A former recruiting officer for the U.S. Marine Corps in Oil City, Platoon Sergeant John G. Combs, 26, was killed in action in the South Pacific area on July 10 , according to word received yesterday in Oil City.
He was the husband of Mrs. Jane Rekiel Combs of Oil City, and the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Combs of Bartley, W. Va. He served in the Marine Corps from 1937 to 1941, then received a discharge and held civilian jobs until he reenlisted in January, 1942.
After his second enlistment he was stationed four months at Quantico, Va., before being sent across the Pacific.
He was a member of the First Marine Raider Battalion and was with the original group to land in the Guadalcanal-Tulagi area on August 7, 1942.
It is probable that he was killed while making the amazing jungle march on New Georgia Island from Rice Anchorage to Enogai Inlet, where a Jap battery of 5.7-inch guns was surprised and overwhelmed by Marines. The trek began July 5 and the Jap installations were captured on July 11, one day after Sgt. Combs’ death.
The composition of the Marine unit which accomplished this feat has not been revealed, but it is possible to deduce that it was the First Raider Battalion because the Navy Department has announced that the force was commanded by Lt. Col. Samuel Griffith, who is known to have been the leader of the First Raider Battalion.
The sergeant met the girl who later became his wife while serving as recruiting officer in Oil City.
In addition to his wife, who has been living in Philadelphia, he leaves his parents, two sisters, Mrs. K. K. Rand and Miss Helen Combs, three brothers, W. D. Combs, Jr., Phillip Combs, both of the U.S. Navy, overseas, and Raymond Combs of English, Va.