A Dallas-New Zealand WWII Connection

The secretary of the Hutt Valley Branch of the New Zealand Genealogy Society has asked for our help.  He writes:

“During World War 2, the US Marines were based near Wellington, New Zealand, in preparation for the battles, and in recuperation from, those battles with the Japanese in the Pacific.  One of those Marines was befriended by my friend’s family.  They have ever since regarded the memory of that Marine with affection but they never heard of him after the war.  They would like to know what became of him.

“The information I have is: 
Robert Marvin McElvane, 
239 New Orleans Drive, Dallas, Texas.  He was with the “8th Marines”.  They were based at McKays Crossing and Camp Russell near Paekakariki, about 25 miles north of Wellington, the capital city.

“Marines’ camp sign returns home:  http://marinenz.com/Marines’+camp+sign+returns+home.  There is talk of marking the 70 years somehow next year.”

I’m posting this request to our blog in the hopes that readers can suggest resources/a method of attack that I can use to help fulfill his request.

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5 Responses to A Dallas-New Zealand WWII Connection

  1. Terry Stock says:

    A belated thank you for the information so far.
    Barbara Ware’s information about the link to 8th Marines is a potential connection.
    The closest New Orleans Drive (etc) I can find is in Plano, but with no number like 239 – would house numbering have changed since the 1940s?
    Odeans Drive – I’m wondering if this became garbled into New Orleans!
    Thanks also to Mark for contacting me about the Lake Havasu, Arizona, possibility. Some other research makes me confident this will be the Private Marvin B[ishop?] McElvaney mentioned in Barbara Ware’s message.
    But these names seem remote from Robert Marvin McElvane.

  2. Mark says:

    I believe you will find him listed (88 years old) in lake havasu arizona, a simple white pages search for marvin b mcelvaney in that area will yield a telephone number. Good luck!

  3. Mark says:

    Reccomend posting the question to tarawa talk (tarawa on the web).
    Some Tarawa vets still posting there and much knowledge on resources to pursue. Do you know what battalion of the 8th Marines he was in? I have the muster rolls for the third battalion for Nov 1943 which would show his status post battle. Others at the site also have other muster rolls which may illuminate.
    Okay I see he was 1st I’m sure someone has the rolls on there.

  4. Barbara Ware says:

    Look for variations of McElvane. It could be McElvaney.
    Check the Dallas city directories during 1940 to 1950 for a listing for his parents on New Orleans Drive, Dallas. In 1923 Dallas city directory (Fold3.com), there is a listing for McElvaney W Lyle (Grace) 638 Sunset Ave chf clk Texas Electric Ry (Chief Clerk, Texas Electric Railway.

    Dallas Morning News, 25 May 1942 – “Mrs. Jimmie Bell Hatt, 1105 Odeans Drive, received last week a letter from her son, Private Marvin B. McElvaney of the Marines, the first communication from him since December. The letter was dated March 2 and was sent from the South Pacific war zone. Marvin’s father, a lieutenant in the first World War, is now back in the service at San Francisco. Mrs. Hatt is active in the Navy Mothers Club.” Note: The 1942-43 Dallas city directory lists her a as Mrs. Jimmie B. Hall.

    US Marine Corps Muster Rolls (Ancestry.com)
    Name: Marvin B Mcelvany
    Muster Date: Nov 1940/Dec 1940
    Enlistment Date: 29 Aug 1940
    Rank: Private
    Station: Hq Co, 1st Bn , 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Brigade, Fmf, Mcb, San Diego, Calif

    • Barbara Ware says:

      In a review of the Dallas city directories 1937-1945, I found that New Orleans Avenue was outside of the city limits, so there was no street listing for individuals on that street.

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