The medals Private Matthews probably earned
James L. Matthews was from Los Angeles, California.
Private Matthews was assigned to the 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. It is not certain if Pvt. Matthews participated in the Guadalcanal and Eastern New Guinea Campaign, but he surely participated in the Battle for Peleliu.
Pvt. Matthews was Killed in Action on May 13, 1945, in the Southern part of the island Okinawa, the last Battle for the 5th Marines. Private James Matthews reportedly died of shrapnel wounds to the chest.
On May 29, 1945, James Matthews’ family received two Western Union telegrams offering condolences to the spouse. The family also received several sympathy letters of the USMC (sent and signed by General Vandegrift - Commandant of the USMC) and another sympathy letter from a 5th Marine Division Chaplan sharing some details of how and when Private Matthews was killed. He is buried in San Diego, CA.
Pvt. Matthews' Purple Heart