The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, 2LT Clarence C. Lovejoy, O-442274, who died in the service of his country on January 27th, 1943 in Guadalcanal. The cause of death was listed as KIA/DOW (01/12/1943). At the time of his death Clarence was 21 years of age. He was from Dade City, Florida.
The decorations earned by 2LT Clarence C. Lovejoy include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
Clarence is buried in the Punchbowl in Honolulu.Plot C, Row O, Grave 235.
Clarence attended the University of Tampa 1940-42.
From Cacti WWII historian Perry Ball, "I wish we knew what happened to him. The fighting ended on 22 January, after the Banzai charge against F Company and the Anti-tank Company positions on the night of 21-22 January and he died of his wounds on 27 January. He might have been wounded during the Banzai charge and died of his wounds five days later. I might be able to find out from looking at the Company Morning Reports one day."
I offer an interesting discovery about 2nd LT Lovejoy, who DOW as a result of wounds received at Gifu Strongpoint. I was working on a 19 January 1943 Admissions and Dispositions report from the 25th Medical Battalion yesterday and found that Lovejoy was wounded on 12 January 1945. We already know that he died on 27 January 1945. That means he lingered for 15 days before he died.
13 January was the day Col. Peters, Lt. Col. Larson's predecessor, ordered a battalion-wide push into the relatively unmapped Japanese positions at Gifu Strongpoint. There were heavy losses in every company in the 2nd Battalion, plus the HQ and Anti-tank Company, which were thrown into the former regiment-wide front.
This is an excerpt from the KIA Appendix to "Tales of 'Red" Marler" and the next edition of "SSGT Bauer's Story."
Lovejoy, Clarence C. 2nd LT Gifu DOW 12 Jan 43 27 Jan 43 18 Feb 49
GSW, left chest, grenade wound, right buttocks
received Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster
Sgt. Homer G. Heuston of the 3rd Platoon was MIA on the same date, so Lovejoy may have been the Platoon Leader for the 3rd Platoon.
Medic T/5 Kostelka received the Silver Star for dragging a wounded officer out of the line of fire at Gifu Strongpoint and it may have been Lovejoy that he rescued. The only other F Company officer who was wounded at Gifu Strongpoint was Capt. F. P. "Dude" Mueller, and his wound was superficial and not serious enough to have needed rescue.
This is the text of Kostelka's Silver Star citation:
T/5 Frank J. Kostelka, Jr., (38090344), Medical Corps, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism at Guadalcanal from January 10 to 26, 1943. Attached to an infantry company during the attack on a strongly held position, Corporal Kostelka was assigned the specific task of remaining near the command post to administer first aid to the wounded. Repeatedly throughout the engagement he exhibited extreme daring and heroism by going to administer treatment to wounded soldiers who could not be brought back to the first aid station. On each occasion, he risked his personal safety in crawling to the precise place at which the wounded had been hit by machine gun or sniper bullets. After administering sulfanilamide and rendering other first aid, he evacuated several of the wounded men by personally carrying or dragging them under fire to places of safety. The most striking example of Corporal Kostelka's intrepidy (sic) was displayed when a lieutenant leading a patrol against a particularly well-fortified sector was wounded. After the officer had fallen, the enemy continued firing at him. Corporal Kostelka, aware that he was almost certain to be hit, went resolutely forward to save this lieutenant and administered aid as bullets constantly hit the ground and trees around him. Completing emergency treatment, Corporal Kostelka, still under incessant fire, carried the lieutenant to safety.
General Orders No. 188, General Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Pacific, 25 July 1943. This General Order awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to T/5 Frank J. Kostelka, Jr. for extraordinary heroism in action from 10 January to 26 January 1943. An official copy of this General Order has not been located.
In sum, 2nd LT Lovejoy was wounded on in 12 January, may have been the Platoon Leader for the 3rd Platoon, and he was most likely the officer rescued by Silver Star recipient Medic Kostelka. I may one day be able to confirm the last two parts of that.