Ontonagon—An impressive memorial service was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church on Saturday at which time a tribute of honor was paid Charles Austin Selby who lost his life in action in the performance of his duties and in the services of his country. This memorial Requiem Mass was sponsored by the Holy Family Altar Guild.
Father Owen J. Bennett officiated at the requiem High Mass which was held at 8 o’clock. During the service, Father Bennett gave a beautiful sermon, relating various phases of the life of Charles Selby. He also read a number of communications relating to the death of Charles Selby, and messages of condolence to the family.
Members of the American Legion of Smith Adams Post and of the Veterans of Foreign Wars assisted in full uniform and acted as color bearers.
Charles Selby, aged 22 years, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Selby. He was born in Ontonagon on May 29, 1920, and was reared here. He attended the elementary and high school and was a graduate of the class of 1937. During his school life he was a good student and took a very active part in athletics. He was a letterman on his football team, and his height of over six feet was a big asset to his team.
Following his graduation from high school, he served for several years in the CCC at Camp Norrie.
On October 27, 1941, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Ironwood, and left home on October 28, 1941, for training and active duty. He received his training in San Diego, California, where he received a rating as acting corporal. In May 1942 he was enrolled in the “[Raider] Division” and left the United States for active duty in foreign lands.
On August 29, Mr. and Mrs. Selby received a telegram from “T. Holcomb, Lieutenant General of the U.S., Commandant, United States Marine Corps” as follows: “Deeply regret to inform you that your son, Private Charles A. Selby, U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in action in the performance of his duty and in the services of his country. To prevent possible aid to our enemies, please do not divulge the name of his ship or station. Present situation necessitates interment temporarily in the locality where death occurred and you will be notified accordingly. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies. Letter Follows.”
On September 9, 1942, the Selbys were informed by Evans F. Carlson, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. M. C. R., Commanding, U.S. Marines, that Charles was killed at Makin on August 17 . They were also advised that “Charles was with the advance elements of his command when he met the enemy, and that his death was instantaneous and that he suffered no pain.” The lieutenant colonel further went on describing Charles as “A grand youngster, who was loved and respected by his comrades. That he went into this conflict knowing that only through determination and self-sacrifice can hope be had to defeat the enemy, to retain our freedom and bring peace to our shores.” A further quotation was “In the battle he was vigorous and courageous and that it was his spirit and the spirit of others like him that gave us the victory. Words cannot compensate for his loss, but please know that he died like a man and a patriot.”
A Memorial Service was held for members of the battalion who fell at Makin on August 17 and 18, by the company, and a copy of the “Eulogy” delivered by the commanding officer [of] the battalion was presented to the family.
Letters of condolence and sympathy were received by the Selby family from the captain of Charles’ platoon, and from a close buddy of his who was with him at the [time] of his death. Both letters which contained events closely related to the death and burial of Charles were very consoling to the family.