Medals and Badges Brandon A. Nadeau probably earned

Brandon A. Nadeau was a native of Waterville, he was born July 3, 1919, and attended local schools. He graduated from Waterville High Schooland Coburn Classical Institute and was active in football at both schools. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Nadeau of 22 Lithgow Street, Winslow. As a boy, he was a Waterville Morning Sentinel newspaper carier.

Cpl. Nadeau joined the Marine Corps in September 1940. He was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division. Just before Corporal Nadeau was KIA he wrote a letter to his mother, a part of it is saying:

“Dearest mother,
I’m very sorry for not writing any sooner, because I do want you to know all about me and how I’m getting alone. Mother, I want you to know that I’m in Guadalcanal and please don’t worry, because I’m in good hands, you know. Mother, worrying about someone doesn’t help the situation any.”

US Marines recruiting poster

The Marines landed on Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. The 7th Marines arrived from the Figi’s on September 18th. They fought alone and unaided against the fresh waves of Japanese until the 12th of October when elements of the 164th Army Regiment arrived. They were followed by elements of the 2nd Marine Division and the 147th Army Regiment arriving at the end of October.

The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines were assigned to the S. Penmeter for the battle that occured October 23-26, 1942.

The overall Japanese Commander, of the attack, was Gen. Maruyama. The 1st Battalion of 7th Marines was attacked by two forces. The 3rd Battalion of the 29th Infantry of the Imperial Japanese Army on the evening of October 24 into the early morning hours of the 25th. And the second force attacking the 1st Battalion of 7th Marines was the 1st Battalion of the 230th Infantry, which started an attack about 10.00 p.m. on the 24th and the attack continued through the early morning hours of the 25th.

Corporal Nadeau was Killed in Action on Guadalcanal October 25, 1942, during one of the above mentioned Japanese attacks. He was KIA while giving the alarm of an impending attack, his commanding Captain at that time was Robert H. Haggerty.

Cpl. Nadeau was one of the first Waterville men to give his life in WWII. His body arrived in Waterville by train on a Wednesday morning 9.13 a.m. Services for Cpl. Brandon A. Nadeau where held at the local Winslow Church.

In November 1944, Brandon Nadeau’s parents received a letter from the Headquaters of the US Marine Corps. The letter is saying:

“Dear Friend,

It has been more than two years since the Japanse were halted and turned back in the Jungles of Guadalcanal, a glorious victory that paved the way for recent rapid advance toward the enemy homeland itself.

Your son gave his life to make that victory possible.

To help you to understand better the conditions under which he made the greatest sacrefice in the service of his country, a copy of the recent book, “The Island,” is presented to you with the compliments of the publisher, the Houghton Mifflin Company, and the United States Marine Corps.

We hope that this volume may serve as a small memento of the supreme contribution made by your son as a Marine in the immortal Battle of Guadalcanal.”

Brandon A. Nadeau's Purple Heart Citation

The local Marine Corps League unit was named in his honor when it was organized in 1945. Corporal Brandon A. Nadeau was survived by his parents; Six Brothers, Earl, Leo, Leater, LeRoy, all of Winslow, Leonard of Oakland and Roland , Sturbridge, Mass.; and Six Sisters, Miss Dolphine Nadeau, Mrs. Eva McCabe and Mrs. Leone Albert, all of Winslow, Mrs. Romeo Rancourt and Mrs. Romeo Beaulieu of Waterville, and Mrs. George Rathburn of Wealogue, Conn.