Listen to this awesome story of a Marine single-handedly taking out a Japanese regiment at the Battle of Guadalcanal on the Solomon Islands during World War II.
The Battle of Guadalcanal was a huge campaign in the Pacific War where Japanese forces occupied lands in the Solomon Islands as well as New Guinea. They were trying to create naval and air bases that would provide for strategic positions that would protect them from getting flanked by Allied forces during their offensive.
Colonel Mitchell Paige received the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division for his actions on October 26, 1942. Marine Corps’ World War II Commandant, Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift presented Paige with the medal, according to Geni.
Paige said at daybreak he was firing his machine gun so the Japanese would believe there were many Marines up where he was, when in fact, he was alone. He says, they fell for it. There were 200 Marines that were supposed to be by Paige, but they couldn’t make it up the hill because they couldn’t make it through the flat land with the hail of fire from the enemy.
He said the waters were filled with Japanese ships sailing back and forth and they kept firing on them with three inch rounds, up to 14 inch rounds and everything in between. He said as his guns broke, he went on to another and then another to continue firing on the enemy. This continued until reinforcements arrived.
Once the help got there, Paige formed a new line and led an aggressive bayonet charge to force the enemy back and to stop them from breaking through the U.S. lines.
Paige enlisted in the Marine Corps on September 1, 1936 in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina, in November 1936. He was relocated to Quantico, Virginia and later was a gunner aboard the USS Wyoming.
Paige was deployed to Apia, British Samoa with the 7th Marines after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He was then transferred to Guadalcanal in September 1942. On December 19, 1942, Paige was commissioned a second lieutenant while still in Guadalcanal. He stayed there until January 1943, when he was sent to Melbourne, Australia, with the 1st Marine Division. Paige retired in 1959 with the rank of Colonel, according to Geni.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Paige was awarded the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, and the United Nations Service Medal.