Eugene Morland Key

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Eugene Morland Key
Born(1916-10-05)October 5, 1916
Conroe, Texas
DiedAugust 7, 1942(1942-08-07) (aged 25)
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchMarine Corps Reserves
Years of service1941–1942
RankFirst Lieutenant
Unit1st Marine Raider Battalion
Battles/warsBattle of Tulagi
AwardsNavy Cross (posthumous)

Eugene Morland Key was born at Conroe, Texas, October 5, 1916.

Marine Corps Career[edit]

Key enlisted as a Private in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves January 17, 1941. Commissioned Second Lieutenant May 29, he served at San Diego, California, and Washington, D.C., before joining the 1st Marine Raider Battalion March 19, 1942. Promoted to First Lieutenant June 4, he participated in the amphibious invasion of Tulagi Island, Solomons, August 7,.

While leading the assault against a heavily defended, enemy position, Lieutenant Key was hit by hostile sniper fire. Although mortally wounded, he courageously struggled forward and threw hand grenades into the Japanese position, thus destroying the enemy resistance and allowing his platoon to advance without further loss.

Awarded the Navy Cross[edit]

For his "indomitable fighting spirit, outstanding skill, and great personal valor" First Lieutenant Key was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.


USS Key (DE-348) was named in his honor. She was launched February 12, 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Orange, Texas, sponsored by Mrs. Ira F. Key, mother of First Lieutenant Key; and commissioned June 5, 1944, Lieutenant Commander F. D. Buckley in command.


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

External links[edit]

  • Eugene Morland Key at Find a GraveLua error in Module:WikidataCheck at line 23: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).

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