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Subdeacon Joe

Rough Duty

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US Marine Colonel Francis Fenton conducting the funeral of his son Private First Class Mike Fenton, Okinawa, 1945

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In 1945, Marine Colonel Francis “Ike” Fenton, 1st Marine Division, and his youngest son, Pvt. Michael Fenton of Baker Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, served together in combat.

A photograph of the two, delayed by the war, accompanied a story in the May 31, 1945, edition of the San Diego Union. It showed the son holding his M1 rifle beside his father. The caption noted that Okinawa was the son’s first combat experience, while his father had been in the Battle of Peleliu in 1944.

The story reported that the Colonel said, “Hello, Son,” while the Private said, “Glad to see you, Sir.” They talked about mail from home.

Another photograph taken not long after showed the Colonel, a helmet between his arm and body, kneeling in the dirt with his head bowed over a stretcher. A U.S. flag covered his son Michael, who was killed in action on 7 May, 1945, while fiercely repelling a vicious Japanese counterattack.

The faces of the Men in the background register the horrible sadness of the moment. Upon his retirement in 1949, Col. Fenton was advanced to brigadier general because of his combat record. General Fenton died in 1978.

General Fenton is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. In 1948, he requested that his son’s remains be moved to a national cemetery stateside. Private Fenton is buried at Oahu, Hawaii’s “Punchbowl”, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

General Fenton’s oldest son Marine Captain Francis "Ike" Fenton Jr, is in the second photograph.
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Captain Fenton was the Baker Company Commander of 1st Battlion, 5th Marines during the Korean War, the same unit in which his younger brother Michael served and died in during World War II.

The photograph captures a weary Capt. “Ike” Fenton, whose radio had just expired, being told his unit was low on ammunition, and ponders his fate.

Semper Fidelis. -Elias.

taken from https://www.facebook.com/.../in-1945.../1246514082104853/

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Semper Fi :FlagAm:

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