Australians pass by the 11th Marine Regiment encamped at Victoria Park in Ballarat, in the Central Highlands of Victoria (1943)
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Remembering World War II
Donald Freeman Luxton
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Name: Donald Freeman Luxton Rank: Private Service Number: 350477 Service: Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines Regiment 1st Marine Division, United States Marine Corps Date of Birth: August 7, 1918 Place of Birth: Rumford, Oxford County, Maine Date of Enlistment: February 5, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Unknown Address at Enlistment: Oxford County, Maine (likely) Age at Enlistment: 23 Occupation: Unknown Marital Status: Unknown Religion: Protestant Next of Kin: Ernest Luxton (Father) Date of Death: January 30, 1943 Age: 24 Cemetery: Pine Grove Cemetery, West Bethel, Oxford Co., Maine Donald Freeman Luxton was the son of Ernest Luxton (1877–1964) and Helen Maude (Freeman) Luxton (1878–1925). Donald had one brother George Elwin Luxton (1921-1990). His mother was born in Kempt in Queens County, Nova Scotia, and his father was born in Northfield in East Hants County, NS. A day after enlisting February 5, 1942, on the 6th, a party with games and refreshments was held at the home of Mrs. Florice Grover in Bethel. The gathering was announced in the Lewiston Daily Sun on Feb. 6, 1942, and noted that Donald would be departing two days later on Thursday (Feb. 8, 1942) for the Marine Corps at the Naval Base at Parris Island, South Carolina. Donald’s brother George also served in the United States Marine Corps (Service No. 001127292), enlisting October 18, 1943, and serving until April 6, 1946. The 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines was an artillery battalion of the US Marine Corps. Deactivated in 1929, the Battalion was again reactivated on January 1, 1941, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Brigade. They relocated during April 1941 to Parris Island, South Carolina. They deployed during June 1942 to Wellington, New Zealand. The 11th Marines fought at Guadalcanal into December of 1942. The 11th Marines landed on Guadalcanal in August of 1942 with the 1st Marine Division and played an especially significant part in the Battle of the Tenaru and the Battle of Edson's Ridge. The 1st Battalion rejoined the regiment in September on Guadalcanal. On December 15, 1942, the 11th Marines left Guadalcanal for Australia, rested and reorganized, and then re-entered combat on New Britain at Cape Gloucester on December 26, 1943. Here the regiment furnished support to the infantry in their capture of the Japanese aerodrome. With Australia as their rest and relaxation base away from the fighting in the Pacific, the 11th Marine Regiment was encamped at Victoria Park in Ballarat, in the Central Highlands of Victoria in south-eastern Australia. A tented camp in Victoria Park provided for 1200 military personnel to stay from January to October 1943. Private Donald Freeman Luxton died in Victoria, Australia on January 30, 1943. His cause of death is unknown. His’s family chose to repatriate his remains as opposed to having him interred in an American Battle Monuments Commission overseas, and he was interred at the Pine Grove Cemetery in West Bethel, Oxford Co., Maine. Bethel, Maine’s first Roll of Honor, which was erected near the Civil War Soldier's Monument in 1945. It was not built to last, and was removed in the 1950s. Before it was removed, however, the names were recorded by Society life member Edmond J. Vachon, including that of Donald Freeman Luxton.