North High School Wall of Honor
Carroll Francis Walker
Class of August, 1940
Research done by Rick Nehrling, Class of 1963.
Carroll Francis Walker

Carroll graduated in the August, 1940 North High class. His service number was 296598. Carroll's next of kin was listed as his wife, Mrs. Carroll F. Walker, who at the time lived at the New Western Hotel, San Diego, California. Before his marriage, Carroll lived with his father, Francis E. Walker, 1437 11th Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

Carroll Francis Walker
Year   Rank   Status
August, 1940   Graduated   Graduated from North High School, Des Moines, IA.
During World War II Carroll served in the U.S. Marines Corps as a Sergeant with the 8th Marines. He fought in and survived the battle of Guadalcanal which was the first major offensive launched by Allied forces against Japan in World War II.

After Guadalcanal Sergeant Walker and the Marines were taken to safe rear areas where they had a chance to rest and relax for a short time before they were re-supplied with troops and equipment and continued training in preparation for their next battle.

The next battle for the 8th Marines was the battle of Tarawa fought from November 20 - November 23, 1943. The battle of Tarawa was the second major offensive launched by the Allied forces against Japan and it was the first time that the United States faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing.

Tarawa was defended by approximately 3,000 elite Japanese marines and approximately 1,000 Japanese Seebees. The Japanese were well entrenched in numerous pillboxes throughout the island, they were also well-supplied, heavily armed, and well prepared for when the U.S. Marines attacked. The Japanese defenders fought almost to the last man (17 Japanese were captured) and exacted a heavy toll on the US Marines (1,687 Marines and sailors killed and 2,296 wounded).

Sergeant Walker was assigned to B Company of the 1st Battalion 8th Marines. In the early morning of November 21, 1943 Companies A and B of the 1/8 Marines were loaded into Higgins boats and headed for the Red 2 beachhead on Tarawa. This was the second day of the battle and the Red 2 beachhead had not been fully secured. Companies A and B were ordered to secure the beachhead. What the Marines did not know was that during the night of November 20th Japanese defenders had reestablished a number of machine gun nests in disabled amtracs around the beachhead as well as in the steamer ship "Niminoa" that had been scuttled near the beach. All of the machine guns were focused on the Red 2 beachhead.

As the Higgins boats were approaching the Red 2 beachhead they became hung up on a large coral reef. Consequently, the Marines had to climb out of the boats and wade across the reef in waist to chest deep water toward the beachhead. As they were wading in the water heading toward the beachhead they came under immediate and intense heavy fire from the machine gun nests in the disabled amtracs and the scuttled "Niminoa".

Many of the Marines in Companies A and B were hit by the intense machine gun fire. One of the Marines wounded by the machine gun fire was Sergeant Carroll Walker. Several Higgins boats that were not hung up on the large coral reef immediately began to take aboard wounded Marines and carry them back to the ships. Sergeant Walker and 44 other wounded Marines were rescued and placed aboard a Higgins boat commanded by Lt. Edward Albert Heimberger, a US Navy officer. Lt. Heimberger came under the same heavy intense fire as the Marines he was rescuing.

All of the wounded Marines were brought to the USS Schroeder, a destroyer. Sadly, when the Higgins boat arrived at the USS Schroeder Sergeant Walker was pronounced dead. He was buried at sea from the USS Schroeder in the vicinity of 01-26 N and Long. 172-56E.

For his actions at the battle of Tarawa for rescuing wounded Marines under intense heavy enemy machine gun fire Lt. Edward Albert Heimberger was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat "V". During the battle he had made three separate trips rescuing a total of 70 wounded Marines. After the war Lt. Heimberger continued doing what he did prior to his enlistment in the US Navy and that was acting in Broadway stage productions. He also became a prolific character and movie actor, and would later star in the TV series "Green Acres". Lt. Edward Albert Heimberger's stage name was Eddie Albert.
Visit a website detailing Tarawa details.
Tarawa Beach A Higgins Boat
USS Schroeder (DD-501) Destroyer
On the morning of 20 November, Schroder was in the bombardment group that shelled
the eastern coast of Tarawa Atoll. She entered the lagoon early the next morning to
provide fire support for the Marines landing on Tarawa. In addition to fire support, the
DD also acted as a first aid ship for wounded Marines. Schroeder departed Tarawa on the 24th for Pearl Harbor, as she had damaged her screws on a coral reef in the lagoon.
Carroll Francis Walker was with group assigned to land at Red Beach 2
Carroll Francis Walker
8th Marines; 1st Battalion
United States Marine Corps

US Marines Corps Seal

photo of
Carroll Francis Walker
in uniform
8th Marines; 1st Battalion
(1) Information obtained from the American Battle Monuments Commission shows that he is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Honolulu Memorial Cemetery, Honolulu, Hawaii. Sergeant Walker's Service Number was 296598. His next of kin was his wife, Mrs Carroll F. Walker, who at the time lived at the New Western Hotel, San Diego, California.

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: Carroll Francis Walker's 1940 class page is:
Died: November 21, 1943. Buried at sea.
Music: "Semper Fidelis"
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