The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, Tech5 Howard Walter Jordan, 13054414, who died in the service of his country on January 10th, 1943 in Guadalcanal. The cause of death was listed as KIA. At the time of his death Howard was 22 years of age. He was from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
The decorations earned by Tech5 Howard Walter Jordan include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Forest Hills Memorial Park
Howard Jordan lived with his parents at 430 Hillside Avenue, Jenkintown, Montgomery County, PA. He was a graduate of the Jenkintown High School and the State Teachers College at West Chester. He resigned from his position as a teacher in New Hope to enlist in the Army.
Howard was a member of HHC, 2nd Battalion
A SPECIAL MISSION
Gifu Strong Point, Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands, 11 January 1943
Pvt. Marler was a brave soldier, volunteering for dangerous missions when most of the other men would not. Pfc. Edward F. Galvin recalled one such mission during the Battle of Gifu Strong Point. Capt. James L. Dalton II, the Regimental S-2 (Intelligence), came down from Headquarters in a jeep and drove into the company area on the morning of 11 January around 0800. The men were called together and Dalton explained that he needed two men to help him carry out "a special mission," with no explanation given. Four men stepped forward: Galvin; Galvin's best friend, Pfc. James J. McGee; Pfc. Thomas Jackson; and Marler. Dalton chose Galvin, walked past McGee and Jackson, and then chose Marler. Galvin, McGee, and Marler were all from the 1st Platoon.
Dalton instructed Galvin and Marler to bring their rifles and a couple of bandoleers of ammunition. When they were ready, he led them to his jeep where he pulled out three "rag bags" with approximately 20 hand grenades in each bag and gave one bag to each man. Dalton carried a just 45-calibre pistol in a side holster.
Dalton then led Galvin and Marler over a circuitous, two-and-a-half to three-mile route through the thick jungle that took them to the far side of the Japanese position. On the way, he told the two volunteers that there were three wounded men from his intelligence unit who were trapped in a ravine under the covering fire of a Japanese machine-gun nest. He explained that he had sent the men into the ravine on a reconnaissance mission on the previous day and that it was his intention to get them out.
After several hours, the three men reached a position at the top of the ravine overlooking the Japanese machine-gun nest. Dalton told Galvin and Marler to remain at this position with the three bags of hand grenades while he crawled into the jungle and down into the ravine to find the three wounded men. Whenever they heard machine-gun fire, they were to throw a couple of grenades in the direction of the machine gun emplacement to distract the gunners or interrupt their fire.
Dalton left and for the next couple of hours Galvin and Marler heard nothing but periodic bursts of machine-gun fire. They could not see the machine-gun nest, but threw grenades in the direction of the machine-gun fire as best they could. As their pile of grenades began to dwindle, Galvin and Marler began to wonder whether Dalton would ever make it back. The periodic machine-gun fire was their only assurance that he was still alive.
Galvin and Marler had approximately 12 grenades left when Dalton came crawling out of the jungle. He told them the wounded men would soon die and that there was nothing more that could be done for them. The three men left the same way they came and returned to the G Company position about 1800.ii
Galvin remembered Marler as a "very cool soldier" who conducted himself well throughout the mission. Galvin recalled that the 35th Regiment later used the same ravine to divide the Japanese forces at Gifu Strong Point and link up with its sister regiment, the 161st Regiment. During the fighting that followed, G Company was often enveloped, with Japanese forces attacking from both sides.
Dalton was later promoted to Colonel and given command of the 161st Regiment. After a time, he was promoted to Brigadier General and elevated to Assistant Commander of the 25th Division. He was killed by a Japanese sniper at the Battle of Balete Pass in the Philippines on 16 May 1945. McGee was killed in the Battle of Lupao in the Philippines on 6 February 1945.