery fire when the Japanese made their final desperate assault against the heroic garrison.

Continuing to call down fire dangerously close to his own position upon the Japanese troops who had gained the beaches, he unhesitatingly advanced over the fire-swept terrain to a more advantageous position where he immediately engaged the attacking force with savage fury, killing approximately fifteen with his blistering rifle fire. His gallant actions, indomitable fighting spirit and unselfish devotion to duty served as an inspiration to his comrades and reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Himelrick and the United States Naval Service.

Approved by the Secretary of the Navy on August 21, 1945
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