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Kerns, John Irvin

Rank and Name, Private John Irvin Kerns.

Unit/Placed in, Second Marine Raider Battalion.


The captured Marines received satisfactory care at the hands of their captors on Makin, and humane treatment continued for nearly a month after they had been moved to Camp Kwajalein (execution Island). Early in October, Vice Admiral Koso Abe, Marshall Islands commander, was advised that he need not send these prisoners to Tokyo. A staff officer from a higher headquarters told Abe that a recently established policy permitted the admiral to dispose of these men on Kwajalein as he saw fit. Abe then ordered the Marines (9) to beheaded.


John is born on Aug. 9, 1919 in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Father, Frank W. Kerns.

Mother, Lavina B. Kerns.

Sisters, Hazel B. and June K. Kerns.

Brother, Don P. Kerns.


John enlisted the service in New York with service number # 348233.


John died during his captivity at Camp Kwajalein (Execution Island), Marshall Islands, on Oct. 16, 1942, he is honored with a Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Marine and Navy Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the POW Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal.

As a member  in Company B, Second  Marine Raider Battalion, during the Marine Raider Expedition against the Japanese-held  at the island of Makin in the Gilbert Islands on 17 and 18 August 1942. Fully aware of the hazards of an imminent enemy air attack, and with complete disregard for his own life, Sergeant Allard, with four others, volunteered to take a Submarine (USS Nautilus Comp-A, and the USS Argonaut Comp-B) to a point just outside a reef and shoot a line ashore to assist in evacuating those men remaining on the beach. Caught on the sea, he was defeated in his valiant efforts by the violent strafing of his boat by withering enemy machine-gun fire. His great personal valor and loyal spirit of self-sacrifice were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country.

Here are the names of the 9 Raiders

Robert V. Allard Sgt. USMCR Company B.
Dallas Harry Cook Sgt. USMC Company B.
Joseph Gifford Cpl. USMC Company B.
Richard E. Davis PFC USMC Company A.
Richard N. Olbert PFC USMCR Company B.
William E. Pallesen PFC USMC Company B.
John I. Kerns Pvt USMCR Company A.
Alden O. Mattison Pvt USMCR Company A
Donald R. A. Roberton Pvt USMC Company B.



John is buried/mentioned at Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu County, Hawaii U.S.A.

Courts of the missing.


Thanks to http://usmarineraiders.org/http://usmarineraiders.org/about-the-raiders/history/combat-operations/makin-island/

Jean Louis Vijgen, ABMC,  https://abmc.gov Info P.O.W.

Wes Injerd, Dwight Rider: http://www.mansell.com/pow-index.html

NavyLog, http://navylog.navymemorial.org Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, Sean Conjenos, http://www.philippine-scouts.org/

Familysearch.com, https://www.familysearch.org Navy Marines Info Geoffrey Roecker, https://missingmarines.com/ Medals Info, http://www.honorstates.org Website, https://hendrikswebdesign.nl/


Various Issue ‘s from  “Raider Patch “ the US Marines Raiders Magazine.








POW Camp Kwajalein
Marine Raiders
USS Nautilus (SSN-571)
Makin- Burial
John Irvin Kerns
His rank Private (no Insignia)