Peck, Ernest Keith, Cpl

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Corporal
Last Service Branch
Engineer Corps
Primary Unit
1941-1945, 44th Engineer Battalion
Service Years
1941 - 1945

Corporal



Four Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Idaho
Idaho
Year of Birth
1917
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Felix Cervantes, III (Admiral Ese) to remember Peck, Ernest Keith, Cpl.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Salem
Last Address
Salt Lake City, UT

Date of Passing
May 24, 2001
 
Location of Interment
Mount Olivet Cemetery - Salt Lake City, Utah
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Honorably Discharged WW II Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961


 Unofficial Badges 






 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Corporal Ernest Peck served in the 1397th Engineer Battalion with my grandfather, Felix Cervantes.

"In 1941 he joined the Army and served with the 1397th Engineer Battalion in the Pacific. After four years serving his country in World War II Ernie returned to Salt Lake City and work at Kennecott Copper. He retired in 1978."
-https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/94631820/ernest-keith-peck-
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   


Operation Flintlock/Battle of Kwajalein Atoll
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
The Battle of Kwajalein was fought as part of the Pacific campaign of World War II. It took place from 31 January-3 February 1944, on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Employing the hard-learned lessons of the battle of Tarawa, the United States launched a successful twin assault on the main islands of Kwajalein in the south and Roi-Namur in the north. The Japanese defenders put up stiff resistance, although outnumbered and under-prepared. The determined defense of Roi-Namur left only 51 survivors of an original garrison of 3,500.

For the US, the battle represented both the next step in its island-hopping march to Japan and a significant moral victory because it was the first time the Americans had penetrated the "outer ring" of the Japanese Pacific sphere. For the Japanese, the battle represented the failure of the beach-line defense. Japanese defenses became prepared in depth, and the battles of Peleliu, Guam, and the Marianas proved far more costly to the US.

The U.S. forces for the landings were Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner's 5th Amphibious Force, and Major General Holland M. Smith's V Amphibious Corps, which comprised the 4th Marine Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Harry Schmidt, the 7th Infantry Division commanded by Maj. Gen. Charles H. Corlett, plus the 22nd Marines, 106th Infantry, and the 111th Infantry regiments. The 4th and 7th Divisions were assigned to the initial landings at Kwajalein, while the 2nd Battalion of the 106th was assigned to the simultaneous capture of Majuro Atoll. The rest of the 106th and the 22nd Marines were in reserve for Kwajalein, while awaiting the following assault on Eniwetok, scheduled for three months later.

The 7th Infantry Division began by capturing the small islands labeled Carlos, Carter, Cecil, and Carlson on 31 January, which were used as artillery bases for the next day's assault. Kwajalein Island is 2.5 mi (4.0 km) long but only 880 yd (800 m) wide. There was therefore no possibility of defence in depth, so the Japanese planned to counter-attack the landing beaches. They had not realized until the battle of Tarawa that American amphibious vehicles could cross coral reefs and so land on the lagoon side of an atoll; accordingly the strongest defences on Kwajalein faced the ocean. The bombardment by battleships, B-24 bombers from Apamama and artillery on Carlson was devastating. The U.S. Army history of the battle quotes a participant as saying that "the entire island looked as if it had been picked up 20,000 feet and then dropped." By the time the 7th Division landed on Kwajalein Island on 1 February, there was little resistance; by night the Americans estimated that only 1,500 of the original 5,000 defenders were still alive.

On the north side of the atoll, the 4th Marine Division followed the same plan, first capturing islets Ivan, Jacob, Albert, Allen, and Abraham on 31 January, and landing on Roi-Namur on 1 February. The airfield on Roi (the eastern half), was captured quickly, and Namur (the western half), fell the next day. The worst setback came when a Marine demolition team threw a satchel charge of high explosives into a Japanese bunker which turned out to be a torpedo warhead magazine. The resulting explosion killed twenty Marines and wounded dozens more. Only 51 of the original 3,500 Japanese defenders of Roi-Namur survived to be captured.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Feb 3, 2009
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  14 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Lambert, Francis, PFC, (1941-1945)
  • Rock, George Ivan, SFC, (1943-1950)
  • Thomas, George, Sgt, (1942-1945)
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