William Fitts Eldridge was born on 23 April 1916 in Chattanooga, Tennessee

1st Sergeant William F. Eldridge was killed in action during the Battle for Iwo Jima 2 March 1945. He is interred at F,326, Honolulu Memorial, Hawaii.

The Chattanooga Daily Times, 14 July 1945:
A main street in the Third Marine Division area somewhere in the Pacific has been named “Eldridge Road” to honor the memory of Marine First Sgt. William F. Eldridge, who was killed March 2 on Iwo Jima. A veteran of nine years’ service with the Marines, Eldridge was the son of Mrs. Harry Eldridge, 1015 Hanover Street. A huge fellow – he weighed 265 pounds – Eldridge distinguished himself at Bougainville and Guam with the Ninth Regiment, prior to the Iwo campaign. After garrison duty in China in the late 30’s and 40’s, Eldridge returned to the United States and joined the Third Marine Division. Always willing to share his knowledge and lend a helping hand, Eldridge acquired the nickname of “Father,” during training on Guadalcanal. A tireless worker, he led his men for 56 days on Bougainville and throughout the liberation of Guam. At Iwo, Eldridge, aided by another marine, had knocked out an enemy pillbox. He raised his head to guide a man bringing up supplies, and enemy machine gun fire hit him. Before his death he had been complimented highly for his supervision of supply Lines and evacuation of the wounded. Speaking at the dedication of the road, Marine Col. Howard N. Kenyon, Ninth Regiment commanding officer, said: “Eldridge’s job demanded extreme ability and fortitude. He had an abundance of both. Although Eldridge’s body lies in a grave at Iwo Jima, his memory remains with his many friends – always a colorful and powerful character.”

The Chattanooga Times, December 18, 1945:
The posthumous award of the Silver Star Medal was made yesterday to the parents of First Sgt. William F. Eldridge and Cpl. John Poe, Marine Corps who lost their lives in the fighting at Iwo Jima and at Okinawa.
Sgt Eldridge was the son of Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Eldridge of 1015 Hanover Street and Cpl. Poe was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Poe of 3519 Orchard Knob Avenue. Presentation of the medals was made by Capt. James B. Carpenter Jr., officer in charge of Marine Corps recruiting in Tennessee.
Sgt Eldridge was killed in the fighting on Iwo Jima March 2, 1945, while Cpl. Poe was killed at Okinawa on May 4. Sgt Eldridge was killed when fierce hand-to-hand fighting caused a shortage in his company’s grenade supply. He was mortally wounded when he exposed himself to enemy fire to direct his men towards an ammunition party. Cpl. Poe was killed in an attack on a fortified Japanese position near Dakeshi village on Okinawa. Sgt. Eldridge served with Company C, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, while Cpl. Poe was serving with Company G, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division.

  • Rank: First Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 23 April 1916
  • Date of death: 2 March 1945
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Marine Corps
  • Division/Assignment: 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Iwo Jima
  • Awards: Silver Star, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XI, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor William F. Eldridge

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