PFC Garner William Mott
Company K, 1st Platoon, 3rd BN,
5th Regiment, 1st Marine Division
Killed in Action 7 May, 1945, Battle of Okinawa
-- Nick Mott --
My Father was born November 8, 1922, in his home in Miami County, Ohio, the second son to William
and Faye Mott. They lived on a farm when days were long and work was hard. My Father was taught
the 3 R's: reverence for God, respect for others, and responsibility. They farmed with horses,
raised chickens, and milked cows, and made and sold cottage cheese.
My Father was a star on the High School Baseball Team. Following graduation from Christianburg-Jackson
High School in 1941, my Father was employed as a welder by Hobart Brothers Company, Troy, OH. On August 9,
1941, he married his high school sweetheart, Jean L. Carnes. On December 21, 1943, he received his draft
notice, and volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps.
After boot camp at Paris Island and training at Camp LeJuine and New River, N.C., he was sent overseas on
May 12, 1944. He spent the summer with Company K at Pavuvu Island, with no water or electricity. Food was
scarce and bad. The monsoon season there caused rotting coconuts, and rampant rats, crabs and mosquitos made
life unbearable. Some men committed suicide while there because of the stanch conditions. It was there, my
father was stricken with malaria.
I was born July 13, 1944 while my Father was overseas. He received his first baby pictures of me while on
his way to Okinawa, near Ulithi. I have been given letters my Father wrote to my family, as he anxiously
awaited my birth -- and sharing his excitement of my birth, saying, "I can't wait to get back to the States
and hold my son!" He never got to do that. His K Company comrades have written me recently regarding their
memories of my Father, stating, "Your Dad never quit talking about his son, Nickey Joe!"
On September 15, 1944, my Father landed on the Island of Peleliu -- and was wounded and evacuated the next
day, September 16. His close friend, Alden Moore, was killed on Peleliu in October, 1944. On Easter Sunday,
April 1, 1945, K Company landed on Okinawa during a monsoon season. As quick as they would dig a fox hole,
it would fill with water. Many men suffered severely from foot rot. My Father was a fire team leader, with
two riflemen and a BAR man under him.
At age 22, on May 7, 1945, a mortar shell landed in my Father's foxhole and he was killed instantly. I was
almost 10 months old. With the love and encouragement from my AWON family, I began a search for men who
served with my Father, and in August, 1999, I was blessed to get to meet my Father's Platoon Leader and best
friend, Robert "Bucky" Pearson, who was with my Father when he was killed -- as well as some of the men who
served with him in K Company.
Upon meeting these men at my Father's First Marine Division Reunion, I learned that my Father "was one
great Marine and a fine man, who was loved and respected by all for his integrity and moral values."
They said I was on my Dad's mind all the time. Well, Dad, now you're on my mind all the time! Wondering
what life would have been like with you beside me!
My Mother remarried when I was three years old and I was blessed with a WWII Veteran Step-father, who has
been very good to me. I spent lots of time with my paternal grandparents, helping on their farm. I'm
thankful for my family who have shared all they can about my Father. I am so very proud of him! I sure
wish I could have met him! Someday, we will meet, Dad, and get that hug we've waited so long for -- in Heaven!
I'm so honored to be a member of the AWON family, who continue to understand my feelings and help me heal.
Thank you, Ann Mix, for AWON. I miss my Father, but have been blessed with numerous Orphan Brothers and
Sisters! I encourage everyone who has questions about their Fathers to continue their search until they
find the answers they need. Never give up.
Thank you, Dad, for the wonderful gift of freedom that you have given me! In Loving Memory, with Gratitude
to All Who Served -- and Sacrificed. Gone, but never forgotten. We Remember!