This playground honors neighborhood resident Sergeant William T. Dougherty (d. 1944), a United States Marine of the 155th Infantry, 27th Division who fought and died in the World War II (1939-1945) Battle of Saipan.
America entered World War II after the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After several years of naval skirmishes, battles, and island-hopping amphibious assaults, the United States and her British ally had managed to push Japan’s forces back towards their home islands. Servicemen taking part in the Allied invasion of the island of Saipan, however, saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the war from an enemy that refused to surrender. Twenty thousand United States Marines, including Sergeant William T. Dougherty, came ashore on Saipan on June 15, 1944 with orders to wrest control of the island from the Japanese. The Japanese had controlled Saipan since 1920, and fought tenaciously.