Angus R. Goss
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|Angus R. Goss|
January 8, 1910|
|Died||July 20, 1943
New Georgia, Solomon Islands
|Place of burial||Manila American Cemetery and Memorial|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1930-1943|
|Unit||1st Marine Raiders|
|Battles/wars||World War II
• Guadalcanal campaign
• Battle of Tulagi
• Battle of Bairoko
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (UK)
Marine Corps career
Although Goss was the first of his family to graduate from high school, the advent of the Great Depression left few available jobs. On September 12, 1930, at the age of 20, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He rose to the rank of Marine Gunner in the 1st Marine Raiders Battalion, and was sergeant of the battalion's demolitions platoon. When the United States entered World War II, Goss and his unit were deployed to the Pacific.
In the Battle of Tulagi, the Raiders were successful in liberating the island of Tulagi, in the Solomon Islands, from Japanese occupation. Goss would play a key role in this victory, leading his platoon in rooting out the Japanese who had entrenched themselves in the island's limestone caves. Goss and his men attached TNT charges to ends of poles and fashioned similar techniques needed to rid the island of its remaining defenders. In some cases, they were required to personally deliver the charges to their intended targets.
On August 10, 1942, after lobbing two blocks of TNT into one particularly well defended cave, Goss was severely wounded when the enemy tossed the explosives back at him. Completely incensed and despite his injuries, Goss grabbed a Reising sub-machine gun, hobbled his way back to the cave, and single-handedly took out every one of the enemy occupants.
For his extraordinary heroism in combat on Tulagi on August 10, 1942, Marine Gunner Goss was awarded the Navy Cross, as well as the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, bestowed by the United Kingdom. Goss was initially nominated for the Medal of Honor, but the stateside board downgraded the nomination to the Navy Cross. Tragically, Goss was killed before learning of his awards.
The United States Navy would name a Destroyer Escort in Goss' memory. USS Goss (DE-444) was laid down December 16, 1943 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newark, New Jersey; launched March 19, 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Jamie S. Goss, sister-in-law of Marine Gunner Goss; and commissioned August 26, 1944, Lt. Comdr. Claude A. Kirkpatrick in command.
The City of Tampa, Florida, would also build a public aquatic facility in his memory, the Angus Goss Memorial Pool.
- Alexander, Joseph. "Edson's Raiders: the 1st Marine Raider Battalion in World War II" Naval Institute Press, 2000.
- Hoffman, Major Jon T., USMCR, "From Makin To Bougainville: Marine Raiders in the Pacific War", Marine Corps Historical Center, 1995.
- City of Tampa Parks