SECOND LIEUTENANT JOHN T. STRANDWITZ was born in April 23, 1918 to William J. Strandwitz Sr. and his wife Dorothy of Haddonfield NJ. His father immigrated from Norway in 1893 and was successful businessman in his day, owning a sheet metal factory and being very involved in public projects in Camden County. John T. Strandwitz was the fifth child, sister Margaret and brothers William, Norman, and Robert preceding him. In 1930 the family lived at 325 Hawthorne Avenue in Haddonfield.
Lieutenant John T. Strandwitz was killed in the defense of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal, August 29, 1942, when, while fighting a fire and securing ammunition in a burning ammunition dump, he was struck by a fragment from and exploded shell. He was survived by his parents, William and Dorothy Strandwitz of 18 Gilmore Avenue, Merchantville NJ, and his siblings. On January 13, 1944 he was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. After the war, he was brought home to New Jersey. He was buried on June 5, 1948 at Locustwood Memorial Park in what is now Cherry Hill NJ, where he rests near many of his family members
J.T. STRANDWITZ IS HONORED IN DEATH
January 13, 1944- Second Lieutenant John T. Strandwitz, of
Merchantville, who lost his life while fighting a fire in an ammunition
dump on Guadalcanal, has been posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine
Corps Medal, it was announced today.
Strandwitz, son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Strandwitz of 18 Gilmore
Avenue, Merchantville, was wounded mortally when he was struck by an
exploded shell fragment while fighting the fire. He had volunteered with
a detail of nine men to extinguish the blaze which recurred as a result
of an enemy air raid on Guadalcanal, August 29, 1942.
Strandwitz was commissioned May 1, 1942.
citation which accompanied his award follows:
heroic conduct while attached to the First Special Weapons battalion,
First Marine Division, on the occasion of a fire in the area of the
First Marine ammunition dump as a direct result of a Japanese bombing
raid on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, August 29, 1942.
Volunteering with a detail of nine men, Second Lieutenant Strandwitz proceeded to the burning dump and courageously led his group in beating out the spreading flames, breaking down stacked boxes of ammunition and carrying them to safety. While encouraging his men in the performance of this extremely hazardous task, Second Lieutenant Strandwitz was struck by an exploded shell fragment. His personal valor and inspiring leadership in the face of grave peril were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
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