|Milton Maynard BECK
United States Marine Corps
Entered the Service from: Minnesota
Died: 20 NOV 1943
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial
Awards: Purple Heart
|In December 2003, I interviewed Pvt. Harold B.
Patch, a 2nd Amtrac Bn veteran. He told me that, while still on Betio Island after
the battle, he was approached by an acquaintance who said that Corporal BECK had
been killed when his LVT(1) struck a Japanese landmine off Green Beach. The man had
sought Patch out to tell him the news, because he knew Patch had been on Beck's crew
in New Zealand. Pvt. Patch was told that a shoe, marked with Corp. Beck's name, had
been found near the LVT(1), and that there was a foot still in it. Patch also explained
that shoes were difficult to obtain in New Zealand, and that marking them with one's
name was a common practice.
Pvt. Patch told me that Corporal BECK had been his LVT(1) Crew Chief, in B Company, 2nd Amtrac Bn, in New Zealand before Tarawa. However, Pvt. Patch had been pulled off the LVT(1) crew and sent to Samoa to join the A-1 Company and train on the new LVT(2) models. According to Pvt. Patch, Corporal BECK remained in New Zealand with B Company, and his LVT(1) crew.
Note: In the 2nd Amtrac Bn Muster Roll for November 1943, Corporal Beck is reported to have also been sent to Samoa to join the newly formed A-1 Company. However, Pvt. Patch is certain that Corp. Beck remained with B Company in New Zealand.
Pvt. Patch also said that there was a man named "Lane" on Corporal Beck's LVT(1) crew in New Zealand. He couldn't remember if "Lane" was his first or last name. (Could this man be the Corporal Lambert Lane, who is listed in the NOV 1943 Muster Roll as being aboard the USS Feland, but was reported in Col. Alexandr's book as having been killed on 22 NOV 1943, along with Captain Thomas Royster (?)
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