Mitchell Paige bigraphy, stories - United States Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient

Mitchell Paige : biography

August 31, 1918 - November 15, 2003

Colonel Mitchell Paige U.S.M.C. (Serbian:Михајло Пејић/Mihajlo Pejić!.html) (August 31, 1918 – November 15, 2003) was a recipient of the Medal of Honor from World War II. He received this, the highest military honor awarded by the United States of America, for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on October 26, 1942, where, after all of the other Marines in his platoon were killed or wounded, he operated four machine guns, singlehandedly stopping an entire Japanese regiment.

Later life and death

Paige retired in 1959 with the rank of Colonel. In retirement, Paige wrote a book about his experiences titled A Marine Named Mitch (published in 1975). In his later years, he served to ferret out imposters wearing or selling the Medal of Honor.

On November 15, 2003, Paige died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, California at the age of 85. He was the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the Guadalcanal campaign. He was buried with full military honors at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Honors and awards

Through his life Paige received numerous awards both as a member of the military and as a civilian. In addition to receiving the Medal of Honor, he was also an Eagle Scout and had a G.I. Joe action figure designed in his likeness.

Military awards

Among his numerous military decorations were: 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 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.

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Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Presidential Unit Citation Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal China Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two battle stars World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal Korean Service Medal Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon United Nations Service Medal

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to PLATOON SERGEANT MITCHELL PAIGE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

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.

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