The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, PVT Ray H. Ainsworth, who died in the service of his country on January 17th, 1943 in Guadalcanal. The cause of death was listed as Friendly Fire. At the time of his death Ray was 20 years of age. He was from Jackson County, Mississippi.
The decorations earned by PVT Ray H. Ainsworth include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Ray was single and a farmer in civilian life.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Plot: A, 1059
Ray was a young man from Smith County, Mississippi. He was the son of Seborn "Sebe" and Letha (Yelverton) Ainsworth. He and his family worked as farmers of fruit orchards. Ray was very determined to serve his county and he enlisted in the army on his 18th birthday. He and his unit fought at Pearl Harbor and he survived but then, sadly, was killed in action in Guadalcanal in January 1943. In 1969, his body was reinterred to the Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. His death was greatly mourned by his family members. Ray was a WWII war hero and was awarded a Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. May his service never be forgotten.
"As I was going up the hill I passed (Pvt. Ray H.) Aimsworth (a boy who was on Canton Island when I was there and who came to Oahu on the same boat as I). We spoke a few words to each other (he was in an old Jap foxhole) about Canton Island. He did not know me too well as I was located on one side of Canton Island and he on the other. As I passed him he asked me if I wasn't stationed on the south side of the island, and I told him I was. By this time I had passed him, and that's the last time I saw him. I went nearly to the C.P. and stopped and began opening the two cans of "C" type rations. I had no sooner opened them until the artillery began bursting in the wooks some 75 yards back of me. I pulled up stakes and went about 75 yards farther or towards where the artillery was firing from. I had no sooner reached a foxhole until almost every man who had chosen to stay in the woods in foxholes burst out of the woods or jungle in what was almost a perfect skirmish llne.
"A shell burst in a treetop just back of the boys. The concussion knocked some of the boys down, but none were hit. (Pfc. Dean L. Robinson) Dean Roberson was one of the boys that this particular shell knocked down. He is one of my best friends here. He got up and came straight down the hill toward me. As he passed I made him hear me above the explosions and the scream of shrapnel. So he got into the hole with me. We stayed there a couple of minutes. The shells continued to creep toward us so we decided to make a dash about 50 years to another foxhole we had spotted. We did and made it O.K. We stayed in this hole until the fire was lifted again. Everyone then gathered at the C.P. and planned to go back to our positions as quickly as possible for we were afraid the Japs might take our positions over. We did not check up to see if any men were missing as we knew the necessity of getting to our positions before the Japs beat us to them.
"The order was given by one officer to shoot anything that we saw moving in our positions. What happened was that Ainsworth must have not come out of the woods. After the shelling he went immediately to his gun position as we had first been instructed to do. One of our Lts. saw him move in his foxhole and didn't wait to look twice. He just threw his tommy gun to his shoulder and put about forty rounds into Ainsworth's back. The poor boy never knew what hit him. I hesitate to put the blame on anyone except Tojo himself as he started this war...Ainsworth was 20 and one of the cleanest lads in every respect that you will ever run across. "