“Get back, Gus, get back!” Those were the last words of U.S. Army Air Corp. Pfc. Daniel F. Wallock as he warned Pfc. Gus Boggild and others from his unit not to come ashore at Pegun Island.
Earlier that day – August 17, 1944 – Wallock and Boggild were part of a rescue party in search of a downed airplane and its crew. When they reached Pegun Island, near Dutch New Guinea, Wallock and two other enlisted men volunteered to go ashore and search further while Boggild and the others left to search a different island, where they eventually discovered the missing airmen and rescued them.
When Boggild returned to Pegun Island, signals were sounded for Wallock and when no response was received, Boggild and one other man started to wade ashore to investigate. Suddenly, a wounded Pvt. Wallock, crawling along a reef, shouted his warning to stay away. He was immediately shot several times by Japanese snipers waiting in ambush.
For his brave actions that saved the lives of his friend Gus and other soldiers while disregarding his own safety, Wallock was awarded the Silver Star, presented posthumously to his mother, Dorothy, who was living in Milwaukee at the time. Mrs. Wallock subsequently gave the medal to Daniel Henry Wallock, infant son of Daniel’s brother, Lt. Donald Bill Wallock, who was serving as a B-29 navigator in Guam.