Camp Elliott

Michael Lazaro's US Marine Corps ID Card
Michael's ID Card. On the card, his birth date is incorrect. He was born in 1922. On the back of this card is his girl friend's address in San Diego. She was a singer named Ruth Amago.

After graduation, Michael was assigned infantry training at Camp Elliott on April 24, 1943. During his time at Camp Elliott, several family members and friends wanted to know when he would return home for a visit. One day, in the summer of 1943, he surprised them all by showing up for a short visit. That summer visit would be the last time his family saw him.

On August 3, 1943 Michael joined Casual Company at U. S. Naval Hospital MCRD where he was hospitalized with appendicitis until August 21, 1943 . Upon his release, he re-joined his Infantry Training Battalion. Michael was assigned to the 27th Replacement Battalion on September 25, 1943. The Battalion departed from San Diego, CA for the Pacific aboard the SS Mormachawk on October 23, 1943.

Michael was on his way to combat in Cape Gloucester and then Peleliu. He would be one of 1,200 Marines to die at Peleliu.

Lazaro Family
Summer, 1943, during Michael's visit home. Michael's father, Anton Lazaro Sr., is standing on the far left. His mother is standing second from the right.
Michael in front of Earl Carroll Theatre in Hollywood, 1943
Michael (left) and 2 buddies in front of Earl Carroll Theatre in Hollywood, 1943.

 

Cape Gloucester

Marines landing at Cape Glouceter, 1943
Marines hit three feet of rough water as they leave their LST to take the beach at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. December 26, 1943. (National Archives, Department of Defense, USMC #68998)

Michael left San Diego, CA with the 27th Replacement Battalion on October 23, 1943 aboard the SS Mormachawk and arrived at Noumea, New Caledonia in the Pacific on November. 10, 1943. He left Noumea on November 26, 1943 aboard the USAT Maui and arrived at Goodenough Island on December 4, 1943. At this point, the records become unclear, but somehow Michael arrived at Cape Sudest, Papua, New Guinea. While at the Sambogo staging area at Cape Sudest, he was subjected to aerial bombardment on three occasions.

Michael was assigned to the 1st Marine Division, Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines (C-1-7). In joining the 1st Marine Pioneers, he was joining the unit that spearheaded the Guadalcanal invasion, a unit known as the “Old Breed”. Michael's specialty was Browning Automatic Rifleman (BAR).

He departed Cape Sudest on December 24, 1943 for Cape Gloucester, New Britain and participated in the invasion on December. 26, 1943. Cape Gloucester was Michael’s first major action.

Marine dealing with the ever-present mud on Cape Gloucester.
Marine dealing with the ever-present mud on Cape Gloucester.
(National Archives, Department of Defense, USMC)
A Marine on Cape Gloucester.
A Marine on Cape Gloucester. Note the muddy conditions. Some veterans said it rained everyday.
(National Archives, Department of Defense, USMC #72273)