Corporal Samuel “Buzz” Jeeter Purple Heart front
Killed in Action, 14 March 1945
Samuel Jeeter enlisted in the Marines on 17 Sept 1942, three days after his 17th birthday, and officially entered the service in October. Following basic training at Parris Island, Jeeter was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines and left for the Pacific in January 1943. Jeeter saw combat at Roi-Namur (Marshall Islands), Saipan and Tinian, and finally on Iwo Jima.
On 12 March 1945, Jeeter was leading a Rifle Group when it came under fire from the Japanese. Jeeter spotted four wounded Marine within enemy lines. Risking his own life, Jeeter rescued the Marines, pulling each of them, one by one, to safety. While doing so, Jeeter received several wounds that resulted in his death on 14 March 1945; just six months shy of his 20th birthday. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Originally interred in the Fourth Division cemetery on Iwo Jima, Jeeter’s body was returned to the United States in 1948 and buried in Maryland.