Castle, Noel Oker, Capt

MIA/POW
 
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Captain
Last Primary MOS
0302-Infantry Officer
Last MOSGroup
Infantry
Primary Unit
1942-Present, 0302, Missing In Action
Service Years
1936 - 1942
Official/Unofficial USMC Certificates
Golden Dragon Certificate
Shellback Certificate

Captain

 
 

 Current Photo 
 Personal Details 

179 kb

State of Birth
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
1911
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl Roger Rape (Mouse)-Deceased to remember Marine Capt Noel Oker Castle.

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.
 
Contact Info

 Official Badges 

French Fourragere


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon Shellback


 Military Association Memberships
American Defenders of Bataan & CorregidorWorld War II Fallen
  1942, American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor
  1942, World War II Fallen


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
In July 1936, Castle joined the Marines and was immediately offered a commission as a second lieutenant. He traveled to the Philadelphia Navy Yard to attend Basic School, where he received instruction in the duties of a Marine infantry officer.
Service Prior to 1941:
Lieutenant Castle's skill with a rifle, which he had honed during his college years, was immediately noticed by his superiors. They sent him to Quantico in April 1937; Castle spent several weeks with the rifle range detachment, where the instructors were so impressed with his prowess that they recommended him for the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol marksmanship team. The team was based out of Wakefield, Massachusetts and traveled to competitions at Camp Perry, Ohio. Castle received his first command assignment in September, 1937, when he joined Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines in Quantico as a platoon leader. He served with them for the next nine months, both in Virginia and in Puerto Rico, before returning to the marksmanship team. Although a strong competitor, Castle did not take home the top award at the end of the season and upon return to regular duty was assigned to the Ordinance Field Service School at Raritan Arsenal, New Jersey. From there, he joined the  Fifteenth Marines (artillery) at Quantico, and served as the commander of a platoon with Battery B. In 1939, Castle returned to the marksmanship team for his third season and, as the adage goes, the third time was the charm. He was rewarded with the Distinguished Rifleman Badge the highest marksmanship decoration in the nation and a promotion to First Lieutenant.
Leatherneck Magazine.
Leatherneck Magazine.
Not content to rest on those considerable laurels, Castle began preparing for his next challenge pistol marksmanship. He returned to Quanitco and joined the First Engineer Company as a platoon leader in October; in May 1940 he joined the Fourth Marines in Shanghai. Castle would join Company D in June, and by December was the company executive officer. He also received his second marksmanship distinction, having shot Gold in pistol competition. Lieutenant Castle was something of a swashbuckling figure; he augmented his two marksmanship badges with a pair of pearl-handled .45 pistols.
Wartime Service:
In 1941, Castle was promoted to captain and took command of Company D. He and his company were transported to the Philippines where they participated in the defense of the islands on Bataan and on Corregidor. Castle's company manned heavy machine guns in the beach defenses of Corregidor, and spent weeks enduring Japanese shelling and bombing; he lost his first men, Truman Fain and Vernon Putnam on April 24, 1942, when their machine gun emplacement was hit. With limited resources at his disposal, Castle was forced to recover and repair as much equipment as he could. On May 5, Captain Castle was down on the beach supervising the reinstallation of defenses when the Japanese opened up with their heaviest bombardment to date. Realizing that something was different, Castle encouraged his men to stand firm and, as the first Japanese boats came into view that night, sent the order to open fire with their heavy machine guns and 37mm artillery pieces.
Date Of Loss:
Captain Castle returned to Topside after the beginning of the attack, in order to better coordinate his defense. As the Japanese began to overrun the island and occupied Battery Denver, Castle was approached by Marine Gunner Harold Ferrell and informed of the situation. The captain immediately offered to lead the regimental reserve in a counterattack but, apparently rebuffed, did what he could.
Castle dispatched Sergeant Matthew Monk with 15 drivers and cooks to occupy an abandoned beach defense position and secure his left flank. Do the best you can, he ordered Monk, Keep the Japanese out of the tunnel. Castle also scouted the reserve stations at critical road junctions, and cautioned the men, Maintain positions. He then gathered his men for the counter attack to Denver Battery, declaring, Let's go up there and run the bastards off. Ferrell warned Castle from leading the attack himself, but the captain replied, I'm going to take these people up there and shoot those people's eyes out and led his men to the hill.
Castle's group of 50 to 60 men, composed of men from his Company D, the regimental reserve, stragglers from destroyed positions and possibly a platoon from Company P, advanced through the dark towards Battery Denver, in the vicinity of the water towers. They ran headlong into advancing Japanese troops, and a fierce firefight waged at close range developed. The Americans inflicted heavy casualties, but simply did not have the manpower to stave off the assault. Noel Castle left the firing line, abandoning rifle and pistols for a wrecked .30 caliber machine gun. Although under intense fire, the intrepid captain got the gun working and singlehandedly manned the weapon usually served by a crew of several men laying down a base of fire on the Japanese, forcing their heads down and allowing his men to advance. The counterattack seemed on the verge of succeeding, but an enemy machine gun spotted Castle's position and raked it with fire. The captain fell dead; without their leader, the attack faltered and the Americans fell back to their original positions. After the war, a Marine offered a different version of Captain Castle's last moments:
During the engagement with the enemy in the vicinity of Kindley Field following the hostile landing on Ft Mills, and at about 0200 6 May 1942 I observed Capt Noel D. Castle, C.O., Co D, 1st Bn, 4th Rgr, walking the Malinta Point trail towards the north side of the road. PFC Edward G. Free, USMC and I were manning a machine gun about 20 yards away. Upon recognizing Capt. Castle I called out, Go back, there is a sniper shooting this way. Without stopping Capt. Castle continued on. About a yard from the embankment on the north side of the road he was hit by what I believe to be rifle or machine gun bullets. I saw him fall forward and disappear from sight over the edge of the road. Shortly after this the enemy opened up with an artillery concentration from Bataan and Free and I were forced to take cover. I jumped into a nearby hole and Free ran across the road into the draw where Capt Castle lay. The concentration lasted maybe ten or fifteen minutes after which each of us returned to our gun. Free then told me that Capt. Castle was hit in the chest and abdomen and was in a bad way. He told me that the Captain could not move and that he had loosened his pistol belt and other equipment. We then moved our gun to a new position and continued in the fight. I did not see Capt. Castle after he fell over the edge of the road.
Unknown Marine, quoted on corregidor.org message board.
For his actions on May 5 and 6 1942, Noel Castle was awarded the Silver Star.
Next Of Kin:
Mother, Mrs. Annie B. Castle
Status Of Remains:
Unknown.
Memorial:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.
   
Other Comments:
Body Not Recovered
Silver Star
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Army Award) (Posthumously) to Captain Noel Oker Castle (MCSN: 0-5323), United States Marine Corps, for gallantry in action against the enemy while Commanding Company D, Fourth Marines, in action at Corregidor, Philippine islands, on 5 - 6 May 1942. On that date, Captain Castle was supervising the re-installation of damaged beach defense weapons in the east sector, Corregidor, at the time when the Japanese launched their landing attack against the island. During the intense bombardment supporting the attack, Captain Castle, by his example of personal bravery and outstanding leadership, encouraged his men to resist to the utmost against overwhelming odds, with the result that a larger number of casualties were inflicted on the enemy. When the crew of a machinegun, which had been firing against the advancing enemy, was so reduced by casualties as to be unable to continue to man its gun, Captain Castle personally manned the gun and continued firing until he was killed. Captain Castle's gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service.
Action Date: May 5 - 6, 1942
   
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 Ribbon Bar
Distinguished Marksman Badge (Gold)Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge (Gold)

 
 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1936, The Basic School (Quantico, VA)
 Unit Assignments
MCB Quantico, VA1st Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (1/5), 5th Marine RegimentUSMC Shooting Team (Rifle & Pistol)USMC (United States Marine Corps)
1st Bn, 4th Marine Regiment (1/4), 4th Marine RegimentMissing In Action
  1937-1937, 0301, MCB Quantico Rifle and Pistol Team
  1937-1938, 0301, D Co, 1st Bn, 5th Marine Regiment (1/5)
  1938-1938, 0301, USMC Shooting Team (Rifle & Pistol)
  1938-1938, 0301, Ordnance School Quantico
  1938-1939, 0302, 1st Bn, 15th Marine Regiment (1/15), 15th Marine Regiment
  1939-1940, 0302, USMC Shooting Team (Rifle & Pistol)
  1940-1941, 0302, MarDet Shanghai
  1941-1942, 0302, D Co, 1st Bn, 4th Marine Regiment (1/4)
  1942-Present, 0302, Missing In Action
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)/Battle of Bataan
 Colleges Attended
University of Maryland at College Park
  1932-1936, University of Maryland at College Park
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