Biographical Material


Item #1



The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Bennie M. Bunn (0-212871), First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with the FIRST Marine Raider Battalion in action against the enemy on New Georgia Island, British Solomon Islands, on 10 July 1943. When the leading assault elements of his company were held up by a strong enemy position, the defense of which was built around one heavy and three light machine guns supported by riflemen, Lieutenant Bunn, calling to four Marines near him, led a charge to a position close to the heavy machine gun. With grenades and pistol fire he killed the crew and captured the gun. He then turned the captured weapon against the other machine guns and neutralized their fire so effectively that they were quickly captured by the members of his squad. His bold and rapid action completely disorganized the enemy position and permitted the company to continue its advance.

War Department, General Orders No. 52 (1944)

Born: at Charles City, Iowa

Home Town: Charles City, Iowa

Personal Awards: Navy Cross (Nicaragua), Distinguished Service Cross (WWII)


Item #2

Bennie Bunn Promoted to Warrant Officer

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gunnery Sgt Bennie M. Bunn of Charles City, Iowa, is among 388 enlisted men in the marine corps reserve who have received temporary promotion to warrant officers, it was announced by the navy Saturday.

Mason City Globe Gazette, Monday, Feb. 16, 1942


Item #3

Name Camp in Pacific After Hero

CHARLES CITY - Somewhere in the South Pacific where marines are trained for jungle warfare against the Japanese, is Camp Bunn, named in honor of Lt. Bennie M. Bunn, son of Henry Bunn, of Charles City, and brother of Clifford Bunn, of East St. Charles township.

The latter recently received a large picture oĢ the camp from Mrs. B. M. Bunn of San Diego, Cal., wife of the hero who was killed in action July 10, 1943, on New Georgia Island in the British Solomons group. Action toward naming the camp was taken by officers and men of Lt. Bunn's command in honor of his courageous conduct in the battle in which he paid the supreme sacrifice.

Lt. Col. L. W. Nickerson USMC, in his report on the skirmish said "According to the official report of the skirmish, Jap machine gunners were being thrown back repeatedly with heavy losses in trying to the position.

"Though not under order to advance, Lt. Bunn, veteran of nearly 17 years, took some hand grenades and a Tommy gun and telling the other men to cover him as best they could, climbed straight up the slippery bluff. Halfway up a Jap bullet clipped him and by the time he reached the top he was wounded many times, but his Tommy gun and grenades took that position.

"His body was carried down the slope and interred in Grove 8 in the military cemetery

Mason City Globe-Gazette Friday, May 19, 1944


Item #4

1928 - Sandino Rebellion involvement:

SOURCE: http://www.sandinorebellion.com/PCDocs/pc-doc9.htm

The following is a roster of the men who participated in the action against the Bandit Forces, 27 February, 1928, near the vicinity of BROMADEROS:

57th Co., 2nd Bn., 11th Regt.

Gy. Sgt. LARRICK, Herbert F.
Sgt. CHRISTIAN, Wilbourn O.
Sgt. ISHAM, Charles H.
Cpl. AUSTIN, Cicero D.
Cpl. GRIFFITH, Forrest E.
Cpl. PEARLSTEIN, Joseph.
Cpl. ZERNICKE, Edgar L.
Pfc. GARRISON, Edward L.
Pfc. McDANIEL, Eugene I.
Pfc. PETTERSON, Walter B.
Pfc. NINER, Charles E.
Pfc. SIMPSON, Oran G.
Pvt. ADAMS, Romain F.
Pvt. BALLARD, Lewis E.
Pvt. BIGELOW, Tracy "L".
Pvt. BREVIK, Lewis C.
Pvt. BUNN, Bennie M.
Pvt. CARTER, Raymond B.
Pvt. CLARK, Lloyd. [ p. 6 ]
Pvt. CORDON, Walter E.
Pvt. CRUM, Peter C.
Pvt. DAVIS, John.
Pvt. DOWNEY, John P.
Pvt. LOUDEN, Arthur G.
Pvt. McCARVILLE, John W.
Pvt. MAYNARD, Linton C.
Pvt. PHELPS, Clarence E.
Pvt. PIERSON, Edward J.
Pvt. PUMP, John C.
Pvt. ROBBINS, George E.
Pvt. SCHLAUCH, Albert.
Pvt. MOTT, Curtis J.
Pvt. DAVIS, Lem. C.

HQ&HQCo.,2ndBn,11th Regt.

Cpl. PROVOST, Homer T.


PhM3c. McEWAN, Linn H.

                  / s / EDWARD F. O'DAY.

Item #5


SAN PEDRO, CAL. — (UP) — Corporal Bennie Bunn's recipe for a hero: Make some stupid mistake, then do what you have to do.

Bunn is in line for a Navy Cross, a rare decoration, because he hopped off the wrong side of a train into a nest of Nicaraguan bandits, then began shooting to keep from getting shot.

"It was Christmas Day," he said, "and we were on a troop train bound for camp. Nobody expected trouble. Suddenly, lead began falling all around us. In my excitement, I took my eight men off the wrong side of the train and into the midst of 8 or more Sandinists, I almost stepped on one."

Bunn is officially credited with dropping ten of the bandits.

Chronicle Telegram
February 13, 1933, Elyria, Ohio

Item #6

CHARLES CITY, IOWA — Lt. B. M. Bunn, 36, a first marine raider, and recipient of the coveted navy cross in 1942 for heroism, has been killed in action, local relatives have been informed.

He received other awards for expert rifle and pistol shooting.

The Charles Cityan joined the marine corps 16 years ago, and was sent to Pearl Harbor last year.

Lieutenant Bunn is survived by his wife, Mercedes Mala Bunn, San Diego, Cal.; father, Henry Bunn, Charles City; mother, Mrs. Lee Wayne, Valparaiso, Ind.; sister, Mrs. Bea Pickeli, Ames; brother. Clifford Bunn, Charles City.

Waterloo Courier, Tuesday, August 3, 1943

Item #7

Battle of Enogai

The Battle of Enogai was a battle between United States and Imperial Japanese Army and Navy forces on July 10–11, 1943 during the New Georgia Campaign in the Solomon Islands during the Pacific War. In the battle, US Marine Raiders, supported by two United States Army infantry battalions, attacked and destroyed a Japanese garrison guarding the small port of Enogai on the Dragons Peninsula on New Georgia. After conducting an unsuccessful follow-up attack on nearby Bairoko, the American forces remained in the Enogai area until the end of the New Georgia Campaign.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Enogai

Photo c/o Wikipedia -- Photo is of a destroyed Japanese machine gun nest on New Georgia, during the battle of Enogai. The picture was dated July 11, 1943, the day after Bunn was killed, but it might have been a machine gun nest that he was attacking when he died.

Item #8

It is believed that this is his wife's entry in the Social Security Death Index: "MERCEDES BUNN" born 02 Oct 1905, died Aug 1984 residing at ZIP code 92102 (San Diego, San Diego, CA); SSN 553-10-1934 issued in California.

Item #9

See the obituaries in the Floyd county Obits Board:


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