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Obituaries > SWANK, FOREST R.

The body of Forest Rex Swank, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Swank, 404 East Market Street, who was killed in action Nov 9, 1943 in the Bougainville Campaign will arrive at 5:07 o’clock Thursday afternoon on the Southbound Monon. Funeral services for Cpl. Swank will be conducted at 2:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon at the Waynetown Christian Church, in charge of Rev. Guy E. Tremaine of Waynetown, assisted by Rev. Almon J. Coble of Crawfordsville. Military honors will be accorded Cpl. Swank at graveside services in Masonic Cemetery, Waynetown with the American Legion post at Waynetown conducting the rites.

From the hours of 6 until 10 o’clock Thursday and Friday nights, while the body will be at the Bright Funeral Home here, the John Newton Freeman detachment of the Marine Corps League will serve as honor guards. Friends may call at the funeral home after 6 o’clock Thursday night. Before the funeral Saturday afternoon, the body will lie in state one hour at the Waynetown Church. Cpl. Swank enlisted in the service April 28, 1941 and was sent overseas as a member of the Marine Reserves after a brief training at San Diego and San Francisco. He had been overseas about 20 months at the time he met death. Cpl. Swank saw action in three campaigns in the Pacific. He was at Guadalcanal before being sent into action at Bougainville, where he lost his life. He was buried overseas in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Bougainville at the British Solomon Islands.

Following his death he was honored with a Presidential Citation. He also was given the Purple Heart with three stars indicating wounds suffered in action. He also was awarded the Asiatic Pacific ribbon. Cpl. Swank was born Sept 20, 1922 at Waynetown, the son of Carlton and Gretchen Utterback Swank. He was graduated from Waynetown High School June 1940. In high school he was a star basketball player. For a part of his time in high school, he was employed with the Boldt Milligan Company in Waynetown.

Following graduation from high school, and before enlistment in the U.S. Marines, Cpl. Swank was employed as a linotype operator at the RR Donnelley and Sons Company plant.

Cpl. Swank joined the Waynetown Christian Church and was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1941, a short time before his enlistment. Charles Fay, also a Waynetown boy, enlisted with Cpl. Swank but before either saw real action they had become separated as they received different assignments.

Mrs. Swank was informed Dec 23, 1943, of her son’s death, the word not having come to her until six weeks after he had been killed in action. In a letter received a few weeks later from Robert J. Cronin, Catholic chaplain with the Third Marine Raider Battalion of the Second Marine Raider Regiment, he informed Mrs. Swank that her son was critically wounded in action, dying soon afterwards. Chaplin Cronin wrote that he gave him a military and Christian burial. Then, later at the first opportunity, Chaplain Cronin and his associate, Chaplain McCorkle, read Protestant services at his grave. The chaplain in his letter enclosed a memento of Cpl. Swank’s resting place in the government cemetery. Cpl. Swank was the only child of his parents. In addition to his parents, other survivors include two uncles and three aunts, as well as his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Utterback of Crawfordsville. His uncles are Harold Utterback, Ft. Wayne and Thomas Utterback, Indianapolis, while the aunts are Silvan Meyer of Bloomington, Mrs. James Reed of Indianapolis and Mrs. Ora Whitaker of Hillsboro.