London Lewis Traw
London Lewis Traw
|Born||April 1, 1903|
|Died||October 27, 1942 (aged 39)|
near Lunga Point, Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1924–1942|
|Unit||1st Marine Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II
|Awards||Silver Star (posthumous)|
London Lewis Traw (April 1, 1903 – October 27, 1942) was born in Pocahontas, Arkansas.
Marine Corps career
Traw enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on December 15, 1924 and, in the course of a career which spanned 18 years, achieved the rank of platoon sergeant. He served with the Marine Detachment on board USS Oklahoma (BB-37) for his first term of service before going into the Reserves in 1928. Returning to active duty in late 1931, Private First Class Traw served in China from August 1936 until February 1938, during which time he was promoted to Corporal and then Platoon sergeant. Following a posting to Guantánamo Bay between December 1940 and April 1941, Platoon sergeant Traw deployed with the First Marine Division for service in the Pacific in early 1942.
Assigned to Guadalcanal campaign
Following the August 7, 1942 landing on Guadalcanal, Sgt. Traw participated in the bitter fighting around Lunga Point in the months following. On 24-October 25, a Japanese detachment attacked "Bloody Ridge" on the southern perimeter of Henderson airfield. During the battle, Sgt. Traw displayed amazing courage when he was wounded in action. Rather than slowing his men down in the fight, he commanded them to tie him to a tree with his rifle near the place where the Japanese were expect to approach from. Reluctant but obedient, his men did as he commanded. After that next raid by the Japanese London Traw's men went to retrieve his body. They found Sgt. Traw dead with his rifle in hand, but around him lay over 600 dead Japanese whom he had shot before he died. By Sgt. Traw's actions on October 27, 1942 the platoon made a major contribution to the rout and the virtual destruction of a Japanese brigade.
Awarded the Silver Star
He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his role in the defeat of the Maruyama detachment.
USS Traw (DE-350) was named in his honor. She was laid down on December 19, 1943 at Orange, Texas, by the Consolidated Steel Corp.; launched on February 12, 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Jennie Traw, mother of Sgt. Traw; and commissioned on June 20, 1944, Lt. Comdr. James T. Kilbreth, Jr., USNR, in command.
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- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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