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Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 7:59:11 PM   
Canoerebel


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Gents,

I'm interested in your thoughts - especially those of you who have served in the military.

Last night, while struggling to come up with an analogy for a story I'm working on, I did a bit of research about Marine Medal of Honor recipients at Guadalcanal. The information I had at hand indicates that there were nine. Of these nine, three were enlisted men and six were officers. When I started on the search, I had expected a majority - perhaps a vast majority - to be enlisted men.

Guadalcanal may be anomolous since sometimes there were no rear areas. Thus, several (perhaps all) of the officers received the Medal of Honor for service while leading at or near (or beyond) the front lines. I know that Major Bailey was one of those who put himself in harm's way. Even General Vandegrifts was under direct fire to an extent that was relatively rare for a man of his rank. As far as I know, every Marine officer who received the MOH at Guadalcanal was deserving. (I actually don't know the circumstances for several of them, but I'm just guessing from the examples set by Bailey and Vandegrift.)

Still, you would have expected the enlisted men to recieve proportionately more - there were, of course, many more of them, and they did the bulk of the hand-to-hand combat and dying.

The natural supposition is that the paucity of enlisted MOH recipients is because the footsoldier often does his work where few see him (or few who see him survive to tell about it).

I'm wondering if there's any informed thoughts from you military men (and women?) about the disparity of enlisted men MOH recipients at Guadalcanal. Is there some sensible reason? Was it just a matter of chance? Or is there a feeling that the officers received a disproportionate amount of the credit?

Thanks,

Dan

OT P.S.: For those that might wonder why I was pursuing this line of thought, I've been working on a story about some young mothers in our community that died after long and terrible bouts with brain tumors. It had previously occurred to me that we don't erect monuments to women (or men) who have bravely endured under the most trying circumstances, but we do erect monuments (or name bridges or highways) for politicans who were elected to do exactly what they are honored for doing. I had thought the Marines at Guadalcanal might offer a nice contrast, showing that the enlisted men who did most of the hard fighting received most of the recognition....only to learn that I was wrong (assuming that a MOH is a valid way to measure "recognition.")

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 10/9/2013 8:01:46 PM >
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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 8:19:38 PM   
dr.hal


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Interesting observations Canoerebel. One thing I would draw your attention to is the fact that to "win" this medal at least in "modern" times certain criteria have to be met including witnesses, etc. This might have had an impacted on who was put in for it, as officers are more noticed (if not notable). Just a thought. Another thought is to research who was "nominated" for the medal and DIDN'T get it (many were reduce to a Navy Cross or Silver Star) and see what that yields. I'm not sure how easily that information could be obtained. Hal

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 8:54:01 PM   
Lecivius


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Up until the Korean War there was a class distinction between Professional Soldiers/Educated reservists, and enlisted ranks. You probably have found some references to this in your studies of the Civil War. While I would not call it prejudice per se, it was a mindset that prevailed even up to & past Vietnam. I seem to recall an event in Europe in WWII where officer received the MOH, an enlisted personnel would get a Silver Star, both in the same action and side by side. WWII bridged that gap to a large degree just because of the sheer size and demands of the conflict, and college grads available.

We are now a thoroughly volunteer service now. I think the mindset is changed.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 9:09:57 PM   
dr.hal


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius

Up until the Korean War there was a class distinction between Professional Soldiers/Educated reservists, and enlisted ranks. You probably have found some references to this in your studies of the Civil War. While I would not call it prejudice per se, it was a mindset that prevailed even up to & past Vietnam. I seem to recall an event in Europe in WWII where officer received the MOH, an enlisted personnel would get a Silver Star, both in the same action and side by side. WWII bridged that gap to a large degree just because of the sheer size and demands of the conflict, and college grads available.

We are now a thoroughly volunteer service now. I think the mindset is changed.


Funny that you should mention this Lecivius, as I am currently reading a book, Wings of Gold, that addresses this point tangentially. It quotes a couple of officers (admittedly this is at the officer level so is not directly translatable) who strongly suggested that an obvious class structure existed in the ARMY thought out the war but that in the Navy, reservists and 90 day wonders were largely indistinguishable when it came to assignments and "worth" except maybe at the senior levels. Hal

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 10:42:51 PM   
SuluSea


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Keep in mind 5 of the Marine officers that received the MOH at Guadalcanal were pilots. If you just talk about MOH numbers from the ground pounders they're probably close to even officer / enlisted.

I agree with your theory that more enlisted men would have gotten the medal if their deeds were known.



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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 11:01:12 PM   
Feltan


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A couple of random thoughts on the issue:

- One of my college professors was a Navy Cross recipient on Guadalcanal, downgraded from a MOH. He was an officer, and had - in my mind - completely deserved it. Remember, the life expectancy for a junior officer (leader) was not something to envy.

- At this point in our culture, the average enlisted person (not draftee) was not exactly what one would consider a model citizen. The draft changed that, but only later. Illiteracy and alcohol dependency were far more common, as were lengthy criminal records. Discipline was harsh for a reason. Your average enlisted person today has far more in common with a WWII officer than their enlisted counter-part before the affects of the draft kicked in.

- Awarding the MOH in modern times is a function of bravery, politics and luck. I am sure some PFC (check that, any PFC) on Guadalcanal deserved an MOH more than MacArthur in the Philippines.

- I never begrudge a service member the rights and honors of an award. I wasn't there. Someone thought they deserved it. Frankly, I never saw any award given fraudulently, but some were a stretch.

Regards,
Feltan

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 11:14:16 PM   
spence

 

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There has only been one MOH recipient in the US Coast Guard throughout its history. Coincidentally he earned his MOH (posthumously) at Guadalcanal. He was enlisted.

The USN/USMC/USCG had many enlisted pilots at the beginning of WWII but somewhere in there the decision was made within the services to make all new pilots officers. If 5 of the 6 USMC MOH officer winners were pilots that then that seems unsurprising since, in the case of pilots, the officers were the ones "in the trenches".

I think that for lesser awards there may be something of an institutional predisposition to award medals to officers but since all awards of the MOH are given for combat actions; enlisted personnel, in general, are fairly represented.

A summary of the citations for all USCG personnel awarded medals (of any level) can be found at:

http://www.uscg.mil/history/awards/Book_of_Valor_WWII.asp

Interesting to compare the actions cited with the degree of danger encountered. Awarding medals does not seem to be an exact science.


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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 11:35:33 PM   
Canoerebel


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The source I used for my information is Strong Men Armed, by Robert Leckie. From a list in the appendix, here are the Marine MOH recipients from Guadalcanal (note that at least three of the six officers are infantry - Bailey, Edson and Vandegrift, so I'm not sure about Sulu's "5 of 6" were pilots):

1. Kenneth Bailey, major
2. John Basilone, sergeant
3. Merritt Edson, colonel
4. Joseph Foss, captain
5. Robert Galer, major
6. Douglas Munro, Signal 1/c (is that a first corporal?)
7. Mitchell Paige, platoon sergeant
8. John Smith, major
9. Archer Vandegrift, major general

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/9/2013 11:58:30 PM   
spence

 

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#6 is the only MOH recipient ever who was in the US Coast Guard. By today's standards Signalman 1/c should mean he was an E-6 (the rating no longer exists in the USCG having been merged into the Quartermaster rating). But IIRC he had only been in the service since 1940 or so so making E-6 in two yrs would have been phenomenal advancement even in wartime. Guess I'll go look into it.


...enlisted in Sept 1939...made Signalman 3/c on board USCG Spencer by early 1941...volunteered for service on APA Hunter Liggett in mid-1941 when the nucleus of 21st Amphib Force was being formed...served in Lunga Point Boat Pool after initial landing on Guadalcanal.

If the ranks back then were the same as today then E-1 thru E-3 would be "Unrated", Signalman 3/c would be E-4 and Signalman 1/c would be E-6. Making E-4 in two years would seem reasonable for the peacetime "Navy". Advancement to E-6 in the course of one year seems sorta like something that might happen in a rapidly expanding part of a rapidly expanding "Navy" (the USCG was incorporated into the Navy officially in November 1941).

For those who haven't heard of this guy before:

http://www.uscg.mil/history/articles/Munro.asp

< Message edited by spence -- 10/10/2013 12:13:59 AM >

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/10/2013 12:18:09 AM   
SuluSea


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Capt. Jefferson J. DeBlanc, USMC

Capt. Joseph Foss, USMC

Major Robert E. Galer, USMC

Major John L. Smith, USMC

Lt. Col. Harold W. Bauer, USMC

These are the five USMC pilots I believe earned a Medal of Honor during the Guadalcanal Campaign. Could be wrong won't be the first time.

Here's an interesting site.

http://www.daveswarbirds.com/guadalcanal/photos-moh.htm

< Message edited by SuluSea -- 10/10/2013 12:27:42 AM >

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/10/2013 7:19:59 AM   
JeffroK


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Maybe the ratio you were looking for is shown in the Australian VC winners. (I have no doubt many of the Commonwealth Nations would have similar ratios)

Of the 99 Australian Army winners (some Aussies won the VC while in other Armies) 60 were awarded to the Other Ranks of Sergeant or lower. A substantial number were awarded to Lieutenants, many promoted from the ranks. VERY FEW were awarded to anyone above the rank of Captain. 15 of the 22 New Zealanders were from the Other Ranks, though Upham meeses the stat by picking up 2!!!

The criteria between being awarded a MOH or a VC are very different, as Congress is involved in the MOH there are a few more political presentations.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/10/2013 2:24:47 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

The source I used for my information is Strong Men Armed, by Robert Leckie. From a list in the appendix, here are the Marine MOH recipients from Guadalcanal (note that at least three of the six officers are infantry - Bailey, Edson and Vandegrift, so I'm not sure about Sulu's "5 of 6" were pilots):

6. Douglas Munro, Signal 1/c (is that a first corporal?)


My reaction to that one is it's Signalman First Class, which would be a USN petty officer. Maybe on detached duty with the Marines?

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/10/2013 11:59:09 PM   
pmelheck1

 

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two of the three enlisted are also NCO's while not the same NCO's as today (professional career soldiers) they were the field leadership just below the officer in the field. The leadership aspect could very well be part. All eyes on the officer/NCO while doing something really brave (or stupid or both)

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/11/2013 12:04:17 AM   
Feltan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mullk

two of the three enlisted are also NCO's while not the same NCO's as today (professional career soldiers) they were the field leadership just below the officer in the field. The leadership aspect could very well be part. All eyes on the officer/NCO while doing something really brave (or stupid or both)


+1

I really do think that is the key to explain it.

Regards,
Feltan

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/11/2013 1:21:45 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

My reaction to that one is it's Signalman First Class, which would be a USN petty officer. Maybe on detached duty with the Marines?


Signalman 1/c Douglas Munro was a US Coast Guardsman attached to the Lunga Boat Pool having previously served as a coxswain (small boat handler) in the crew of the USS Hunter Liggett and the USS McKawley. Many Coast Guardsmen were attached as landing craft drivers to the Navy transports of Transport Division 17 to man the ships landing craft because, as "surfmen" at CG lifeboat stations pre-war, they knew about handling small craft in the rough water along the shore. As a First Class Petty Officer (E-6) Munro was in charge of about 10-12 landing craft. He won his MOH for his command of those boats when they were called upon to evacuate the 1/7th Marines after that battalion found itself cut off in the middle of an IJA assembly area near Point Cruz. Munro was KIA when he covered the withdrawal of the last of the rear guard with his boat.

The Coast Guard is the hard core about which the Navy forms in time of war.

< Message edited by spence -- 10/11/2013 1:24:11 AM >

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/11/2013 2:07:53 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

The Coast Guard is the hard core about which the Navy forms in time of war.


And, as we were taught at our Navy daddy's knee, all Coasties are at least six feet tall, so they can wade ashore at all times.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/12/2013 1:12:41 AM   
cplprice

 

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The USMC Medal of Honor receipients for Guadalcanal were:

Kenneth D. Bailey, Major 1st Raider Bn.
John Basilone, Sgt. 1/7 (machinegunner)
Harold W. Bauer, Lt. Col. (pilot)
Anthony Casamento, Cpl. 1/5 (machinegunner)
Merritt Edson, Col., 1st Raider Bn
Joseph Foss, Captain (pilot)
Mitchell Paige, Platoon Sgt 2/7 (machinegunner)
John L. Smith, Major, (pilot)
Robert Galer, Major (pilot)
Alexander Vandegrift, Maj Gen, 1st Marine Division

Four additional Marines were awarded the Medal while flying from Guadalcanal after the campaign proper had ended.

Gregory Boynton, Major, (pilot)
Kenneth Walsh, 1st Lt. (pilot)
James E. Swett, 1st Lt. (pilot)
Jefferson DeBlanc, 1st Lt. (pilot)

I think that you will find that for this battle, being awarded the Medal of Honor had more to do with circumstances and the nature of the battle than it had to do with rank. It should be interesting to note that there were three officers and three enlisted ground troop, awardees. All the enlisted were machine gunners. There were also a number of Navy Crosses awarded to the same because most of the crucial early battles were defensive in nature. For example Al Schmid and Cpl LeRoy Diamond won theirs for the battle of Alligator Creek/Tenaru. Diamond was severely wounded and Schmid had been blinded by a grenade, but they stuck to their gun Schmid firing and clearing stoppages and Diamond directing his fire. In the morning there were 200+ dead Japanese in front of his gun and the line had held. All these machine gunners were at the right place at a crucial moment and saved the battle by their heroic actions. Of the three officers two received theirs for the 12-13 September battle for Edson's Ridge. When the line was breaking and the fate of the perimeter was at stake they both through personal example, and exposing themselves to enemy fire rallied troops, reorganized shattered units, prevented tactical withdrawls from turning into full scale retreats and routes. Repositioned troops, directed fire, Bailey with a serious head wound, led counterattacks, etc over at least a 10 hour fight. It's one thing to be fighting bravely in your hole, it's another to be moving hole to hole, reassuring and steadying the troops, directing and coordinating their fire. The situation was sufficiently grave that they could have reasonably withdrawn. They didn't. Vandegrift could have at anytime said, "we can't win" and could have asked for his division to be withdrawn. There was a time during the battle when it appeared that all was lost, the divisional records were being burned and orders were issued that whatever part of the division survived should break into small units, flee to the hills and conduct a guerilla campaign. The commanders courage and resolution never failed.
There were an inordinate number of flyer awards again due to the situation. Often outnumbered and short on supplies and aircraft, against superior enemy forces they fought day after day. Bauer is a good example, while ferrying planes to Guadalcanal, after a 600 mile trip, knowing he was alone and almost out of fuel, he spoted an enemy air attack on a friendly destroyer. He attacked an entire squadron by himself, shot down four and left a 5th enemy plane smoking.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/12/2013 5:47:03 PM   
SuluSea


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quote:

ORIGINAL: cplprice

The USMC Medal of Honor receipients for Guadalcanal were:

Kenneth D. Bailey, Major 1st Raider Bn.
John Basilone, Sgt. 1/7 (machinegunner)
Harold W. Bauer, Lt. Col. (pilot)
Anthony Casamento, Cpl. 1/5 (machinegunner)
Merritt Edson, Col., 1st Raider Bn
Joseph Foss, Captain (pilot)
Mitchell Paige, Platoon Sgt 2/7 (machinegunner)
John L. Smith, Major, (pilot)
Robert Galer, Major (pilot)
Alexander Vandegrift, Maj Gen, 1st Marine Division

Four additional Marines were awarded the Medal while flying from Guadalcanal after the campaign proper had ended.

Gregory Boynton, Major, (pilot)
Kenneth Walsh, 1st Lt. (pilot)
James E. Swett, 1st Lt. (pilot)
Jefferson DeBlanc, 1st Lt. (pilot)




I agree with all except history shows Capt. Jefferson DeBlanc won his Medal of Honor on 31 January 1943 for his actions over Kolombangara. Historians tell us the end of the Guadalcanal Campaign was 9 February 1943.

At the time he flew his mission Allied leadership noting the increased shipping in the area believed the Japanese were going to make another push for the island with reinforcements. The Allies had no idea the Japanese were undergoing evacuation of the island using Operation Ke - 14 January 1943 to 7 February 1943.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/13/2013 10:13:14 AM   
MDDgames

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SuluSea

Capt. Jefferson J. DeBlanc, USMC

Capt. Joseph Foss, USMC

Major Robert E. Galer, USMC

Major John L. Smith, USMC

Lt. Col. Harold W. Bauer, USMC

These are the five USMC pilots I believe earned a Medal of Honor during the Guadalcanal Campaign. Could be wrong won't be the first time.

Here's an interesting site.

http://www.daveswarbirds.com/guadalcanal/photos-moh.htm


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_E._Swett

I met Swett, Deblanc, Foss, and 2 others on your list (cant recall which off the top of my head) at an airshow one year. I spent a fair amount of time talking to Swett. Foss sure liked to talk about himself a lot, and clearly Deblanc didnt like him.

My personal opinion, though I like Swett, and respect the hell out of him, he really didnt deserve a MoH. He shot down 8 Vals in 1 sortie. But, by his own admission, it was like shooting ducks. They were forbidden to do any evasive maneuvers, they just flew along straight and level and let him shoot them down 1 at a time. The 8th one, the gunner got his engine. The gunners face haunted him at least to the day I talked with him. He was close enough to see him clearly.

< Message edited by MDDgames -- 10/13/2013 10:20:41 AM >

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/13/2013 8:08:07 PM   
Symon


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Yeah, I like the subjective part. Schleppin down the I-5 from San Clemente to Oceanside one encounters Basilone Road. It's right up there by San Onofre, and big time surf. I think John Basilone would have loved to have his name given to a bunch of out-of-control old men who surf at a beach named for him.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/14/2013 4:39:40 AM   
MDDgames

 

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The bridge from Duluth Mn to Superior Wi (US 2) is the Richard Bong bridge. Keep going east on US 2 and you pass through his hometown (Popular, Wi).

The airport in Milwaukee, Wi is General Mitchell international airport. He was born in France, but grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis.

< Message edited by MDDgames -- 10/14/2013 5:07:41 AM >

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/15/2013 12:25:12 AM   
JohnDillworth


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General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. was awarded the MOH for his distinguished service on June 6th 1944. did he deserve it? Perhaps. Based on my reading it's hard to say there were not at least 1,000 others who were equally or more deserving. Unlike most recipients, he survived the battle that earned him the award. I suspect most of the truly deserving died with their deeds unrecognized. I think if you were there in August 1942 or June 1944 or pick you time and battlefield for whatever nationality you were a hero. Didn't Lincoln say something about extraordinary times making the expeditionary man?

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/15/2013 1:18:12 AM   
dereck


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I'm guessing Douglas Munro, Signalman 1st Class and was the Coast Guardsman mentioned who received the MOH on Guadalcanal.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

The source I used for my information is Strong Men Armed, by Robert Leckie. From a list in the appendix, here are the Marine MOH recipients from Guadalcanal (note that at least three of the six officers are infantry - Bailey, Edson and Vandegrift, so I'm not sure about Sulu's "5 of 6" were pilots):

1. Kenneth Bailey, major
2. John Basilone, sergeant
3. Merritt Edson, colonel
4. Joseph Foss, captain
5. Robert Galer, major
6. Douglas Munro, Signal 1/c (is that a first corporal?)
7. Mitchell Paige, platoon sergeant
8. John Smith, major
9. Archer Vandegrift, major general



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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/15/2013 7:58:55 AM   
JeffroK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JohnDillworth

General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. was awarded the MOH for his distinguished service on June 6th 1944. did he deserve it? Perhaps. Based on my reading it's hard to say there were not at least 1,000 others who were equally or more deserving. Unlike most recipients, he survived the battle that earned him the award. I suspect most of the truly deserving died with their deeds unrecognized. I think if you were there in August 1942 or June 1944 or pick you time and battlefield for whatever nationality you were a hero. Didn't Lincoln say something about extraordinary times making the expeditionary man?


The British system would award a Knighthood or similar in this circumstance, for example all of the Corps Commanders were knighted after the japanese "March on Delhi". This allowed the Victoria Cross to be kept for combat situations, after all FOR VALOUR is on the medal.

As the US got rid of the British system 230 years ago, they have used the MoH to cover both categories which can sometimes lead to "undeserving" awardees when looking from a purely combat view.

The US also changed the criteria which led to fewer occasions which in the British System might see a George Cross awarded (The USN was handing them out for saving drowning sailor & civilians.

CR, I think if you look at the bigger picture of WW2, the MoH was probably awarded to Other Ranks about 50-60% of the time, not far off other Nations and more in line with your expectations.

< Message edited by JeffK -- 10/15/2013 8:53:27 AM >


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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/15/2013 9:12:04 AM   
JeffroK


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In a barely linked thread:

3 men have been awarded the Victoria Cross & Bar, or 2 seperate Medals.

Apart from this, what links them together???

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/15/2013 8:09:24 PM   
Symon


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I must say I like the UK/Commonwealth system of awarding decorations better than ours. Back in my day, two or three rows over the left breast was sufficient. If you were good, foreign, maybe three or four 'authorized' decorations over your right breast. You could meet a man in his class As and do a quick eye twitch and know just how gnarly this fellow was (is).

Nowdays, our generals measure themselves by the number of inches of ribbons they have. They must have 50 pounds of metal dragging them to the left. No wonder they get back problems. It is an utter joke. They look worse than the Argentines, especially what with the new uniform.

I have always been a believer in minimalism. The more crap on your uniform, the less likely you are to have been worth it. Just IMHO.

Cio. JWE

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/16/2013 6:53:18 PM   
reg113


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+1

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/16/2013 9:41:28 PM   
geofflambert


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Any opinion as to whether Van der Grift deserved his?

Speaking of 6' CG men, there was a height limit for the Navy, anyone know what it was? Bill DeBlasio's dad (Bill's running for NYC mayor) was too tall and enlisted in the Army instead. Was there a limit for Marine pilots? You can only squeeze so much body into one of those cockpits.

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/16/2013 9:47:12 PM   
geofflambert


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There's a list here: http://www.worldwar2history.info/Medal-of-Honor/Guadalcanal.html Doesn't mention the General, but does an Admiral posthumously (Savo Island).

Five of eleven were enlisted on that list.

< Message edited by geofflambert -- 10/16/2013 9:51:08 PM >

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RE: Marine Medal of Honor Recipients at Guadalcanal - 10/17/2013 7:01:38 AM   
JeffroK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

In a barely linked thread:

3 men have been awarded the Victoria Cross & Bar, or 2 seperate Medals.

Apart from this, what links them together???


Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC & Bar, MC (9 November 1884 – 4 August 1917)
The battlefield of Guillemont was to see acts of heroism by Captain Chavasse, the only man to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the First World War. In 1916, Chavasse was hit by shell splinters while rescuing men in no-man's land. It is said he got as close as 25 yards from the German line, where he found three men and continued throughout the night under a constant rain of sniper bullets and bombing. He performed similar heroics in the offensive at Passchendaele to gain a second VC and become the most highly decorated British serviceman in the war. Although operated upon, he was to die of his wounds two days later in 1917.

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Martin-Leake VC and Bar received his first VC in 1902 during the Boer War while serving as a surgeon captain in the South African Constabulary attached to the 5th Field Ambulance, and the Bar whilst serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps near Zonnebeke, Belgium in 1914.

Captain Charles Upham VC and Bar of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) Canterbury Battalion, for actions during the Battle of Crete in May 1941; his Bar as a captain during First Battle of El Alamein in July 1942.

When Chevasse was mortally wounded he was operated on by Martin-Leake, Upham was related on his wifes side of the family to Chevasse


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