Bestwick, Wilbur, SgtMajMC

Deceased
 
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Last Primary MOS
9991-Sergeant Major of The Marine Corps
Last MOSGroup
Specific Billet MOS
Primary Unit
1957-1959, 9991, Office of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Commandant Marine Corps (HQMC)
Service Years
1934 - 1959

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps

 
Six Hash Marks

 

 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 

171 kb

Home State
Kansas
Kansas
Year of Birth
1911
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by GySgt Michael Snell (Big Sky) to remember Marine SgtMajMC Wilbur Bestwick (1st SgtMajMC).

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
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jul 10, 1972
 
Location of Interment
Skylawn Memorial Park - San Mateo, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity
SERGEANT MAJOR WILBUR BESTWICK, USMC
Sergeant Major Wilbur Bestwick, the first Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, died 10 July 1972, at the Stanford University Hospital, San Francisco, California. He was interred at the Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California.

Sergeant Major Bestwick was born on 27 November 1911, in Sabetha, Kansas, and graduated from high school there in 1932. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1934 and received his basic training at San Diego, California.

The Sergeant Major saw pre-World War II duty at sea aboard the USS Louisville, and served at Marine posts in Bremerton, Washington; San Diego, and Camp Elliott, California. Appointed a Sergeant Major in 1943, he saw World War II combat while serving in this capacity with the 3rd Marine Division in the Bougainville and Guam campaigns.

On his return to the States, in December 1944, Sergeant Major Bestwick served as Sergeant Major of the Mare Island (California) Shipyard. He was transferred to San Francisco in 1945, and completed a four-year tour of duty there as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. In 1949, he became Sergeant Major of the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

During the Korean conflict, he joined the 1st Marine Division in Korea in October 1952 as Division Sergeant Major, and after a year overseas returned to the States. For excellent service in Korea he was awarded the Navy Commendation Ribbon with Combat "V". In 1954, he began a two-year assignment as Sergeant Major, Inspector and Instructor Staff, 1st Air Delivery Company, San Jose, California.

Transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., in June 1956, Sergeant Major Bestwick served as Sergeant Major to the Secretary of the General Staff until 23 May 1957, when he assumed the newly-established post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. He served in this capacity until he retired from active duty on September 1, 1959.

His personal decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V".
   
Other Comments:
1st Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
   
 Photo Album   (More...



Marianas Operation /Battle of Guam (1944)
From Month/Year
July / 1944
To Month/Year
August / 1944

Description
Guam, ringed by reefs, cliffs, and heavy surf, presents a formidable challenge for an attacker. But despite the obstacles, on 21 July, the Americans landed on both sides of the Orote peninsula on the western side of Guam, planning to cut off the airfield. The 3rd Marine Division landed near Agana to the north of Orote at 08:28, and the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed near Agat to the south. Japanese artillery sank 20 LVTs, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans, especially on the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, but by 09:00 men and tanks were ashore at both beaches. The 77th Infantry Division had a more difficult landing. Lacking amphibious vehicles, they had to wade ashore from the edge of the reef where they were dropped by their landing craft. The men stationed in the two beachheads were pinned down by heavy Japanese fire, making initial progress inland quite slow.

US Marines move inland.
By nightfall, the Americans had established beachheads about 6,600 feet (2,000 m) deep.[1] Japanese counterattacks were made throughout the first few days of the battle, mostly at night, using infiltration tactics. Several times, they penetrated the American defenses and were driven back with heavy loss of men and equipment. Lieutenant General Takeshi Takashina was killed on 28 July, and Lieutenant General Hideyoshi Obata took over the command of the defenders.

Supply was very difficult[2] for the Americans in the first days of the battle. Landing ships could not come closer than the reef, several hundred yards from the beach, and amphibious vehicles were scarce. However, the two beachheads were joined up on 25 July, and the Orote airfield and Apra harbor were captured by 30 July.

The counterattacks against the American beachheads, as well as the fierce fighting, had exhausted the Japanese. At the start of August, they were running out of food and ammunition and had only a handful of tanks left. Obata withdrew his troops from the south of Guam, planning to make a stand in the mountainous central and northern part of the island. But with resupply and reinforcement impossible because of American control of the sea and air around Guam, he could hope to do no more than delay the inevitable defeat for a few days.

Rain and thick jungle made conditions difficult for the Americans, but after an engagement at Mount Barrigada from 2-4 August, the Japanese line collapsed; the rest of the battle was a pursuit to the north. As in other battles of the Pacific War, the Japanese refused to surrender, and almost all were killed. On 10 August, after three weeks of combat, organized Japanese resistance ended, and Guam was declared secure. The next day, Obata committed ritual suicide.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
July / 1944
To Month/Year
August / 1944
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

4th Marine Regiment

1st Bn, 21st Marine Regiment (1/21)

6th Marine Division

3rd Bn, 22nd Marine Regiment (3/22)

2nd Bn, 22nd Marine Regiment (2/22)

1st Bn, 22nd Marine Regiment (1/22)

2nd Bn, 4th Marine Regiment (2/4), 4th Marine Regiment

3rd Bn, 4th Marine Regiment (3/4), 4th Marine Regiment

3rd Bn, 9th Marine Regiment (3/9)

3rd Combat Engineer Bn

2nd Bn, 21st Marine Regiment (2/21)

21st Marine Regiment

3rd Bn, 21st Marine Regiment (3/21)

2nd Separate Engineer Bn

USS PRESIDENT JACKSON (T-AP-18)

2nd Bn, 12th Marine Regiment (2/12)

3rd Amtrac Bn

VMGR-152

3rd Marine Division

MARDET USS Essex (CVA-9)

4th Bn, 12th Marine Regiment (4/12)

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  651 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abraham, Edwin Allan, PFC, (1942-1944)
  • Adams, Oliver Robert, PFC, (1942-1944)
  • Aiken, Luther L, Cpl, (1943-1946)
  • Andrews, Marion, Capt, (1942-1962)
  • Ant, John William, PFC, (1942-1944)
  • Appler, R, Cpl, (1941-1945)
  • Arney, Phillip, Cpl, (1942-1946)
  • Assante, Edward, Cpl, (1942-1945)
  • Bagwell, Earl Charles, PFC, (1942-1944)
  • Bahe, Henry Jr, Cpl, (1942-1946)
  • Baker, Curtis Francis, Sgt, (1943-1951)
  • Baker, Jack, PFC, (1942-1952)
  • Barker, Milton, Cpl, (1943-1951)
  • Barnes, Nathanael
  • Barto, John, Cpl, (1944-1948)
  • Batts, James Howard, Cpl, (1942-1944)
  • Baulch, Clyde F, Cpl, (1942-1946)
  • Beauchamp, Walter Alfred, Cpl, (1942-1944)
  • Beck, Donald, Col, (1941-1968)
  • Begay, Ned, PFC, (1943-1945)
  • Bell, Bob
  • Benad, Harvey L, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Berry, James Butterworth, Cpl, (1942-1944)
  • Biben, Andrew Charles, TSgt (Grade 2), (1942-1945)
  • Black, James Pearson, 1stLt, (1943-1945)
  • Blake, James Kenneth, PFC, (1943-1944)
  • Blasiol, Victor, Sgt, (1941-1946)
  • Boehm, Sr., Harold, Col, (1939-1965)
  • Boozer, Edward Leroy, Cpl, (1942-1944)
  • Bouckart, Albert Joseph, PFC, (1942-1945)
  • Bradley, Harold Irwin, PFC, (1942-1944)
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