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Obituaries > MINIER, LEE N.

Lt. Lee Neil Minier, 27, Prospect Marine and a member of Edson’s Raiders, the first American Commando unit, was killed in action July 21 [1944] on the island of Guam, where Marine Corps’ courage and endurance reached the peak of its fighting history.

Death came during his fifth major campaign and on the eve of an anticipated furlough which he expected would bring him home and marriage to Miss Marjorie Robinson of Prospect. Their engagement was announced in May, according to Lieutenant Minier’s mother, Mrs. Jolette McGrew Minier, Prospect.

Minier saw action on Tulagi, Guadalcanal, where he was wounded, New Georgia and later the Marshall Islands and the more recent assault on Saipan Island. He was recorded for the Library of Congress and was awarded a number of decorations, but wrote home about none of them.

Leaving the Remington Arms, he enlisted in January, 1942 and joined Edson’s Raiders three weeks later and left American soil in April of that year. Service in the Raiders is entirely voluntary, no man being assigned to them. Minier volunteered and was signed into Company E, a mortar and special weapons company which won fame in the South Pacific routing of the Japanese.

The Raiders landed on Tulagi, Solomon Island Group, Aug. 7, 1942 and the Prospect man was in most of the major battles on Tulagi and Guadalcanal. One of the Raiders, “Cookie” Jack Grogan of Rome, who lived to come home, told Minier’s mother about his deeds.

Minier was made a corporal after being wounded in November 1942. Later he was recommended by his commanding officer for a lieutenant’s commission which he received in June, 1943. Lieutenant Minier never returned to this country since leaving for combat duty, but he did spend several rest periods in New Zealand.

Before the war, in Prospect Minier was a baritone singer in the Prospect Methodist Church. This talent found an outlet in a quartet which helped entertain his buddies and the natives of the South Pacific. There were no canteens nor USO huts where Lieutenant Minier was and the quartet sang for an hour or two at a time.

The singing group became famous for its melody behind the battle lines and an article in the New York Times told of the quartet’s recording having been made for the Library of Congress.

The Marine hero’s mother was notified of his death by a wire from Lieutenant General Vandegrift, Commandant of the Marine Corps, on Aug. 14. This was followed by a letter from Maj. Gen. D. Peck, acting Commandant of the Corps, followed by a Navy Department letter giving the data and place of his death.

Minier was born and raised in Pike County, Ill. and lived with his mother in Prospect for some time before joining the Marines. He also was a former employee of the Savage Arms Corporation. He was a grandson of the late William McGrew, who was the president of the L&M Stone Company, Prospect.

He is survived by his mother; two brothers, Hugh B., who is a Marine stationed in North Carolina and George Dean Minier, Prospect; and a sister, Mrs. Don G. Cannon, also of Prospect.