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Diefenback, Charles A.

Charles A. Diefenbach U.S. Marine Corps WWII
Charles A. Diefenbach U.S. Marine Corps WWII

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Date of Birth: 11/11/1920
Died On: 5/23/1997 Richmond, Chesterfield, Virginia
Street Address: unknown
Service Number: 429653
Branch of Service: U.S. Marine Corps - H and S Company, Sixth Pioneer Battalion, Sixth Marine Division

Veteran Code: USMC-18

BIOGRAPHY Extended Information
Charles A. Diefenbach

Charles A. Diefenbach was born on November 11, 1920, in New York to Gertrude Odekirk, age 22, and Raymond Diefenbach, age 23. He had three sisters Marjorie , Dorothy and Lillian and a brother Kenneth. In Rye he lived on Maple Ave and his family were members of the Church of the Resurrection.

Charles enlisted and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He was assigned to Co "G", 2D Battalion,21st Marines (Reinf),Fmf,3rd Marine Division and was wounded in the Aleutian Islands.

Charles married Agnes Weeks while on furlough August 1, 1943 and they would have two children during their marriage.

After his leave and recuperation he was assigned to H and S Company, Sixth Pioneer Battalion, Sixth Marine Division and served on Okinawa. See Muster Rolls

For its actions at Okinawa, the 6th Marine Division (and reinforcing units) earned a Presidential Unit Citation.

The citation reads: For extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault and capture of Okinawa, April 1 to June 21, 1945.

Seizing Yontan Airfield in its initial operation, the SIXTH Marine Division, Reinforced, smashed through organized resistance to capture Ishikawa Isthmus, the town of Nago and heavily fortified Motobu Peninsula in 13 days.

Later committed to the southern front, units of the Division withstood overwhelming artillery and mortar barrages, repulsed furious counterattacks and staunchly pushed over the rocky terrain to reduce almost impregnable defenses and capture Sugar Loaf Hill.

Turning southeast, they took the capital city of Naha and executed surprise shore-to-shore landings on Oroku Peninsula, securing the area with its prized Naha Airfield and Harbor after nine days of fierce fighting.

Reentering the lines in the south, SIXTH Division Marines sought out enemy forces entrenched in a series of rocky ridges extending to the southern tip of the island, advancing relentlessly and rendering decisive support until the last remnants of enemy opposition were exterminated and the island secured.

By their valor and tenacity, the officers and men of the SIXTH Marine Division, Reinforced contributed materially to the conquest of Okinawa, and their gallantry in overcoming a fanatic enemy in the face of extraordinary danger and difficulty adds new luster to Marine Corps history, and to the traditions of the United States Naval Service.

 Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal for the President

In 1950 Charles would return to the Marines as a sergeant serving during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
He would remain in the Marine Corps until his retirement on July 27th, 1968.

Charles A. Diefenbach died on May 23, 1997, in Richmond City, Virginia, when he was 76 years old.
Links to this Veterans History

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