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Angus R. Goss

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Angus R. Goss
Born(1910-01-08)January 8, 1910
Tampa, Florida
DiedJuly 20, 1943(1943-07-20) (aged 33)
New Georgia, Solomon Islands
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Years of service1930–1943
RankMarine Gunner
Unit1st Marine Raiders
Battles/warsWorld War II
  • Guadalcanal campaign
  • Battle of Tulagi
  • Battle of Bairoko
AwardsNavy Cross
Purple Heart (2)
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (United Kingdom)

Angus R. Goss (January 8, 1910 – July 20, 1943) was a decorated United States Marine who was killed in action while fighting in the Pacific during World War II.

Marine Corps career[edit]

Although Goss was the first of his family to graduate from high school, the advent of the Great Depression left few available jobs. On September 12, 1930, at the age of 20, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He rose to the rank of Marine Gunner in the 1st Marine Raiders Battalion, and was sergeant of the battalion's demolitions platoon. When the United States entered World War II, Goss and his unit were deployed to the Pacific.[1]

Combat experience[edit]

In the Battle of Tulagi, the Raiders were successful in liberating the island of Tulagi, in the Solomon Islands, from Japanese occupation. Goss played a role in this victory, leading his platoon in rooting out the Japanese who had entrenched themselves in the island's limestone caves. Goss and his men attached TNT charges to ends of poles and fashioned similar techniques needed to rid the island of its remaining defenders.[2] In some cases, they were required to personally deliver the charges to their intended targets.[1]

On August 10, 1942, after lobbing two blocks of TNT into one particularly well defended cave, Goss was severely wounded when the enemy tossed the explosives back at him. Completely incensed and despite his injuries, Goss grabbed a Reising sub-machine gun, hobbled his way back to the cave, and single-handedly took out every one of the enemy occupants.[1]

The following year, on July 20, Goss was killed in action in an unsuccessful attack on the island of New Georgia during the Battle of Bairoko.[1]


For his heroism on Tulagi on August 10, 1942, Marine Gunner Goss was awarded the Navy Cross, as well as the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, bestowed by the United Kingdom. Goss was initially nominated for the Medal of Honor, but the stateside board downgraded the nomination to the Navy Cross. Goss was killed before learning of his awards.[1]


The United States Navy named a Destroyer Escort in Goss' memory. USS Goss was laid down December 16, 1943, by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newark, New Jersey; launched March 19, 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Jamie S. Goss, sister-in-law of Marine Gunner Goss; and commissioned August 26, 1944, with Lieutenant Commander Claude A. Kirkpatrick in command.

The City of Tampa, Florida, also built a public aquatic facility in his memory, the Angus Goss Memorial Pool.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Alexander, Joseph. "Edson's Raiders: the 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II" Naval Institute Press, 2000.
  2. Hoffman, Major Jon T., USMCR, "From Makin To Bougainville: Marine Raiders in the Pacific War", Marine Corps Historical Center, 1995.
  3. City of Tampa Parks Archived November 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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