Platoon Leader, RHQ, 511th PIR - KIA
March 10, 1921 - November 27, 1944 (Age 23) - Killed in Action / Declared Dead while Missing
Citations: Silver Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Air Medal, Marksmanship Badge, Parachutist Badge, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Army Presidential Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Merkel Varner's bio coming soon...
Riverside, California's 1LT Merkel Varner is buried or memorialized at Tablets of the Missing Manila American Cemetery Manila, Philippines. This is an American Battle Monuments Commission location
1LT Varner's Citation for the Silver Star is below:
"First Lieutenant MERKEL VARNER, 01291918, Infantry (Parachutist), United States Army. For gallantry in action on Leyte, Philippine Islands on December 4 1944. During an enemy attack against his company, First Lieutenant VARNER organized and led a patrol to a position to the read of the enemy. From this point First Lieutenant VARNER personally led a determined assault against the surprised enemy, routing him from the area. In the performance of this deed, First Lieutenant VARNER was killed. His daring initiative and inspiring leadership set an outstanding example for his unit and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States. Next of kin: Mrs. Mildred Varner (wife), Box 521, Vista, California."
1LT Varner's listing on The Wall of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Luzon
To learn more about Verner's historic unit and the intrepid men who fought in it, you can order Jeremy C. Holm's new book, WHEN ANGELS FALL: From Toccoa to Tokyo, The 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II by visiting our online store or purchasing a copy wherever books are sold.