Born and raised on a farm in Nebraska, Stanton Dale Romsdal (1922-2013) enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug. 26, 1941, less than a year after graduating from high school.
He then completed Marine Boot Camp at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and was ordered to Camp Elliott, California for additional combat training before being deployed to the South Pacific, where he took part in the Battle of Bougainville during early November 1943.
Romsdal next participated in action in one of the bloodiest and most savagely contested battles of World War II – the Battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.
Over the course of three days of bitter fighting, from Nov. 20-23, 1943, on Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll – an island measuring only 2 miles long and half mile wide at its widest point – invading 2nd Marine Division casualties totaled 1,027 killed, 2,292 wounded and 88 missing.
Of the 3,636 Japanese soldiers defending Tarawa, only 17 surrendered – the rest were annihilated, while another 1,071 Korean laborers were also killed.
Following the Battle of Tarawa and treatment in Honolulu for wounds he suffered on Tarawa, Romsdal joined his victorious 2nd Marine Division on the Big Island of Hawaii, where its marines constructed Camp Tarawa near Parker Ranch as their training base for future combat operations in the Pacific.
Later, in 1944, Romsdal was transferred from Camp Tarawa to Marine Camp, Kauai – a Marine Corps base active during World War II that was located just south of today’s Wailua Golf Course.
In 1945, Sgt. Romsdal was selected by the Marine Corps to pursue college training at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1946, finished college, and eventually became a professor of agronomy at Colorado State University.
Upon retirement, he moved permanently to Kauai with his wife Barbara.
Kauai Marine Camp veteran Stanton Dale Romsdal and Barbara Romsdal had two daughters: Dana and Leigh.