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One Marine, One Ship
http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Our_Culture/one_marine_one_ship.htm ^ | OCT. 22, 2000 | Vin Suprynowicz

Posted on 11/21/2001 11:08:32 AM PST by Britton J Wingfield

One Marine, One Ship

by Vin Suprynowicz

OCT. 22, 2000

Oct. 26 falls on a Thursday this year.

Ask the significance of the date, and you're likely to draw some puzzled looks — five more days to stock up for Halloween?

It's a measure of men like Col. Mitchell Paige and Rear Adm. Willis A. "Ching Chong China" Lee that they wouldn't have had it any other way. What they did 58 years ago, they did precisely so their grandchildren could live in a land of peace and plenty.

Whether we've properly safeguarded the freedoms they fought to leave us, may be a discussion best left for another day. Today we struggle to envision — or, for a few of us, to remember — how the world must have looked on Oct. 26, 1942. A few thousand lonely American Marines had been put ashore on Guadalcanal, a god-forsaken malarial jungle island which just happened to lie like a speed bump at the end of the long blue-water slot between New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago — the very route the Japanese Navy would have to take to reach Australia.

On Guadalcanal the Marines built an air field. And Japanese commander Isoroku Yamamoto immediately grasped what that meant. No effort would be spared to dislodge these upstart Yanks from a position that could endanger his ships during any future operations to the south. Before long, relentless Japanese counterattacks had driven supporting U.S. Navy from inshore waters. The Marines were on their own.

World War Two is generally calculated from Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939. But that's a eurocentric view. The Japanese had been limbering up their muscles in Korea and Manchuria as early as 1931, and in China by 1934. By 1942 they'd devastated every major Pacific military force or stronghold of the great pre-war powers: Britain, Holland, France, and the United States. The bulk of America's proud Pacific fleet lay beached or rusting on the floor of Pearl Harbor. A few aircraft carriers and submarines remained, though as Mitchell Paige and his 30-odd men were sent out to establish their last, thin defensive line on that ridge southwest of the tiny American bridgehead on Guadalcanal on Oct. 25, he would not have been much encouraged to know how those remaining American aircraft carriers were faring offshore.

(The next day, their Mark XV torpedoes — carrying faulty magnetic detonators reverse-engineered from a First World War German design — proved so ineffective that the United States Navy couldn't even scuttle the doomed and listing carrier Hornet with eight carefully aimed torpedoes. Instead, our forces suffered the ignominy of leaving the abandoned ship to be polished off by the enemy ... only after Japanese commanders determined she was damaged too badly to be successfully towed back to Tokyo as a trophy.)

As Paige — then a platoon sergeant — and his riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled Brownings, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated attackers?

The Japanese Army had not failed in an attempt to seize any major objective since the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Their commanders certainly did not expect the war to be lost on some God-forsaken jungle ridge manned by one thin line of Yanks in khaki in October of 1942.

But in preceding days, Marine commander Vandegrift had defied War College doctrine, "dangling" his men in exposed positions to draw Japanese attacks, then springing his traps "with the steel vise of firepower and artillery," in the words of Naval historian David Lippman.

The Japanese regiments had been chewed up, good. Still, the American forces had so little to work with that Paige's men would have only the four 30-caliber Brownings to defend the one ridge through which the Japanese opted to launch their final assault against Henderson Field, that fateful night of Oct. 25.

By the time the night was over, "The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men," historian Lippman reports. "The 16th (Japanese) Regiment's losses are uncounted, but the 164th's burial parties handle 975 Japanese bodies. ... The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low."

Among the 90 American dead and wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige's platoon. Every one. As the night wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.

The citation for Paige's Congressional Medal of Honor picks up the tale: "When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. Paige, commanding a machinegun 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 fought with his gun and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire."

In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings — the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition at its first U.S. Army trial — and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went.

The weapon did not fail.

Coming up at dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley first discovered the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened infantrymen who have never known defeat?

On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.

One hill: one Marine.

But that was the second problem. Part of the American line had fallen to the last Japanese attack. "In the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible," reports historian Lippman. "It was decided to try to rush the position."

For the task, Major Conoley gathered together "three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before."

Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m., discovering that "the extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades." In the end, "The element of surprise permitted the small force to clear the crest."

And that's where the unstoppable wave of Japanese conquest finally crested, broke, and began to recede. On an unnamed jungle ridge on an insignificant island no one had ever heard of, called Guadalcanal. Because of a handful of U.S. Marines, one of whom, now 82, lives out a quiet retirement with his wife Marilyn in La Quinta, Calif.

But while the Marines had won their battle on land, it would be meaningless unless the U.S. Navy could figure out a way to stop losing night battles in "The Slot" to the northwest of the island, through which the Japanese kept sending in barges filled with supplies and reinforcements for their own desperate forces on Guadalcanal.

The U.S. Navy had lost so many ships in those dreaded night actions that the waters off Savo were given the grisly sailor's nickname by which they're still known today: Ironbottom Sound.

So desperate did things become that finally, 18 days after Mitchell Paige won his Congressional Medal of Honor on that ridge above Henderson Field, Admiral Bull Halsey himself broke a stern War College edict — the one against committing capital ships in restricted waters. Gambling the future of the cut-off troops on Guadalcanal on one final roll of the dice, Halsey dispatched into the Slot his two remaining fast battleships, the USS South Dakota and the USS Washington, escorted by the only four destroyers with enough fuel in their bunkers to get them there and back.

In command of the 28-knot battlewagons was the right man at the right pla4ce, gunnery expert Rear Adm. Willis A. "Ching Chong China" Lee. Lee's flag flew aboard the Washington, in turn commanded by Captain Glenn Davis.

Lee was a nut for gunnery drills. "He tested every gunnery-book rule with exercises," Lippman writes, "and ordered gunnery drills under odd conditions — turret firing with relief crews, anything that might simulate the freakishness of battle."

As it turned out, the American destroyers need not have worried about carrying enough fuel to get home. By 11 p.m. on Nov. 13, outnumbered better than three-to-one by a massive Japanese task force driving down from the northwest, every one of the four American destroyers had been shot up, sunk, or set aflame, while the South Dakota — known throughout the fleet as a jinx ship — managed to damage some lesser Japanese vessels but continued to be plagued with electrical and fire control problems.

"Washington was now the only intact ship left in the force," Lippman writes. "In fact, at that moment Washington was the entire U.S. Pacific Fleet. She was the only barrier between (Admiral) Kondo's ships and Guadalcanal. If this one ship did not stop 14 Japanese ships right then and there, America might lose the war. ...

"On Washington's bridge, Lieutenant Ray Hunter still had the conn. He had just heard that South Dakota had gone off the air and had seen (destroyers) Walke and Preston "blow sky high." Dead ahead lay their burning wreckage, while hundreds of men were swimming in the water and Japanese ships were racing in.

"Hunter had to do something. The course he took now could decide the war. 'Come left,' he said, and Washington straightened out on a course parallel to the one on which she (had been) steaming. Washington's rudder change put the burning destroyers between her and the enemy, preventing her from being silhouetted by their fires.

"The move made the Japanese momentarily cease fire. Lacking radar, they could not spot Washington behind the fires. ...

"Meanwhile, Washington raced through burning seas. Everyone could see dozens of men in the water clinging to floating wreckage. Flag Lieutenant Raymond Thompson said, "Seeing that burning, sinking ship as it passed so close aboard, and realizing that there was nothing I, or anyone, could do about it, was a devastating experience.'

"Commander Ayrault, Washington's executive officer, clambered down ladders, ran to Bart Stoodley's damage-control post, and ordered Stoodley to cut loose life rafts. That saved a lot of lives. But the men in the water had some fight left in them. One was heard to scream, 'Get after them, Washington!' "

Sacrificing their ships by maneuvering into the path of torpedoes intended for the Washington, the captains of the American destroyers had given China Lee one final chance. The Washington was fast, undamaged, and bristling with 16-inch guns. And, thanks to Lt. Hunter's course change, she was also now invisible to the enemy.

Blinded by the smoke and flames, the Japanese battleship Kirishima turned on her searchlights, illuminating the helpless South Dakota, and opened fire. Finally, standing out in the darkness, Lee and Davis could positively identify an enemy target.

The Washington's main batteries opened fire at 12 midnight precisely. Her new SG radar fire control system worked perfectly. Between midnight and 12:07 a.m., Nov. 14, the "last ship in the U.S. Pacific Fleet" stunned the battleship Kirishima with 75, 16-inch shells. For those aboard the Kirishima, it rained steel.

In seven minutes, the Japanese battleship was reduced to a funeral pyre. She went down at 3:25 a.m., the first enemy sunk by an American battleship since the Spanish-American War. Stunned, the remaining Japanese ships withdrew. Within days, Yamamoto and his staff reviewed their mounting losses and recommended the unthinkable to the emperor — withdrawal from Guadalcanal.

But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was — the ridge held by a single Marine, the battle won by the last American ship?

In the autumn of 1942.

When the Hasbro Toy Co. called up some years back, asking permission to put the retired colonel's face on some kid's doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking.

But they weren't. That's his mug, on the little Marine they call "GI Joe."

And now you know.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs
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This has probably been on here at somepoint, but it's new to me. Enjoy.
1 posted on 11/21/2001 11:08:32 AM PST by Britton J Wingfield
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To: Britton J Wingfield
I've seen this before, but many thanks for posting it again. Some may disagree with me, but I consider this to be far and away Vin's best column ever.

AB

2 posted on 11/21/2001 11:23:18 AM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: Britton J Wingfield
Thanks very much. Printing this out for my son, a junior in High School, a Lt. in the Marine Corps Junior ROTC, a Texas A&M hopeful and (also hopefully), a future Marine Corps Officer.
3 posted on 11/21/2001 11:23:19 AM PST by WhyToKay
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To: Britton J Wingfield
here
I'm glad to see it posted again.
The way John, God bless him and I know he has good reasons, is changing the way this place works, it's advisable to repost some of these inspiring articles.
4 posted on 11/21/2001 11:27:16 AM PST by mrsmith
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To: Britton J Wingfield
BTTT
5 posted on 11/21/2001 11:29:20 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: WhyToKay
As I've mentioned a couple of times before - I'm fortunate enough to be aquainted with Mitchell Paige; he's now, of course, in his eighties, doing well in California's Coachella Valley.......you should see his study! He's got more memorabilia than one could imagine. Quite an inspirational guy; now a soft-spoken gentlemen, but he must have been one hell of a rattlesnake about 60 years ago!!
6 posted on 11/21/2001 11:31:35 AM PST by ErnBatavia
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To: Britton J Wingfield
Bump.
7 posted on 11/21/2001 11:34:56 AM PST by patent
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To: ErnBatavia
Well, if ya see him again, would you let him know that they still teach about him in USMC bootcamp. It's men like him that made our great Corps. I only hope we haven't disappointed him too much.

Semper Fi.

8 posted on 11/21/2001 11:45:45 AM PST by Truelove
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To: Britton J Wingfield
There were so many great stories of personal courage by individuals acting selflessly. Here is another:

Cpl. Anthony Casamento

9 posted on 11/21/2001 11:48:21 AM PST by Iron Eagle
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To: Britton J Wingfield
But who remembers...

I wonder if there's a public school system in America where battles such as Guadalcanal or the heroism of such as Sgt. Paige are even mentioned, yet alone studied.

10 posted on 11/21/2001 11:54:32 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: Britton J Wingfield
bump
11 posted on 11/21/2001 11:54:36 AM PST by bluetoad
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To: Dawntreader
Bump to read later...
12 posted on 11/21/2001 11:58:22 AM PST by Dawntreader
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To: Britton J Wingfield
while the South Dakota — known throughout the fleet as a jinx ship — managed to damage some lesser Japanese vessels but continued to be plagued with electrical and fire control problems.

The real problem with the USS South Dakota was the time between when it was laid down and put in service. There were not enough time spent making the ship "battleship worthy". When those 16 inch guns fire, they can cause havoc on a battleship -- in terms of vibration.

Basically, it got down to the fact that USS South Dakota took only about a year to put in service, and others, such as USS Washington and the Iowa class ships, took well over two years.

It wasn't a jinx'ed ship, but rather, the engineering was poor in terms of making the electrical systems withstand the pounding of those 16 inch guns.

But an important part of the Naval battle was omitted.

When cruisers and other ships were peppering the USS South Dakota because she was ablaze with fires and an easy target, the USS Washington manuevered in front, to block the enemies, and put the USS Washington in danger.

A truly heroic act, as this caused the USS Washington to come under fire. But not for long. The Japanese lacked any stomach for battle when they saw their battleship hopelessly sinking... They turned tale and ran...

13 posted on 11/21/2001 12:39:28 PM PST by topher
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To: Britton J Wingfield; kdf1; AMERIKA; Lancey Howard; MudPuppy; SMEDLEYBUTLER; opbuzz; Snow Bunny...
No, I never read it like that. That is a great story!
14 posted on 11/21/2001 1:49:38 PM PST by RaceBannon
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To: RaceBannon
The Japanese Army had not failed in an attempt to seize any major objective since the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

The author of this piece has never heard of the Changkufeng-Khasan or Nomonhan incidents--the REAL reason Japan didn't invade Siberia in 1941. Even after getting decapitated by Stalin's purges, the Soviet Army slapped the Japanese around as if they were the red-headed stepchildren...

15 posted on 11/21/2001 2:17:37 PM PST by Poohbah
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To: Britton J Wingfield
I greatly appreciate your posting this story. I'm familiar with it from books I read long ago, but it's good to be reminded, and a fine thing for those who have not heard this tale.
16 posted on 11/21/2001 3:39:01 PM PST by backhoe
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To: RaceBannon; Norb2569; tet68; Scuttlebutt; LadyX; MudPuppy; Snow Bunny; FallGuy
I don't know about the rest of you Jarheads and Swabbies, but the longer I read, the straighter I sat!!

SEMPER FI !

17 posted on 11/21/2001 5:16:34 PM PST by COB1
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To: COB1
From this honorary Marine....... I thank you for the ping Sir Cobby Sir.
18 posted on 11/21/2001 5:48:06 PM PST by Snow Bunny
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To: Britton J Wingfield
Oh Yea! That's the stuff. Thanks.
19 posted on 11/21/2001 6:05:37 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: COB1
Don't leave out "machine gun" John Basilone.


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR to
                              SERGEANT JOHN BASILONE
                            UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action against enemy Japanese forces, above and beyond the call of duty,
while serving with the First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in the Lunga Area, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on
October 24 and 25, 1942. While the enemy was hammering at the Marines' defensive positions, Sergeant Basilone, in charge of two
sections of heavy machine guns, fought valiantly to check the savage and determined assault. In a fierce frontal attack with the
Japanese blasting his guns with grenades and mortar fire, one of Sergeant Basilone's sections, with its gun crews, was put out of
action, leaving only two men able to carry on. Moving an extra gun into position, he placed it in action, then, under continual fire,
repaired another and personally manned it, gallantly holding his line until replacements arrived. A little later, with ammunition critically
low and the supply lines cut off, Sergeant Basilone, at great risk of his life and in the face of continued enemy attack, battled his way
through hostile lines with urgently needed shells for his gunners, thereby contributing in a large measure to the virtual annihilation of a
Japanese regiment. His great personal valor and courageous initiative were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States
Naval Service.



/S/FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

20 posted on 11/21/2001 6:19:33 PM PST by tet68
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To: Britton J Wingfield
Inspirational bump to a true hero of mine.
21 posted on 11/21/2001 6:28:09 PM PST by MadelineZapeezda
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To: tet68
Thanks, tet.
I salute Sgt. Basilone!

But....(grumble, gripe, bitch) dadgummit, his personal valor and courage were in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Marine Corps, not the United States Naval Service!
Depend on FDR to foul up the citation!!
Sorry, Swabbies, I just like to keep it straight!!

22 posted on 11/21/2001 6:55:05 PM PST by COB1
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To: COB1
When I read stories like these, the words from the Marines Hymn, 'we are proud to claim the title of 'United States Marine', make me feel so humble to share in the same heritage as these great men.
23 posted on 11/21/2001 7:38:26 PM PST by Norb2569
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To: COB1; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Marine Inspector; g'nad; AppyPappy

24 posted on 11/21/2001 7:52:31 PM PST by Norb2569
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To: RaceBannon; Britton J Wingfield
This is one of the reasons "squids" and "jarheads" have that cocky attitude!!

US Navy and US Marines, perfect together!!

25 posted on 11/21/2001 9:46:15 PM PST by Nitro
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To: Britton J Wingfield

26 posted on 11/21/2001 9:54:21 PM PST by Nitro
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To: Norb2569; LadyX
"make me feel so humble to share in the same heritage as these great men."

Me, too, Norb!!
I thank God that I made that decision to join in the ranks of the finest fighting force the world has ever seen.

I had GREAT news this morining!
My nephew has joined the United States Marine Corps!!
I'm so proud I could bust!!

27 posted on 11/22/2001 8:22:35 AM PST by COB1
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To: Nitro; Scuttlebutt; FallGuy; All
"This is one of the reasons "squids" and "jarheads" have that cocky attitude!!"

I agree, Nitro.
It's really hard to be humble to outsiders when you know you're the best!!

And I want to take this opportunity to wish all my Swabby buddies a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

28 posted on 11/22/2001 8:27:25 AM PST by COB1
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To: COB1
My nephew has joined the United States Marine Corps!! I'm so proud I could bust!!

I bet that makes you a VERY PROUD uncle!!

Congratulations!

29 posted on 11/22/2001 9:49:41 AM PST by Norb2569
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To: COB1
And a very Happy Thanksgiving right back at ya, shipmate!

Check it out!

30 posted on 11/22/2001 10:10:21 AM PST by Nitro
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To: Norb2569; COB1
You guys are choking me up here...
Semper Fi, do or die.
"Non sibi sed patriae" (Not self but country)
"Anchors Aweigh"
31 posted on 11/25/2001 4:22:07 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Britton J Wingfield
Semper Fi bump
32 posted on 11/25/2001 5:10:58 AM PST by fnord
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To: Poohbah
A link for you, history buff!
33 posted on 11/25/2001 5:26:57 AM PST by struwwelpeter
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: NAMMARINE
My dad (Marine from 45-53) and his buddies use the term GI for Marines sometimes.
35 posted on 11/25/2001 8:24:47 AM PST by Britton J Wingfield
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To: NAMMARINE
"MARINES .....are NEVER EVER called GI's"

Some of the 'Old Corps' and those whom were drafted (your service number started with a couple characters from the alphabet) damn sure were designated GI.

36 posted on 11/26/2001 9:17:16 AM PST by S.O.S121.500
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To: tet68
thereby contributing in a large measure to the virtual annihilation of a Japanese regiment.

Awaiting the following:

thereby contributing in a large measure to the total annihilation of an Taliban regiment.

37 posted on 11/26/2001 10:47:28 AM PST by packrat01
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To: COB1
Roger THAT, COB1 and a HUGE Semper Fi!
38 posted on 11/26/2001 12:23:02 PM PST by dcwusmc
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To: indcons
This is not the same topic (at least, I don't think so), but this one must be older (2001 I think) than the other one, and you will like it.
As Paige — then a platoon sergeant — and his riflemen set about carefully emplacing their four water-cooled Brownings, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to that most desperate of questions: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against 2,000 desperate and motivated attackers?

[...]

In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings — the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition at its first U.S. Army trial — and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went.

The weapon did not fail.

Coming up at dawn, battalion executive officer Major Odell M. Conoley first discovered the answer to our question: How many able-bodied Marines does it take to hold a hill against two regiments of motivated, combat-hardened infantrymen who have never known defeat?

On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige alone sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.

One hill: one Marine.

39 posted on 01/29/2006 9:29:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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Last Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Guadalcanal USMC Colonel Mitchell Paige has died
homeofheroes.com
Posted on 11/16/2003 8:15:05 PM PST by ErnBatavia
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1023111/posts


40 posted on 01/29/2006 9:34:41 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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The Battle History of the United States Marine Corps
Source: The History Channel
Published: 05-23-01 Author: The History Channel
Posted on 05/23/2001 08:21:44 PDT by COB1
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b0bd58879d5.htm


41 posted on 01/29/2006 9:35:47 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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as noted in #4:

Autumn, 1942: It came down to one Marine, and one ship
Source: Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism
Published: October 23, 2000 Author: Vin Suprynowicz
Posted on 10/23/2000 10:11:29 PDT by gordgekko
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39f47141497d.htm


42 posted on 01/29/2006 9:38:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Really cool thread....thanks for the ping, SunkenCiv.


43 posted on 01/29/2006 9:40:05 PM PST by indcons
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"Washington was now the only intact ship left in the force," Lippman writes. "In fact, at that moment Washington was the entire U.S. Pacific Fleet. She was the only barrier between (Admiral) Kondo's ships and Guadalcanal. If this one ship did not stop 14 Japanese ships right then and there, America might lose the war. ... 'Come left,' he said, and Washington straightened out on a course parallel to the one on which she (had been) steaming. Washington's rudder change put the burning destroyers between her and the enemy, preventing her from being silhouetted by their fires. The move made the Japanese momentarily cease fire. Lacking radar, they could not spot Washington behind the fires. ... Commander Ayrault, Washington's executive officer, clambered down ladders, ran to Bart Stoodley's damage-control post, and ordered Stoodley to cut loose life rafts. That saved a lot of lives. But the men in the water had some fight left in them. One was heard to scream, 'Get after them, Washington!' ...Blinded by the smoke and flames, the Japanese battleship Kirishima turned on her searchlights, illuminating the helpless South Dakota, and opened fire. Finally, standing out in the darkness, Lee and Davis could positively identify an enemy target. The Washington's main batteries opened fire at 12 midnight precisely. Her new SG radar fire control system worked perfectly. Between midnight and 12:07 a.m., Nov. 14, the "last ship in the U.S. Pacific Fleet" stunned the battleship Kirishima with 75, 16-inch shells. For those aboard the Kirishima, it rained steel. In seven minutes, the Japanese battleship was reduced to a funeral pyre. She went down at 3:25 a.m., the first enemy sunk by an American battleship since the Spanish-American War. Stunned, the remaining Japanese ships withdrew. Within days, Yamamoto and his staff reviewed their mounting losses and recommended the unthinkable to the emperor -- withdrawal from Guadalcanal.

44 posted on 01/29/2006 9:45:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: Britton J Wingfield
The Japanese Army had not failed in an attempt to seize any major objective since the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.

Most are unaware of this.

45 posted on 01/29/2006 9:52:49 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: Mr. Lucky
re: # 10

You have got to be joking.

46 posted on 10/30/2007 8:38:43 AM PDT by Turret Gunner A20
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To: Turret Gunner A20

Wishful thinking, eh?


47 posted on 10/30/2007 10:31:45 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

· GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach ·
· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
 Antiquity Journal
 & archive
 Archaeologica
 Archaeology
 Archaeology Channel
 BAR
 Bronze Age Forum
 Discover
 Dogpile
 Eurekalert
 Google
 LiveScience
 Mirabilis.ca
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 Excerpt, or Link only?
 


Note: this topic is from 11/21/2001. Thanks Britton J Wingfield.

This is the oldest iteration of this on FR (I believe).

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

· History topic · history keyword · archaeology keyword · paleontology keyword ·
· Science topic · science keyword · Books/Literature topic · pages keyword ·


48 posted on 06/03/2011 5:27:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: SunkenCiv

Thanks..great story....


49 posted on 06/03/2011 6:04:50 PM PDT by GregB (Mr Singleton I presume?)
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To: Britton J Wingfield

This should probably be posted at least annually.


50 posted on 06/03/2011 6:50:21 PM PDT by ThanhPhero (Khach hanh huong den La Vang)
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