Sergeant John Hare

Jack Hare is on the right below

Leon Padell Ben Bradshaw Jack Hare

1987 Cape Cod

Jack Hare interview July 2008

Jack Hare was a Sergeant with the Headquarters Company during WWII. He, Ben Bradshaw, Leon Padelskas, and Arti Strand, all were members of the Headquarters Company from the time it was formed and participated in all four of the Fourth Divisions battles. They all came through the war in one piece and remained friends for the rest of their lives.

Jack is the only one left now and I recently contacted him regarding his time with HQ-2-24. I think the best way to get a feel for an everyday Marine in the Fourth Division is by sharing parts of his letter to me and his answers to my questionnaire, here are excerpts from his letter to me and answers to the questions I asked him.

 “Thanks very much for your letter informing Jane and me about your Dad’s passing… There isn’t much to our military service. Ben [Bradshaw] and I were in the same class at New River, N.C. in the fall of 1942 and were included in the forming of the Fourth Marine Division and then sent to Camp Pendleton. We shipped out at San Diego on Jan 13 1944. We went directly into combat at Roi Namur”

When were your born and where?   I was born in 1923, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Where were you when Pearl Harbor was attacked?  I was working in a textile mill, 18 years old, in Trenton, NJ

When did you enter the military?  I enlisted on Aug 26, 1942

Where did you attend Boot Camp?   Parris Island, SC

What was life like on the base during Boot Camp?     It was tough training, the DI’s did it with us everyday and they demanded it from us. There were no other activities. Chow was sparse, they didn’t like fat boots.

After Boot Camp what specialized training did you receive?   Quartermaster School, Hadnot Point, NC

Where did you serve?   With the Fourth Marine Division, HQ-2-24. I stayed with HQ-2-24 until the war ended.

What position and rank did you hold?   Sergeant

What campaigns did you participate or fight in?    Roi Namur, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima.

What was Combat like for you?    Each one got worse. You lost so many friends, your feeling was you weren’t going to make it.

If you were sent on patrols, how long did they last and what was it like to be on one?    On Saipan, I was sent to the beach – acquired a LST Boat [LCVP? Editor]  went back to the ship for ammo. It took a few days before we could land due to heavy mortar fire.

How was the camaraderie among the men you served with?   We all knew what was in store for us, but could joke about it. Once over there, between engagements we put it aside and enjoyed liberty.

If you were wounded, what type of injury did you sustain?    No wounds.

Where were you when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died?   We were back in Maui after one of our engagements. My first time voting was by proxy.

What Medals did you earn?   Presidential Unit Citation, twice.

When and where were you discharged?    Nov 15, 1945, Baltimore Naval Base.

What did you do after the military?     Married 1946 – 3 children, 12 grandchildren – 3 great grandchildren and counting. I was President of my Traffic Control System Company.

If any of your wartime buddies are alive, do you keep in contact with them?    My best buddy was Ben Bradshaw for 50 years before he died in the 1990’s

Is there any one interesting story you would like to share?

            It was directly after the war that Ben and Doris Bradshaw from Richmond VA came to Philadelphia and found us. My wife Jane, who was a Wave in the Navy, and I were married in 1946.

            From then on we saw Ben and Doris 2-3-4 times a year. When the 4thMarine Division had their reunion in Boston, Leon and Naomi Padell invited us to stay at their home. I believe it was in 1976.

            Some time after that, Ben made certain that we saw Leon and Naomi. They were busy buying a vacation home. We visited yearly no matter where they were. Ben made sure we brought our tools. We had wonderful times together.

            I would like to mention that my brother Bill enlisted at 17 in the Navy, April 1942. His ship was sunk in the North Atlantic on Christmas Eve 1943, by a German Submarine. His birthday was four days before.