Sigler, Franklin Earl.

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Sigler, Franklin Earl, born 06-11-1924, in Montclair, New Jersey. to George Henry Sigler and his wife  Elsie Martha, born Foote Sigler, his brothers named, Douglas John in 1917, George Henry in 1919, William C in 1921 and Melvin K. in 1925 who died in 2015 and a sister Mildred in 1930. All of Frank”s brothers served in the military and sometime between Franklin’s birth and 02-04-1930, the family moved to Little Falls, New Jersey where he attended Little Falls High School prior to his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps.

On 23-03-1943, he joined the Marines and was sent to recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon graduating was sent to the Guard Company, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 1943. In April 1944, he joined Company F, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, under command of Lietenant General Keller Emrick Rockey  and in July, embarked aboard the USS Clay for Hilo, Hawaii. Sigler and his unit were only in Hawaii for a short time before they were sent to the south Pacific to participate in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The unit saw heavy combat on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands and Sigler’s squad leaders were injured in the fighting. He took command of his squad and lead them against a Japanese gun position that had been holding up the advance of his company for several days. He was the first to reach the gun position and personally annihilated the gun crew with grenades. When the Japanese began firing from tunnels and caves leading to the gun position, he scaled the rocks leading up to the position and single-handedly assaulted them, completely surprising them. Although wounded, he refused to be evacuated and, crawling back to his squad, directed machine-gun and rocket fire on the cave entrances. In the ensuing fight three of his men were wounded and Sigler, disregarding the pain from his wound and the heavy enemy fire, carried them to safety behind the lines. Returning to his squad he remained with his men directing their fire until ordered to retire and seek medical aid. For his actions during this battle he received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest decoration for bravery in action. The medal was presented to him by President Harry Truman at a White House ceremony 05-10-1945.

The 5th Marine Division had the next casualties during their campain. Killed in action died or missing 2501, Wounded 8.363. Fifteen Marines and 2 Navy corpsmen assigned to the 5th Marine Division were awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II (Iwo Jima).  Twelve were posthumously awarded.

Iwo Jima became an important support and emergency landing field for aircraft based out of the Marianas. In recognition of the 5th Marine Division’s sacrifice in securing the island, the U.S. Army Air Corps 9th Bombardment Group named a B-29 “The Spearhead”, motto  Always Ready   under command of Lieutenant Harold Quiskie Huglin with elaborate nose art depicting the 5th Division’s insignia and the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi Later Brigadier General Harold Q. Huglin, decorating Lieutenant. Kreppsman.

The 5th Division returned to Camp Tarawa, Hawaii and remained there until the end of the war. After the Japanese surrender they set sail for Japan where they occupied the southern island of Kyushu. The 5th Division left Japan in November 1945 and arrived in San Diego, California the week of Christmas 1945. The majority of the division’s Marines were discharged shortly thereafter. The 5th Division was inactivated on 05-02-1946, in the year the webmaster was born..

Death and burial ground of Sigler, Franklin Earl.

After his return to the U.S., he was hospitalized at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Because of disabilities from the wounds he received in the battle he was discharged from the Marine Corps at the rank of private first class in June 1946.

Sigler, Franklin Earl died 20-01-1995, at age 70, and was buried with full military honors in Section 12, lot 2799 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. He is buried a few yards from his brother, PFC William C. Sigler (1921–1943) who was killed in a traffic accident while on leave in Wellington, New Zealand.

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