World War II Honor Roll

Joseph Doyer

Chief Warrant Officer


5307th Composite Unit

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: January 20, 1945
Buried at: Plot 2 O 361B
                  Beverly National Cemetery
                  Beverly NJ
Awards: Legion of Merit, Victory Medal, Purple Heart, Distinguished Conduct Medal (U.K.), Croix de Guerre (Belgium) 

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER JOSEPH DOYER of Clementon NJ was born on November 8, 1898. His early years were spent in Milton MA. He began his military career in 1915 at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the Canadian Army after being turned down at home for poor eyesight. He transferred to the U.S. Army in 1918 while overseas. When the War ended in November of 1918, Joseph Doyer remained in the Army. A career soldier, he would be a soldier for the rest of his days.

In 1920, while stationed at Camp Custer, Joseph Doyer, then a private, mistook Private Otto Pugh for an escaped prisoner, while Pugh mistook Doyer for a bandit. Both soldiers drew pistols and were wounded in the ensuing gun battle. 

Joseph Doyer rose through the ranks of the peacetime Army, and served at various posts. In March of 1928 he was attached to a National Guard unit in Appleton WI, where he was responsible for training and administrative work. Along with Captain James K. Campbell, Sergeant Doyer drilled and inspected National Guard units throughout northern and northeaster Wisconsin. 

Stationed in California when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Master Sergeant Doyer received the Legion of Merit medal for his work at the West Coast Port of Embarkation. He subsequently volunteered for duty with the 5307th Composite Unit, popularly known as Merrill's Marauders. As Regimental Sergeant Major, he was the highest ranking non-
commissioned officer in the unit. He was wounded during the battle for Myitkyina during the summer of 1944.

Promoted to Warrant Officer, Joseph Doyer was wounded again in January of 1945. While being treated for his wounds, Joseph Doyer passed away from an illness contracted while in the service of our nation on January 20, 1945 at the 128th Evac Hospital. After the war, his body was returned to the United States, and he was buried at Beverly National Cemetery in Beverly NJ on August 25, 1948.

Joseph Doyer was survived by a sister, Mrs. Corinne Anderson of 128 West Atlantic Avenue in Clementon NJ

Daily Review

Decatur IL

July 16, 1920

Daily Review

Decatur IL

July 17, 1920



Appleton WI

March 13, 1928

Camden Courier-Post * June 1, 1944
Click on Image to Enlarge

Gen. Frank D. Merrill
Master Sgt. Joseph Doyer
welcoming ceremonies
celebrations of villagers
in honor of
5307th Composite Unit

Panpan, Burma
March 19, 1944

Camden, New Jersey
                                                         January 25, 1945

Hero of 2 Wars
Killed Fighting Japs in Burma

Clementon Soldier, 47, Told General He Could Out-walk Him 

Warrant Officer Joseph Doyer, 47, of Clementon, a hero of the last war who won the right to fight in this one by telling Brigadier General Frank Merrill he could out-walk and out-shoot him, has been killed in Burma.

Doyer was mortally wounded last Saturday while on a volunteer mission to clear out Japs menacing the recently completed Ledo Road, his sister, Mrs. Corinne Anderson, 128 West Atlantic Avenue, Clementon, was notified yesterday.

Doyer was one of two men from this area reported killed in action.  Four are missing, 19 were wounded and another soldier is a prisoner of war. 

Doyer began his fighting career in 1915 at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the Canadian Army after being turned down at home for poor eyesight. He transferred to the U.S. Army in 1918 while overseas and remained in it to the end.

When the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor, many of his soldier friends were killed, and Doyer swore revenge. After receiving the Legion of Merit for his work at a California port of embarkation, he was sent to Burma.

While training for the Burma campaign, General Merrill, leader of "Merrill's Marauders", called Doyer in and told him he would be assigned to a rear echelon because he was "too old to go to the front."

It was then that Doyer, who was seven years older than the general, remarked that he could out-walk and out-shoot Merrill. 

Camden Courier-Post

June 3, 1948

Interment Record - Beverly National Cemetery