Robert Franklin Garland


Robert Franklin Garland, son of James T. and Marjorie Dallas Garland, was born June 3rd., 1916 at Ware Shoals, S. C.; was killed in action on February 21st., 1945 on the island of Iwo Jima, South pacific Volcano Islands. (Authentic information reveals his actual death occurred on Feb.19th.However , due to excitement and confusion of battle his body was picked up and death officially declared on the 21st. Together with hundreds of other bodies his was buried at the foot of Mount Suribachi near where theyfell, on Feb.27th. Christian Military service was conducted by Chaplain Louis H. Valbracht of the Fifth Marine Division.)

At the age of one year Robert moved with his parents and older brother to Marshville, N.C.where he grew up uneventfully. He was a regular attendant at Sunday school and church services, being converted and united as a member of the local Baptist Church at the age of 15 years. He attended school regularly and was a member of the graduating class of 1934. In September of the same year he entered the university or North Carolina as a freshman and was awarded a diploma in B.S. in Commerce in 1939.He also studied R.O.T.C. in the university and graduated a 2nd.Lieutenant in Reserve Corps of U.S.Marines.

Soon after graduation Robert accepted a position as analyst with the firm of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and was assigned to their Danville, Va. store where he remained until being inducted into active Marine service on February 21st.,1941. While residing in Danville he was active in church, Sunday school and training union service in the First Baptist Church. His first service after induction was as trainee and instructer at Marine Base, Quantico, Va. for several weeks, after which he was at Philadelphia,Pa., Indian Town Gap,Pa.,Paris Island,S.C. and New River,N.C. from which point he moved with the 12th. Marines,Third Marine Division, to SanDiego,California in preparation for overseas service,in August, 1942.At that time he had been promoted to captain. After a few weeks training at San Diego his Division sailed for the South Pacific area,beign stationed mainly on the island of Samoa.However,during this interim there he saw active battle service on Beaugainville and Guadal Canal,later enjoying a rest period with his Batalion in Auckland,New Zealand. In March,1944 an order came from Washington to sent two lieutenants,two captains and two majors (He had been promoted to rank of major on May 7th.,1943) to assist in training a new FIFTH MARINE DIVISION at Camp Pendleton,near Oceanside, California.Robert was selected as one of this number and was returned to the States the latter part of March,being granted a short leave to visit his parents in North Carolina. Marine urgency however resulted in his leave being cut short and his consequent departure on Easter Monday,April 12th. for California and Camp Pendleton. The remaining months of 1944 were spent in training this new Division at Oceanside and on the Hawaiian Islands when in January,1945 the new Fifth Marine Division composed of approximately eighteen thousand officers and men set sail for Iwo Jima from whence so many were destined never to return but to die,as they were told,that the World might be safe for Democracy. Beside his parents,Robert is survived by a brother,James D. Garland of Atlanta,Ga.and a sister,Mrs.Katherine G. Marks of Raleigh, N. C.

By request of his parents the remains were brought back to his native land and appropriate and impressive military funeral service was in the church of his boyhood conducted by Rev.J. N. Watson and Rev. Gower Crosswell in the presence of a large congregation of relatives and friends after which his body was laid to rest in the family plot in Marshville cemetery on April the eleventh, 1948.

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