Everett “Bud” Hampton

Hometown: Kannapolis, NC
Branch of Service: Marines, 4th Marine Division
Location of Service: Pacific

I was born in Kannapolis, N.C., graduated in 1942 and joined the Marine Corps in July 1942. Attended “Boot” Camp at Parris Island, S.C. and joined the Fourth Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, N.C. in September 1942 and was assigned duties as a rifle squad leader of 14 Marines. Promoted to Private First Class in November 1942. Our unit trained at Camp Lejeune until June 1943 and then the Regiment (23rd of the 4th Division traveled to California by troop train. Our unit joined the rest of the Division and trained as a Division until January 1944.

The Division sailed from San Diego, California and went directly into combat in the Marshall Islands. We landed on the Islands of Roi-Namur and captured both Islands in two days. From the Marshalls Islands we sailed for Maui, T.H. and established our advanced base there. In April 1944 I was promoted to Corporal and in May 1944 to Sergeant.

On June 15th 1944 our Division along with the 2nd Division landed on Saipan. The tractor (LVT) that carried my squad was hit at the beach and I took my squad and fought our way through the town of Charan Kanoa and joined my company (“Love Company) which had advanced about a 1000 yards in their tractors to our first objective. During the battle of Saipan (35 days) I led
several patrols to our front and brought many civilians back to the front lines.

After the battle the company conducted many patrols searching the caves for the enemy and civilians. while we were getting ready to land on Tinian, I was instructed to report to the Command Post and see Captain Sullivan. Euring the interview I was asked if i would accept a “Battlefield Commission” to second Lieutenant. I told the Captain YES and was told to report the the Regimental Aid Station. The doctor only ask me one question: Have you been here since D-Day. My answer was yes and he said that I passed. My promotion was approved by Headquarters Marine Corps and I was assigned duties as Platoon Leader of the third rifle platoon in L Company. We landed on Tinian July 11, 1944. This battle lasted about 11 days and then back to Maui for replacements and more training.

The Division along with the 5th Division landed on Iwo Jima 19 February 1945. My company landed with ten officers and by the 8th or 9th day, I was the only officer left and I had been wounded once. I became company commander for two days and a Captain was transferred and took over command. On the 11th day I was leading a night patrol to fill in a gap on the front lines when we came across a Japanese soldier. As soon as I asked for the password the Japanese started firing and throwing hand grenades at my patrol. I was the only one wounded but I continued my mission and reported to the unit on the front lines. The next day I was evacuated back to the States via Guam, Hawaii, California and then to Portsmouth, VA. When I returned to North Carolina, I attended UNC from 1946-1950.