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Weldon Fader DeLong
Name: Weldon Fader DeLong Rank: Corporal Service No.: 295947 Service: Company K, 3rd Battalion, (known as the “Thundering Third”) 5th Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division United States Marine Corps Awards & Medals: Navy Cross, Purple Heart Date of Birth: September 18, 1915 Place of Birth: Barss Cross, Lunenburg County, NS Date of Enlistment: September 20, 1940 Date of Death: November 3, 1942 Age at Death: 27 Cemetery: Manila National Cemetery & Memorial Grave: Walls of the Missing Weldon was the son of Mr. Lowell Clifford and Jetta Louise (Smeltzer) Delong . His mother was born February 2, 1884 in Oakland, Lunenburg Co., NS, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah A. (Stevens) Smeltzer. She lived until 1956. Weldon’s father, Lowell was born in Stanburn, Lunenburg Co., NS and died Oct 26, 1936 in Dover, Massachusetts. At the time of his enlistment his mother was living in Dover, Massachusetts. His four brother’s who also served in WWII with the US Marines. Sergeant John W. DeLong (1920-1961) was a veteran of Guadalcanal, Bougainville and New Guinea. Corporal Kenneth DeLong (1923-1955) was a veteran of Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima. Following his death in November of 1942, the USS DeLong (DE-684) was commissioned as a US Navy Destroyer on December 31, 1943 in his name. It was built in Quincy, Massachusetts and launched November 23, 1943.
Navy Cross Citation:  The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Corporal Weldon Fader DeLong (MCSN: 295947), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with Company K, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces west of the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 2 and 3 November 1942. After leading his squad forward in numerous assaults upon enemy positions, Corporal DeLong with two other Marines, when the advance of his company was threatened by a Japanese 37-mm, gun firing at almost point-blank range, unhesitatingly rushed forward, seized the gun after disposing of its crew and put it out of action. Finally, in a violent bayonet assault, he advanced to the front of his unit and engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was mortally wounded. By his great personal valor, aggressive leadership and fearless devotion to duty he contributed to the complete destruction of the enemy forces in this engagement. He gallantly gave up his life in the defense of his country.
Jim McEnery, a Marine with DeLong’s unit, remembers the events of November 3, 1942: Weldon Delong started running back and forth with nothing but a pistol and firing whenever he saw a downed Japanese make a move. I guess he’d dropped his rifle in the heat of the charge instead of trying to reload. Delong had put several enemy wounded out of their misery when Slim Somerville spotted three or four Japanese hiding in some water behind a log. They thought we couldn’t see them, but Somerville noticed their reflections…. “Get down! Get down!” Slim yelled. I’d always liked going on patrols with Delong because he was always so alert to everything around us. Always looking up in trees and behind the bushes. Always checking out anything that looked suspicious. Other guys in my squad were good, too; they just weren’t as good as Weldon Delong. But on this particular afternoon, he was too intent on looking for Japanese to hear Somerville’s warning. One of the Japanese in the water fired, and the bulled slammed into Delong’s chest. He went down without a sound and never moved again. After some other Marines took care of the Japanese behind the log, I ran over to Delong. He was lying in a puddle of blood with his eyes wide open and his pistol still in his hand. The bullet had gone straight through his heart. He was as dead as a man could get. …I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. Delong’s death left me shaken as bad as I’d ever been. I considered him the best Marine in my former squad and maybe the best in the whole platoon…. One moment of carelessness had cost him his life. He was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross for outstanding valor that day in leading the charge against one of those Japanese field pieces and then wrecking the gun. He also had a ship named in his honor. But even more important than that, he was my friend. Jim McEnery, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regt, Hell In The Pacific: A Marine Rifleman’s Journey from Guadalcanal to Peleliu.