Captain Andrew Haldane - Commander of K/3/5

Captain Andrew Haldane - Commander of K/3/5 American History Tragedies and Triumphs World War II Visual Arts

Captain Andrew A. Haldane was company commander of Marines who served in K/3/5 - including Eugene B. Sledge.  Loved by his men, Haldane was shot by a Japanese sniper on the 12th of October, 1944, while assessing the area of Hill 140 during the Battle of Peleliu.

Sledge describes what happened to Haldane in his book, With the Old Breed:

At the time of Captain Haldane's death, the bulk of Company K was operating with its parent battalion (3/5) on Hill 140 within the Umurbrogol Pocket.  In an attempt to orient himself to the strange terrain his company was occupying, Haldane raised his head and looked over a ridge.  A sniper's bullet killed him instantly.  First Lt. Thomas J. ("Stumpy") Stanely succeeded him as commander of K/3/5.  Stanley led Company K through the remainder of the Peleliu campaign and on to Okinawa the following spring.

The men of K Company thought their commander could never be replaced.  In his book, Sledge pays his beloved leader a personal tribute:

Capt. Andy Haldane wasn't an idol.  He was human.  But he commanded our individual destinies under the most trying conditions with the utmost compassion.  We knew he could never be replaced.  He was the finest Marine officier I ever knew.  The loss of many close friends grieved me deeply on Peleliu and Okinawa.  But to all of us the loss of our company commander at Peleliu was like losing a parent we depended upon for security - not our physical security, because we knew that was a commodity beyond our reach in combat, but our mental security.

... So ended the outstanding combat career of a fine officer who had distinguished himself at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, and Peleliu.  We had lost our leader and our friend.  Our lives would never be the same.  But we turned back to the ugly business at hand.  (E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed, pages 140-1.)

Click on the image for a much better view.

Media Credits

Photo online, courtesy U.S. Marine Corps.

Quoted passages from E.B. Sledge, With the Old Breed, pages 140-141.


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"Captain Andrew Haldane - Commander of K/3/5" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 19, 2020.
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