Week 21: Military: George Robert McGlynn

Amy Johnson Crow’s suggested theme for week 21 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge was Military.  Since I am getting this post up close to Father’s Day, I decided to feature my dad.  This post was intended to be published yesterday, but the draft decided to play hide and seek with me on my computer!  Fortunately, I found it today!

The United States officially entered the Asiatic-Pacific War, part of World War II,  in December of 1941, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

IMG_0025On March 8, 1943, at the age of seventeen years and three months, George Robert McGlynn enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Rochester, New York. He was accepted at the Recruiting Station, Buffalo, New York.  His training began two days later at the Marine Corps. Recruit Depot Parris Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina.  Here he qualified in the use of the hand grenade, rifle grenade, M1 Carbine rifle, BSMG, and bayonet.  By May 15, 1943, George was in training at Camp LeJeune, near Jacksonville, North Carolina.  He attended courses to become a searchlight operator, and after earning his military specialist designation as searchlight operator, Private George McGlynn was assigned to duty with the 21st Battalion on June 20, 1943 as Searchlight Operator.

Searchlights were part of a trio of aircraft detection and defense, including locators, searchlights and antiaircraft guns.  This system improved the ability to engage, follow and destroy aircraft while preserving ammunition stores.  The searchlight operator’s duty included adjusting the light, directing the beam and maintenance of the light.

From Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, George traveled through Denver, Colorado and to Camp Elliot, near San Diego, California.  On September 27, 1943, he joined with the AntiAircraft Artillery Group, 8th Defense Battalion.  Three days later he would be sent overseas.  He was still not yet eighteen years old.  First to the United States Territory of Hawaii, then to the Pacific Theatre.

From September 30, 1943 until November 6, 1945, Pvt. McGlynn was assigned in the Asiatic-Pacific Area.   Among the areas his units was assigned were the Hawaiian, Wallis, Gilbert and Ryukyus Islands.  He participated in action against the Japanese in the Gilbert Islands and at Okinawa.

On October 18, 1943, Pvt. McGlynn arrived at Uvea, Wallis Island.  Here he was a lineman with the Antiaircraft Artillery group, 8th Defense Battalion. Linemen ran and maintained the wires to establish and maintain operable communication systems for the military.  On October 21, 1943 the 8th Defense Battalion, Reinforced, Fleet Marine Corps changed to the 8th Defense Battalion, 5th Amphibious Corps.a.

On November 20, 1943, Marine forces invaded Tarawa, Gilbert Islands on the march to the island of Japan.  The plan was to take the smaller islands, the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands and the Marianas, using each a base for taking the next island.  The battle incurred heavy casualties on both sides, with the Japanese finally being overrun.  The battle for Tarawa lasted until November 23, the same day the 8th Defense Battalion, 5th Amphibious Corps departed Uvea.

November 28, 1943, his unit arrived and disembarked at Apamama, Gilbert Islands, less than 100 miles from Tarawa.  The 8th defense battalion had been sent to relieve the Marine assault force that had landed there.  Until January 10, 1944, his unit was under enemy air attack at Apamama.

The unit returned to Hawaii and from there participated in the Okinawa campaign, remaining there until November 1945.

From June 1, through August 1, 1944, Private McGlynn attended the Field Radio Operator School of the 8th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion and received his designation as Radio Operator on August 12, 1944.  He was then assigned to the Headquarters & Service Battery, 8th AntiAircraft Artillery Battalion.

On March 11, 1945 the battalion embarked aboard the USS Jerauld at Nawiliwili, Kauai Island.  On March 12 sailed enroute to Pearl Harbor Navy Yard and berthed there from that day through March 14.  On March 15, the USS Jerauld went underway enroute to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, Central Pacific.  March 23-25 berthed at Eniwetok Atoll, and on March 26 underway enroute Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, Central Pacific.  From March 31 to April 12 berthed at Ulithi Atoll. Caroline Islands, Central Pacific.  April 13, 1945 underway enroute Okinawa Island, Pyukyu Islands, Western Pacific.  On April 17, 1945 they arrived, disembarked and landed at Nago Wan, Okinawa Island, Ryuku Islands, Western Pacific.

On September 1, 1945, George was authorized to wear one bronze star on the Asiatic- Pacific ribbon for participation in Okinawa-Gunto Operation.

October 20, 1945, George embarked on board the SS Howell Lykes at Okinawa, Ryukyu Retto, (Nansei Islands) and sailed on October 21, 1945.  He arrived at San Diego, California on November 6, 1945.  He was then assigned to Camp Pendleton, near Oceanside, California.  In late November, he left without authorization for 5 days.  He returned and faced a special court martial for his disappearance.  Shortly after serving his sentence, 20 year old George McGlynn was separated from active service and was given an Honorable Discharge.

Newly discharged George McGlynn returned to Rochester, New York.

George R McGlynn military photo copyOn September 30, 1946, at DHRS, Buffalo, New York, George re-enlisted for a period of two years in the United States Marine Corps.  His acceptance was approved at Buffalo and he was immediately transferred to the Marine Base at the US Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, New York.  He Served in the 1st Guard Company as a Private from October 1, 1946 until March 3, 1947 when he was promoted to Private First Class and transferred to the 3rd Guard Company, at the Marine Base New York Naval Shipyard at Brooklyn, New York.  On April 10, PFC McGlynn was again transferred to the 1st Guard Company, and on April 14 was demoted to Private by the commanding officer for “failing to stand an alert watch while posted as sentinel on 11Apr47”.

On April 17, 1947, he received the MCI certificate on fingerprinting and on April 19, Private Mcglynn was transferred to the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia.  He was joined to the 22nd Battalion Fleet Marine Force, when it was reactivated on September 1, 1947.  By the end of 1947, he would be promoted to Corporal George McGlynn.  On July 23, 1948, he was examined and found qualified for promotion to Sargent, however, he did not receive that promotion prior to his Honorable Discharge on September 15, 1948.

On September 16, 1948 at MCS, Quantico, VA, Cpl George McGlynn enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. On October 4, 1948 by reason of his own request, he was discharged from the Reserves.


225th AAA Searchlight Battalion Veterans Association (n.d.) How Were World War II Searchlights Used?  Skylighters.  Retrieved November 10, 2013 from http://www.skylighters.org/howalightworks/

McAnarney, Dan, and Patrick Clancey, transcribers and formatters for the HyperWar Foundation. (n.d.) Condition Red: Marine Defense Battalions in World War II  by Major Charles D. Melson.  Retieved November 10, 2013 from http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-C-Defense/

National Park Service. (n.d.) CONDITION RED: Marine Defense Battalions in World War II.  Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. Retrieved November 10, 2013 from http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/npswapa/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003133-00/sec15.htm

The Military Yearbook Project (2009-2012)  Old MOS Codes.  Field Lineman (641). Retrieved November 11, 2013 from http://militaryyearbookproject.com/references/old-mos-codes/wwii-era/army-wwii-codes/communications/field-lineman-641


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