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Robert Oswalt
Oswalt in Peleliu


Andrew Lees


Private First Class


Battle of Peleliu


KIA, Peleliu

Pfc. Robert B. Oswalt was a marine in Eugene Sledge's unit, and a fellow new recruit along with Sledge and Bill Leyden


Born on June 13, 1923, Oswalt had an aspiration to be a brain surgeon, having been interested in the human brain before joining the Marines.

Oswalt enlisted at an undisclosed period of time, and he is first seen at Boot Camp, where he witnesses Eugene Sledge getting chewed out by Sgt. Crease for a short round. He, along with Sledge and Leyden were among the replacements that arrived at Pavuvu just prior to Peleliu.


Oswalt later became a participant in the ensuing battle in Peleliu. During the airfield assault, however, Oswalt was carrying the mortar tube when he was fatally shot in the head by a Japanese machine gun.


  • Oswalt was the first of Sledge's unit to perish.
  • Oswalt was also the only one of the three new recruits to be killed in action.
  • The real life Oswalt was described in Sledge's book as wanting to be a brain surgeon when he was discharged from service. Sledge noted with sad irony that Oswalt was soon after shot through the head.
  • Oswalt was not a replacement at Peleliu. In R.V Burgins book, Oswalt was at Cape Gloucester and during one night got out of his foxhole and asked for water. Burgin gave him water but said that if he got out of his foxhole again, then he would shoot him.He did this again on Peleliu and Burgin said that if he got out of his foxhole ever again he would shoot him. He died the next day.
  • Oswalt was killed on the second day in the Battle of Peleliu.

See Also[]

Eugene Sledge

Bill Leyden

1st Marine Division