North High School Wall of Honor
William Joseph Poe
Class of June, 1950
William Joseph Poe; 1950
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953.
William Joseph Poe

Bill graduated in the June, 1950 North High class. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps on ________ in Des Moines, IA. His service number was 1298231. Bill's next of kin was listed as Joseph C. Poe, 3714 S.W. 6th Street, Des Moines, IA.

Photo at left is Ted's (Hatfield) graduating class from boot training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA on 10 September 1949. Ted is in the fifth row from the bottom (or the top row), the fourth person in from the left hand side.
Click on photo to view enlarged version
William Joseph Poe (obtain correct info for Bill Poe's bio below)
Year   Rank   Status
June, 1950   Graduated   Graduated from North High School, Des Moines, IA
Feb 20, 1952 x US Marine Corps x Enlisted in Des Moines, IA
date x Basic Training x Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA
date x Home on Leave x Home on leave from boot camp at MCRD, San Diego. Photo (shown below) taken at Des Moines Airport before returning to San Diego, CA for additional training.
October, 1949 x Military x Returned to San Diego, CA for orders for first duty station
November, 1949 x Military x Assigned to US Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA. Served as security guard
June, 1950 x Military x US Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, IL. US Marine Corps Reserve. Six year enlistment effective July 1, 1950
July, 1950 x Military x Assigned Ninth Marine Corp Reserve District, E Company, 2nd Battalion, Fort Des Moines, IA
November, 1950 x Military x *Recall to active duty. Ordered to Camp Pendleton, CA for advanced infantry training.
February, 1951 x Military x Assigned to 1st Infantry Training Battalion Training And 6th Replacement Draft Fleet Marine Force for deployment to Korea
February 14, 1951 x Enroute x **Transport from San Diego to Kobe, Japan via USS General George M. Randall took 19days. Assigned to H Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Division Fleet Marine Force. From Kobe, took ship to Pusan, Korea. From Pusan, Korea, one-day train ride. Trucked. Then walked to area of pup tents. We were there!
March 1, 1951 x Arrived Port x Arrived at Kobe, Japan. Then embarked from Kobe, Japan for Korea
March 5, 1951 x Arrived Korea x Arrived Pusan, Korea. One-day train ride; then trucked to front lines
April, 1951 x Combat x ***Co H 3Rd Bn 7Th Mar 1Stmar Div, Mri Pearl
April, 1951 x Military x ****Served as Browning automatic rifleman (BAR man), participating in two combat campaigns, First United Nations Counter Offensive and Communist Chinese Spring Offensive.
December 22, 1953 x Military x Discharged
June 14, 1955 x Family x Married Nancy Lee Rogers (North High School, January, 1954)
Married at Highland Park Church of Christ.
May 15, 1991 x Deceased x Died at Veterans Hospital, Knoxville, IA. Buried at Highland Memory Gardens, (Crucifixion Garden), Des Moines, IA
*Camp Pendleton, California
The Battalion reactivated 1 October 1949 at Camp Pendleton, California, as the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. It was redesignated 7 July 1950 as the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force. It deployed during August 1950 to Korea , and was redesignated 13 September 1950 as the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. the unit participated in the Korean War Operating from Pusan Perimeter, Inchon-Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, East Central Front, and Western Front. It participated in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone from July 1953 to February 1955. The Battalion relocated during March 1955 to Camp Pendleton, California.

**USS General George M. Randall (AP-115)
Korean War
As an MSTS ship, USS General George M. Randall made scheduled runs between the West coast of the United States and the Orient until fighting erupted in Korea in the summer of 1950. She participated in the amphibious assault at Inchon which routed the North Korean Army and forced Communist evacuation of South Korea. After hordes of Chinese Communist troops poured into Korea and trapped American forces, she served in the evacuation of Hungnam, which saved the embattled G.I.'s enabling them to return to the fight.

She moored at New York, New York, on 26 May 1951, and made four voyages from New York to Bremerhaven and Southampton before returning to the Pacific. On 11 March 1951, General George M. Randall departed Yokohama, Japan, with the bodies of 52 men, the first Korean War dead to be returned to the United States, including Major General Bryant E. Moore, who had commanded the IX Corps. Armed Services honor guards were in attendance at the departure, as was an Army Band, and was heavily covered by the press. The ship arrived at San Francisco, also carrying 1500 officers and men of the 1st Marine Division being rotated home for 30 day leave. She then returned to Yokohama on 24 October.

***1st Marine Division
(From the 1st Marine Division Presidential Unit Citation Award)
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting The Presidential Unit Citation to the First Marine Division Reinforced for services as set forth in the following citation:
"For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy aggressor forces in Korea during the periods 21 to 26 April, 16 May to 30 June, and 11 to 25 September, 1951. Spearheading the first counteroffensive in the spring of 1951, the First Marine Division, Reinforced, engaged the enemy in the mountainous center of Korea in a brilliant series of actions unparalleled in the history of the Marine Corps, destroying and routing hostile forces with an unrelenting drive of seventy miles north from Wonju. During the period 21 to 26 April, the full force of the enemy counteroffensive was met by the Division, north of the Hwachon Reservoir. Although major units flanking The Marine Division were destroyed or driven back by the force of this attack, the Division held firm against the attackers, repelling the onslaught from three directions and preventing the encirclement of the key center of the lines. Following a rapid regrouping of friendly forces in close contact with the enemy, the First Marine Division, Reinforced, was committed into the flanks of the massive enemy penetration and, from 16 May to 30 June, was locked in violent and crucial battle which resulted in the enemy being driven back to the north with disastrous losses to his forces in the number of killed, wounded, and captured. Carrying out a series of devastating assaults, the Division succeeded in reducing the enemy's main fortified complex dominating the 38th Parallel."

(From the 1st Marine Division Presidential Unit Citation Award)
The President of the Republic of Korea takes profound pleasure in citing for outstanding and superior performance of duty during the period 26 October to 27 July 1953 the First United States Marine Division Reinforced for the award of President Unit Citation:
"Landing at Wonsan on 26 October 1950 the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) advanced to Yudam-ni where they engaged the Chinese Communist Forces. The heroic and courageous fighting of the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced), which was outnumbered but never outfought by the Chinese Communist Forces; coupled with its fight against the terrible winter weather in this return to Hungnam, has added another glorious page to the brilliant history of the United States Marines. After regrouping and retraining, the First United States Marine Division (Reinforced) rejoined the United Nations Forces and began the attack to the north which drove the aggressors relentlessly before them. The enemy spring offensive during April 1951 which threatened to nullify the recent United Nations gains was successfully repulsed by the First Marine Division (Reinforced) and when other Republic of Korea Forces were heavily pressed and fighting for survival the timely offensive by this Division gave heart to the people of Korea."

****Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)
WWI saw the first use of automatic weapons on a large scale. The Model 1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, known as the BAR, was created by arms designer John Browning to be a light automatic weapon which could be fired from the shoulder or hip. The weapon saw service with the American forces during the last stages of WWI, where it provided "walking fire" for attacks on enemy positions. It fired a standard .30 caliber rifle cartridge that was valued for its range and penetrating power. Between the World Wars, several variations on the basic design were made, including the addition of a folding bipod. The BAR was used extensively in WWII where it became an essential weapon in the American rifle squad. During the Korean War, the BAR again saw active service in all major campaigns. Its accurate automatic fire took a deadly toll on the enemy.
USS General George M. Randall (AP-115) AP-115 Logo
USS General George M. Randall; AP-115 Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row-China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal
Second Row-Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)
Third Row-National Defense Service Medal - Korean Service Medal - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Lebanon)
Fourth Row-Philippine Liberation Medal - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)
Hwachon Dam Air Strikes, April-May 1951

Torpedo attack on the Hwachon Reservoir dam by AD "Skyraiders" of Attack Squadron 195 (VA-195) from USS Princeton (CV-37), 1 May 1951.
This successful strike, and earlier bomb attacks by Navy and U.S. Air Force planes, were made to deny the enemy the tactical use of controlled flooding on the Pukhan and Han rivers. Torpedoes were used after bombs failed to achieve the desired results. They destroyed one flood gate and partially destroyed another. This was the only Korean War use of torpedoes.The Hwachon Reservoir was later recaptured by U.N. forces.
Hwachon Reservoir Dam, North Korea
Crucifixion Garden; Highland Memory Gardens, Des Moines, IA
William Joseph Poe

H Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, (get correct)
1st Division Fleet Marine Force (get correct)
United States Marine Corps

US Marine Corps Seal
US Marine Corps Insignia

3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment

William Joseph Poe; 1953

1st Marine Division

Marine Sharpshooter (Browning Automatic Rifle)

Corporal, USMC

National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal w/1 star; Combat Action ribbon; Naval Unit Citation; Presidential Unit Citation; Marine Security Guard; Fleet Marine Force; Presidential Unit Citation/Korea; Marine Reserve; Purple Heart; Korean Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal/Korea

(get correct medals) National Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal w/1 star; Combat Action Ribbon; Naval Unit Citation;
Presidential Unit Citation; Marine Security Guard; Fleet Marine Force; Presidential Unit Citation/Korea; Marine Reserve;
Purple Heart; Korean Defense Service Medal; Korean Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal/Korea
(1) Information was obtained from the Records on Military Personnel Who Died, were Missing in Action, or Prisoners of War as a result of the Vietnam War. This document can be found online at the National Archives and Records Administration at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: William Joseph Poe's 1950 class page is:
Died: 05/15/91. Buried at Crucifixion Garden, Highland Memory Gardens, Des Moines, IA.
Music: "Semper Fidelis"
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