Joseph A. Adriaensen

1903 - 1942

Marine Corps.

Their Story

Joseph Aloysius Adriaensen was born on October 25, 1903 in Antwerpen, Belgium the son of Cornelius Aloysius Adriaensen and Caroline Van Buren Adriaensen. In 1925, at the age of 22 he enlisted in the Marine Corps in San Diego, California[2]. His spouse was Irene Virginia ( Lydia ) Gregory Adriaensen. Joseph Adriaensen was a part of the 4th Marine regiment and served in World War II from 1940-1942[4]. His diligence, hard work, and courage resulted in a plethora of awards. He received sixteen medals for his dedication between the years of 1931 and 1942, including the esteemed Purple Heart and the Army Presidential Unit Citation[5]. Additionally, he was listed as a rifle expert which requires accuracy and precision[6]. When Joseph began serving he was sent to Shanghai, China as a part of the I Company, 4th battalion, 4th Marines[7]. Leading up to the second World War, “the [Chinese] Nationalists, especially the Communist faction, [were known] for being violently opposed to foreigners”[8]. During this time he was expected to protect Americans living in Shanghai from any attacks or threats these groups might make against them. Eventually, as World War II started to take off, Sergeant Adriaensen was sent to defend America in the Philippines.

Working with the Philippines, American troops fought against Japanese invasion of both Pacific and Southeast Asia. Although the brave men such as Joseph Adriaensen fought with all they had for four months, it quickly became too much. Japanese troops were successful in blocking the delivery of vital supplies like ammunition and food[9]. This resulted in our men fighting with every last breath as they lived pulled together whatever strength they had left. However, America had no choice but to surrender. Countless men who could not escape due to illness or pain were taken as Prisoners of War. One of these men was Joseph. The conditions were horrific which led to his death on June 24, 1942. While one document states his death was an intentional homicide another claims he died from dysentery and malaria[10]. Although Joseph Adriaensen may not have survived the atrocities of the Battle of Bataan, his legacy is one of strength, bravery, and grit. He will forever live on as a hero for the men of women of this country..


[1]Adriaensen, Joseph Aloysius, 1st sgt”. Fold3. November, 1, 2013.

[2]Adriaensen, Joseph Aloysius, 1st sgt.” Together We Served. March 21, 2022.

[3]  “State Summary of War Casualties: Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel from California, 1946.Fold3. 2013.

[4]Adriaensen, Joseph Aloysius, 1st sgt. Together We Served. March 21, 2022.

[5]Adriaensen, Joseph Aloysius, 1st sgt.Fold3. November 1, 2013.

[6]Adriaensen, Joseph Aloysius, 1st sgt.Fold3. November 1, 2013.

[7]Adriaensen, Joseph Aloysius, 1st sgt. Together We Served. March 21, 2022.

[8] Santelli, James S. “A Brief History of The 4th Marines.Marine Corps Historical Reference Pamphlet. Printed by the Historical Division Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Washington, D.C. 1970.

[9]Surrender at Bataan Led to One of the Worst Atrocities in Modern Warfare.USO. November 14, 2015.

[10]Death Reports and Grave RegistrationsBilibid Hospital_Cabanatuan_Death_Records. March 21, 2022.