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Last Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Guadalcanal USMC Colonel Mitchell Paige has died ^

Posted on 11/16/2003 8:15:05 PM PST by ErnBatavia

I probably blew the format for starting a thread...and didn't see posted elsewhere.

A true hero has moved on. My 56 year old self just went outside, faced the sky, and offered the best salute I've snapped in 35 years.

Rest In Peace, Mitch....proud and honored to have had your aquaintance.

TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gijoe; godsgravesglyphs; guadalcanal; japan; marines; medalofhonor; mitchellpaige; suprynowicz; usmc; vinsuprynowicz; worldwar2; worldwareleven; worldwarii; wwii
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1 posted on 11/16/2003 8:15:06 PM PST by ErnBatavia
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To: Admin Moderator
Request correction of title - should be CMH (Congressional Medal of Honor)
2 posted on 11/16/2003 8:16:36 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Taglineus Interruptus)
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To: ErnBatavia
"The Mitchell Paige GI Joe figure was released in 1998."
3 posted on 11/16/2003 8:17:37 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
"The Mitchell Paige GI Joe figure was released in 1998."

He signed mine (which was tough to get)...and he gave me a hard time when I called it a "doll" - I was quickly corrected.

4 posted on 11/16/2003 8:20:24 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Taglineus Interruptus)
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To: ErnBatavia

Medal of Honor
Solomon Islands

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

for service as set forth in the following


"For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area on October 26, 1942. When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, Platoon Sergeant Paige, commanding a machine-gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he manned his gun, and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire against the advancing hordes until reinforcements finally arrived. Then, forming a new line, he dauntlessly and aggressively led a bayonet charge, driving the enemy back and preventing a break through in our lines. His great personal valor and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


5 posted on 11/16/2003 8:22:07 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi .....)
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To: ErnBatavia
You knew him?
6 posted on 11/16/2003 8:23:52 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: ErnBatavia
Colonel Mitchell Paige
United States Marine Corps, Retired
Colonel Mitchell Paige was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, August 31, 1918. He enlisted in the Marine Corps September 1, 1936 and went to recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina.
He is the sole surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the ground battle for Guadalcanal, America's first ground offensive of WWII.
He has held practically every rank and assignment in a Marine Corps Infantry battalion from private to commanding officer. He received a Field Commission from Platoon Sergeant to Second Lieutenant at Guadalcanal, Decemberl 9,1942. Col. Paige completed a four year college equivalency in the Marine Corps. He was the director for all Marine Corps Schools in Japan 1954.
He attended the Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, Virginia and the Army Language School, Presidio of Monterey, California.
His field experience has taken him to the Philippines, China, Cuba,
Guadalcanal, Soloman Islands, New guinea, Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island, Pavuvu, Russell Islands, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
After retirement July 1, 1 964, he researched and developed miniature rockets, miniature rocket weapons systems, penetration aids, and hypervelocity acceleration. He assisted in the design and development of a four-inch rocket launcher capable of firing 13mm gyro-jet flares, smoke, radar chaff and explosive rounds while working at MB Associates, Science and Rocketfy, San Ramon, California. He used the 13mm hand gun and 13mm Foliage Penetrating Signal Distress Kit in combat in Vietnam in 1967, with orders from President Johnson. He was involved in research and development of air-inflated devices and related recovery equipment. He invented the"TUPIT"(The Universal Paige Inflatable Tent) which he donated to the Army laboratories in Natick, Mass. Author of an autobiography "A Marine Named Mitch" published inl 975. He is a member of: The Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the US, Army andNavyLegionofValoroftheUS, MilitaryOrderofthePurpleHeartofthe US, PastpresidentofTheFirstMarineDivisionAssociation, MarineCorps League, BritishRoyalMafines, GuadalcanalCampaignVeterans, National OrderofBattlefieldCommissions, DisabledAmericanVeterans, TheAmerican Legion, AMVETS, VFW, Naval order of The United States, and The Mafine Corps Mustang Association.
He has been speaker to numerous civilian and military groups since WWII. He was "Special Ambassador", representing the president, with The US State Department in The Solomons, at the 1 Oth anniversary celebrating Guadalcanal's independence.
He is the liaison officer from The Congressional Medal of Honor Society to the FBI and works with an assigned Special Agent exposing MOH imposters. He was Marine, "GI Joe" Action Figure (WWII) ... produced in 1998 by Hasbro Toy Company. He is a member of California State Governors "Blue Ribbon Task Force" on veterans.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and letters of commendation from the government, civic and fraternal organizations.
Col. Paige currently resides in La Quinta, California with his wife, Marilyn.
7 posted on 11/16/2003 8:26:48 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi .....)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
You knew him?

Yes...and I'm heartbroken; I didn't even hear this on the news, just found out by cruising the web.

?He lived here in La Quinta, California - and through my mother/Marilyn Paige's DAR connection, I was floored to get to meet him and shoot the breeze on occasion.

I'm just wigged out with shock right now...He was a fabulous guy

8 posted on 11/16/2003 8:30:07 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Taglineus Interruptus)
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To: ErnBatavia
Heree's a good article on Sgt. Paige:

'Autumn, 1942: It came down to one Marine, and one ship'

9 posted on 11/16/2003 8:31:52 PM PST by quidnunc (Omnis Gaul delenda est)
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To: Admin Moderator; ErnBatavia
10 posted on 11/16/2003 8:33:40 PM PST by wardaddy (we must crush our enemies and make them fear us and sap their will to fight....all 2 billion of them)
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Thank You, Mitchell Paige, for your service to your country in times of war and peace. Godspeed, Marine and God Bless.

I caught a program on KQED (PBS) the other night called American Valor, a 1 1/2 hour program that looked at the Cingressional Medal of Honor, its origins and such. There were a number of honorees interviewed and their stories retold. Mitchell Paige was one of those interviewed. Excellent program, very touching and revealing of human nature; foibles, frailties and all.

11 posted on 11/16/2003 8:34:35 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi .....)
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To: ErnBatavia
My condolences. I am sure he is in a great place surrounded by the best.
12 posted on 11/16/2003 8:34:38 PM PST by longfellow (
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Congressional not Cingressional :-)
13 posted on 11/16/2003 8:36:04 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi .....)
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To: ErnBatavia
bump :(
14 posted on 11/16/2003 8:38:35 PM PST by PGalt
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To: ErnBatavia
May he rest in peace. God bless him.
15 posted on 11/16/2003 8:41:07 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ErnBatavia
A respectful Bump to the top.
16 posted on 11/16/2003 8:42:27 PM PST by carpio
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To: ErnBatavia
EB, my thanks to you. By honoring Mitch Paige you made his story real to others who didn't know about him.

Like me.

I looked up his website. Of interest to me was the Bible verse that he read from his Bible after the battle on Guadalcanal that day. While looking for something to bandage a bayonet wound, his Bible fell out of his pack.

He picked it up and read from it where it opened, in his own words, providentially:

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."---Proverbs 3:4,5

He realized the Lord had not left him alone on that ridge that day--October 26, 1942---and had not left him since.

EB, this was a man who had faith in his Lord, and in whose presence he finally stands. He left a great testimony and a great legacy of courage and steadfastness in the face of incredible odds. He eft a message of the importance of love for God and country and American values.

And you honor this man by bringing his story to others.

Thank you for letting the FreeRepublic know about Mitch Paige.
17 posted on 11/16/2003 8:47:33 PM PST by exit82 (Sound off to your elected reps in DC: Capitol switchboard toll free number 1-800-648-3516.)
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Who's Who in Marine Corps History


Marine Colonel Mitchell Paige, of Redwood City, California, won the nation's highest decoration during the campaign for Guadalcanal in October, 1942, when he made a desperate lone stand against enemy Japanese after they had broken through the lines and killed or wounded all of the Marines in his machine gun section.

Colonel Paige, (then a platoon sergeant) fired his machine gun until it was destroyed, then moved from gun to gun, keeping up a withering fire until he finally received reinforcements. He later led a bayonet charge that drove the Japanese back and prevented a breakthrough in our lines.

The Marine Corps' World War II Commandant, General Alexander A. Vandegrift presented the Medal of Honor to Colonel Paige at Melbourne, Australia, in the Spring of 1943.

Colonel Paige was born on August 31, 1918, at Charleroi, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1936 from McKeesport High School at McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on September 1, 1936, at Baltimore, Maryland.

Completing his "boot camp" training at Parris Island, South Carolina, in November, 1936, he was transferred to Quantico, Virginia. Later he served aboard the USS Wyoming as a gunner and took part in maneuvers via Panama to San Clemente Island off the coast of California.

In February, 1937, he was transferred to Mare Island Navy Yard for guard duty, and two months later was ordered to Cavite in the Philippine Islands. While on Cavite he became a member of the All-Navy-Marine baseball team which gained prominence throughout the island and the orient. He served in China from October, 1938 to September, 1939. During his tour he guarded American property during the famous Tientsin flood.

He left North China and returned to the U.S. in April, 1940, for guard duty at the Brooklyn and Philadelphia Navy Yards. In September, 1940, he rejoined the 5th Marines, at Quantico, Virginia, and the following month participated in maneuvers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Culebra, Puerto Rico. In March, 1941, he was transferred back to the States and ordered to New River, North Carolina, to help construct and prepare a new training base for Marines which later became Camp Lejeune.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Paige was once more sent overseas with the 7th Marines and landed at Apia, British Samoa. From Samoa the 7th Marines went to Guadalcanal, landing in September of 1942. He remained there until January, 1943, when he went to Melbourne, Australia with the 1st Marine Division. While on Guadalcanal he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the field on December 19, 1942. In June 1943, he was promoted to first lieutenant.

In September, 1943, he left with the 1st Marine Division for New Guinea where they joined the 6th Army for the attack on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, on December 26, 1943.

In May 1944, the Division left Cape Gloucester for a rest area in the Russell Islands, Pavuvu. In July, 1944, Major Paige was sent back to the States and assigned duty at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In June, 1945, he became Tactical Training Officer at Camp Matthews, California, and the following September, was sent to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot as a recruit training officer.

Captain Paige was placed on inactive duty in May 1946, returning to active duty again in July 1950, and was assigned duty at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California.

He was later transferred to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, California, as Plans and Operations Officer of the 2d Recruit Training Battalion. At this time he also went on a special assignment as Plans and Training Officer in charge of setting up a PLC training program for the Special Training Company. He was promoted to the rank of major on January 1, 1951.

In October 1951, Major Paige became Executive Officer of the 2d Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, until October 1952, when he was transferred to the 4th Special Junior Course, Marine Corps Educational Center, Company B, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia. He attended school there until May 1953, then served as Division Recruiting Officer, 2d Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, until February 1954.

Major Paige was next assigned to Sub-Unit #2, Headquarters Company, Headquarters Battalion, 3d Marine Division, San Francisco, California, serving as Officer in Charge, Division Noncommissioned Officers School, 3d Marine Division, until April 1955. During this period he also served briefly as Assistant Officer in Charge of Sub-Unit #1.

From there he served as Battalion Executive Officer and later Commanding Officer of the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, from April 1955 until August 1955 when he reported to the 12th Marine Corps Reserve and Recruitment District to serve as Officer in Charge of Marine Corps Recruiting Station in San Francisco and he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in May 1957.

In August 1957, Lieutenant Colonel Paige was assigned duty as Inspector-Instructor, 7th Infantry Battalion, USMCR, at San Bruno, California, until August 1958, when he was detached to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.

In May 1959, he entered the U.S. Army Language School in Monterey, California, and remained there for 9 months until he was ordered to the Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Station, San Diego, California, to serve as Executive Officer until October 1959. He was placed on the Disability Retired List on 1 November 1959. For being specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat he was promoted to colonel upon retirement.

A complete list of the colonel's decorations and medals includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, the Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, and the United Nations Service Medal.

18 posted on 11/16/2003 8:48:08 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi .....)
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To: ErnBatavia

At ease Marine
Take your leave, you have earned it.
19 posted on 11/16/2003 8:51:50 PM PST by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: ErnBatavia
did he say "Action figure!!"
20 posted on 11/16/2003 9:06:51 PM PST by GeronL (Visit
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