Carl Walter Weiss

Carl Walter Weiss was born on 27 March 1915 in Detroit, Mich. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 18 December 1939. After completing basic training at Parris Island, S.C., he served successively at Quantico, Va; and at Philadelphia, Pa.; during the early part of 1940. On 1 March 1940, he reported to Ft. Mifflin for duty which lasted for over a year.

He returned to the base at Quantico briefly in June 1941 before going to sea in McCawley (AP-10) at the end of the first week in July for a month's assignment. Promoted to corporal while in that transport, Weiss returned ashore at Portsmouth, Va., on 14 August 1941 and, from there, moved on to duty at New River, N.C., in September. Weiss was promoted to sergeant in March 1942 and, by the following summer, had been assigned to the Pacific theater in preparation for the Solomon Islands operation. During that campaign, Sgt. Weiss conducted himself with distinction.

During a battle on 1 November with Japanese forces near Matanikau River, Guadalcanal, he charged an enemy machine gun position and destroyed it with a hand grenade. Returning to his own machine gun, Weiss directed his gunners in repulsing three fanatical bayonet charges. When one of his men received a wound and fell forward of the emplacement, Sgt. Weiss "crawled forward and dragged his comrade to safety."

The next day, he again inched forward over the crest of the hill toward another enemy machine gun. Though the position opened fire on him, he continued forward and lobbed a grenade at the offending weapon. He then attempted to toss another grenade to finish the job begun by the first but was felled, mortally wounded by enemy fire.

For "his great personal valor, aggressiveness and fine spirit of self sacrifice," Sgt. Weiss was awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously.

Special thanks to Ann Medley, niece of Carl Weiss for the photo from her family album.

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