Joe Gooch and Edward (Smitty) Smithline
are
"Lost and Found"
on
Peleliu

 

 
This is the only photo I have ever seen of my father in the Marines, in combat or otherwise.
The story he told us kids was a little different than the "official" version. He said they had been going down a road (trail?) with a couple of green recruits and a shell hit between Dad and Smitty, and them.
They'd hit the ditch so fast the new guys thought they had taken a direct hit and reported this when they got back, which wasn't too long the way they took off!
 
Meanwhile, the "Old Salts" took their time and kept to the jungle the rest of the way. I don't know which version they told when they got back, but I do know that my grandmother was visited twice within one or two days and notified of her son being "MIA" and and then found the next day. (I remember seeing a newspaper story about that, I'll see if I can find it.) Seems they must have been pretty sure they were not going to show up to have reported them missing so quickly.
 
 Joseph G. Gooch (Dad) and Edward S. Smithline
 (It looks like Communication wire strung behind them.)
Gooch and Smithline report to unit after missing 24 hrs.

(I enhanced the the faded purple print on the back by replacing some of the darker shades with black.

Below is the original with text following)

Text on back of photo:
These two Marine communications men who were knocked unconscious
by an enemy mortar while making their way up to a forward
artillery observation lost (post) on Peleliu, were reported missing
in action until they showed up at their post 24 hours later.
left to right: Pvt. Joseph G. Gooch, of 3120 Pennsylvania Ave.
Dallas, Tex., and Pfc. Edward S. Smithline, of 2701 East Tecurse
St., Tulsa, Okla.
 
Hdqtr:(?) No. 95214 WATCH YOUR CREDIT LINE
OFFICIAL U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO
BY SIDERMAN
1(?)ST. SPD
PHOTO SYN(?)
DIV.PUB.REL. WASH(?)
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