After completing his basic training he was eventually assigned to the 6th Marine Division. The Division was formed in May 1944 on Guadalcanal. After training on Guadalcanal, the Division fought in the Battle of Okinawa, landing on April 1, 1945. The Battle of Okinawa, also known as Operation Iceberg, was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The 82 day battle lasted from late March through June 1945. The battle has been referred to as the “Typhoon of Steel” in English, and tetsu no ame “rain of steel” or tetsu no bofu “violent wind of steel” in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of gunfire involved, and sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle has one of the highest number of casualties of any World War II engagement: the Japanese lost over 100,000 troops, and the Allies (mostly Americans) suffered more than 50,000 casualties, with over 12,000 Killed In Action. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, wounded or attempted suicide. Approximately one-fourth of the civilian population died due to the invasion. The Tenth Army had five Army Divisions, the 77th, the 96th, the 27th, the 81st and the 7th. Three Marine Divisions fought on Okinawa, the 6th, the 2nd and the 1st. All these divisions were supported by naval, amphibious and tactical air forces.
Corporal Bock was Killed In Action on May 20, 1945 and
was buried in the 6th Marine Division Cemetery on Okinawa. After his
Mother declined to have his remains repatriated to the United States
he was moved from Okinawa and re-interred at the
Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, at Honolulu, Hawaii on March
3, 1949. He is buried in Plot M, Row 0, Grave 477. At the time of
his death he was survived by his Mother and step-father and his
maternal grandparents, all of whom were living at Palacios. No
information, other than Anna and William were married on September
27, 1924 in Matagorda County, is known about William Jr.’s father.
Mrs. C. B. Padgett was informed by the War Department that her son, Pfc. W. G. Bock, Jr., had died from wounds received May 20 on Okinawa with the 6th Division of the Marines. He is a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Nels P. Highberg.
Palacios Beacon, June
Funeral services for Anna Belle Highberg Baltar, 83, of Palacios, were held June 18, 1994 at the Palacios Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Ralph Smith officiating. Interment was in the Palacios Cemetery.
Mrs. Baltar was born Nov. 27, 1910 in Palacios to Nels P. and Mary LeCompte Highberg. She died June 15, 1994 at the Palacios Bay Nursing and Rehab Center in Palacios.
She is survived by
sisters-in-law Hanna Jackson of Palacios, Hulda McCarry of Port
Arthur, and Nellie Mae Tript of Orlando, Fla.; brothers, James L.
Highberg of Seadrift, L. Haywood Highberg of Point Comfort, Nels P.
Highberg, Jr. of East Petersburg, Pa., John R. Highberg of Winnie,
Tx., and Paul Highberg, Sr. of Victoria; step-children Bruce Baltar
of Alaska, Ray Baltar, Jr. of California, Steve Walling of New
Mexico, Margaret Kana of Lake Jackson, Tx., and Marilyn Kotchuck of
Ft. Collins, Co.
Pallbearers were her nephews Bill Ryman, Mickey L. Highberg, Charles Highberg, Paul Highberg, Jr., Adolph Highberg, Jr. and Lawrence Scott.
Photo of Corporal Bock and Mrs. Baltar courtesy of
Quilt photo courtesy of Palacios Area Historical Association Museum
and volunteers Shirlee and Richard.
Copyright 2006 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
|This page was created
Jan. 28, 2006
|This page was updated
Jan. 4, 2009