View Full Version : Richard Hands pharmacist mate 1st Mar Div WWII

Dick Hands son
11-09-07, 07:51 PM
My name is Barry Hands. My Father is a Marine having served with the 1st Mar Div, and I am trying to piece together his service from his service record and his recollections.

I am hoping that some members here can help me.

This is what I have from his service record:

He joined the National Guard in 1938, headquarters battery, 143rd Field Artillery, California National Guard.

Sometime later he joined the USNR.

According to his service record and transcript of Sea Service he was on the USS Eagle#38 from April 17 1941 to April 18 1942 as an Apprentice Seaman and Fireman third class. He was transferred to US Naval Hospital San Diego for treatment in accordance with form "G" on 2-27-42 and back to the Eagle 3-12-42.

His service school record indicates he was at USNTS San Diego from May 1 to June 11 1942, at which time he completed basic course for Hospital Corpsman. Rating changed this date from F3c to HA2.

6-13-42,8-1-42 USNH, PSNY, WN. Changed rating to HA1c.

At Farragut (Idaholace) August 15, 1942 until November 27, 1942 PO2c special branch. Appointed Pharmacist mate third class November 1, 1942.

Appointed Pharmacist mate third class 12-1-42 USNTS Farragut Idaho.

Transferred March 1 1943 to Bremerton WA.

His sea record also says he was on the USS Croatan from April 28, 1943 to July 2, 1943, when he was transferred to Commander fleet air, Alameda Calif., NAS, to composite squadron 65 for duty.

August 30 1943 transferred to US Naval Hospital, Oakland Calif.

8-30-43: Admitted to hospital for treatment. Sickness NOT due to personal misconduct.

1-12-44 transferred to training detachment (FldMedschBn) FMFTC Camp Elliot San Diego.

1-14-44 Fired familiarization course M1 Carbine and Rifle.

3-10-44 qualified Assistant Medical field service, certificate issued.

5-20-44 transferred to 1st Marine Division.

5-25-44 Hq. Co.2nd Bn. 17th Mar.(Eng.) FMF 52nd Rep Bn. TC Camp Elliot SD Calif.

6-30-44 designation changed to H&S Co. 1st Pioneer Bn, 1st Mar Div, FMF

Camp Elliot SD for training 1-31-44 until 3-10-44 qualified as "assistant in medical field service".

12-28-44 transferred to "B" Co First Medical Battalion, 1st Mar Div FMF.

4-7-45 Held for convenience.

7-5-45 Embarked aboard USS Carrol (APA28) at Pavuvu, on 2-23-45 and sailed there from on same date. Arrived and disembarked at Okinawa Shima on 4-1-45 and participated in action until 22 June 1945.

9-8-45 indicated serving outside the continental United States this date.

10-17-45 Embarked aboard the USS Warren (APA 53) at Okinawa on 9-2-45 and sailed there from on 9-26-45. Arrived and disembarked Tientsin China 9-30-45.

11-23-45 Honorable discharge.

3-3-48 reenlisted Class v-6 USNR CPHMA Hq Co, 12 infbnUSMCR

9-12-51 enlistment involuntarily extended for twelve months to expire on March 2 1953

March 2 1953 record of discharge, Is recommended for reenlistment.

Ok, that’s the service record.

While in service my Father had some experiences that affected his memory.

In his personal recollections my Father made some notes on a map for me about twenty years ago. He said he could not remember all the dates, and was unsure of those he could remember, but wrote down what he could.

He thought he was headed toward the Aleutians on a ship out of SD or SF which turned back and went to Hawaii at around the beginning of dec 1941. On dec 7 he was on a sub chaser headed for Midway or somewhere west of Hawaii that turned back to pearl on Dec 7, 1941.

He thinks he was in New Zealand in the early summer of 1942 and went to Guadalcanal after it was secured and from there to Melbourne in February of 1943.

He believes he went from Melbourne to Cape Gloucester in mid or later 1943 and from there to Puvuvu.

He thinks his first fight was Peleliu in the summer of 1944.

He thinks he went back to the Solomons, (Guadalcanal, Puvuvu or New Britain) in December 1944.

The next place he went was Okinawa in March of 1945.

He is Eighty eight years old, still walks and talks, and when you ask him how he feels, he looks at you with clear blue eyes and says "Mean as hell".

I was wondering if anyone can shed any light on his recollections, or his service record.


Barry Lee Hands

Photo of Richard Hands