View Full Version : Another Marine Giant Passes.........

Phantom Blooper
11-21-03, 07:33 AM
> From: Greg Johnson
> To: Distribution A
> Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 3:34 PM
> Subject: DISPATCHES #975: A Marine Named Mitch
> It is with great regret I note the passing of a Marine legend this
> Colonel Mitchell Paige, USMC (Ret) passed away early yesterday morning.
> of the first things I remember my father telling me about Guadalcanal was
> how men like Colonel Paige secured Henderson Field so that the air element
> at Guadalcanal could come aboard. I was privileged to have had Colonel
> on this distribution for the past three years. The following note was
> by his wife...
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> - - - - - - - - -
> Dear Friends:
> My beloved husband, sweetheart, friend and hero passed away in my arms at
> 3:50 am this morning, November 15, 2003, of congestive heart failure. His
> long struggle with his heart is over and he is joyfully with the Lord
> there is more peace and love than this earth knows.
> Your friend,
> Marilyn Paige
> * * * * * *
> Services tentatively are to he held at Riverside National Cemetery in
> Southern California on 24 November Monday. The date & time are not secured
> ... please check with their internet link. Riverside Cemetery, 22495 Van
> Buren Blvd. Riverside, CA 92518 / (909) 653-8417
> http://www.interment.net/data/us/ca/riverside/rivnat/
> * * * * * *
> Epilogue: sent 26 October 2003
> Guadalcanal: 26 October 1942 (Sixty-one Years ago today.)
> Sergeant Mitch Paige and his machine gun platoon (36 Marines) were the
> force standing between a Japanese Regiment and their plan to shove the
> Marine Division from a fragile beachhead back into the sea. This 1500 man
> enemy regiment attacked all night. By the next morning Sergeant Paige was
> the only Leatherneck not killed or wounded. Nine Hundred and twenty enemy
> causalities were in front of his seven water cooled-thirty caliber machine
> guns. It had been one horrific night filled with hand to hand combat. The
> remaining attackers fled at sunrise back down the hill to their regimental
> command post as they were chased and shot by Sergeant Paige.
> President Roosevelt awarded the Medal of Honor to Mitch and a battlefield
> promotion to Lieutenant. This critical action in America's first offensive
> pacific campaign of the war was a turning point. Our Marines went on to
> victory throughout the South Pacific.
> Mitch always a humble man when recently asked by Colonel Bates and Major
> Prentice about his World War II action, he simply states, "I was just
> the job I was trained to do."
> Today's Mitch Paige has the same humility, the same candor and the same
> of America he has always had. Our country and Marines, past, present, and
> future, are lucky to have .... a Marine named Mitch.
> Last August 31, Mitch Paige turned 85 and is still fighting a battle
> heart disease in Southern California.
> This is a special year to remember Colonel Mitch and his charming wife
> Marilyn.
> Lest we forget....
> ..... from the book
> A Marine Named Mitch
> by Colonel Mitchell Paige U.S.M.C. (Retired)
> About 0200, in a silence so pervasive that men many yards apart could hear
> each other breathing, I began to sense movement all along the front and
> in the jungle below us and to our left. We could hear the muffled clanking
> of equipment and periodically, voices hissing in Japanese. These were
> undoubtedly squad leaders giving their instructions. At the same time,
> colored lights began flicking on and off throughout the jungle. I could
> Price whispering for me to come to his foxhole. I quietly crawled over to
> him and he had an excellent view of someone flicking a light on and off.
> Price said, 'I thought I was cracking up seeing all those fireflies.' I
> assured him he was not cracking up because those were lights handled by
> Japanese soldiers. As I crawled around telling the men to glue their eyes
> and ears to anything and reminded them that the small lights we were
> were assembly signals for the enemy squads, I again instructed everyone
> to fire their guns as the muzzle flash would give away our positions and
> that we would be raked with fire and smothered with grenades. We had to
> them get closer as we were outnumbered, but when things started popping I
> urged each man to just hang on.
> Earlier Jonjock, Swanek and I stretched a piece of wire out in front of
> position and hung several empty blackened ration cans on it. We put an
> cartridge case in each can which would rattle if hit by someone's foot. I
> had previously requested an artillery and mortar concentration. This was,
> however, denied because the enemy was still in the jungle where the effect
> would almost be nil. I then returned to my foxhole. Manning my number two
> gun was Corporal Raymond 'Big Stoop' Gaston and Private Samuel 'Muscles'
> Leiphart.
> Their gun was at the part of our line which bordered on the side where the
> jungle came up to meet the ridge. They both whispered to me that there was
> considerable rustling very near to the undergrowth. I said, 'Hold your
> fire.' Corporal Richard 'Moose' Stanberry arranged several grenades in a
> neat row in front of him, then nervously rearranged them. He was fond of
> Thompson sub-machine gun and I never worried about him as he was
> well-trained, a perfectly disciplined marine who could handle himself in
> situation. Now everyone
> was straining to hear and see.
> The bushes rustled and the maddening voices continued their soft sibilant
> mutterings, but still nothing could be seen. Then I dimly sensed a dark
> figure lurking near Gaston's position. I grabbed a grenade, pulled the pin
> and held the lever ready to throw it. Around me I could hear the others
> pulling pins as we did the night before. We heard the ration cans rattle
> then somebody let out a shriek and instantaneously the battle erupted.
> Grenades were exploding all over the ridge nose. Japanese rifles and
> guns fired blindly in the night and the first wave of enemy troops swarmed
> into our positions from the jungle flanking Gaston's gun. Stansberry was
> pulling the pins out of his grenades with his teeth and lobbing them down
> the slope into the jungle. Leiphart was skying them overhead like a
> pitcher. The tension burst like a balloon and many men found themselves
> cursing, growling, screaming like banshees. The Japanese were yelling
> Banzai! and 'Blood for the Emperor!' Stansberry, in a spontaneous tribute
> President Roosevelt's wife, shouted back, 'Blood for Eleanor!'
> The battleground was lit by flashes of machine-gun fire, pierced by the
> arching red patterns of tracer bullets, shaken by the blast of shells laid
> down no more than 30 yards in front of the ridge by Captain Louis Ditta's
> 60mm mortars. It was a confusing maelstrom, with dark shapes crawling
> the ground or swirling in clumped knots; struggling men falling on each
> other with bayonets, swords and violent oaths. After the first volley of
> American grenades exploded the wave of Japanese crowding onto the knoll
> thickened. Pfc. Charles H. Lock was killed from a burst of enemy
> fire.


Phantom Blooper
11-21-03, 07:38 AM
&gt; I screamed, 'Fire machine guns! Fire!' and with that all the machine guns <br />
&gt; opened up with all the rifles and tommy guns. In the flickering light, I <br />
saw <br />
&gt; a fierce struggle taking place for the...

Phantom Blooper
11-21-03, 07:40 AM
&gt; I said, 'Follow me!' and ordered several riflemen to fix bayonets and to <br />
&gt; follow us to form a skirmish line back across the ridge. I told the <br />
riflemen <br />
&gt; not to be afraid to use the bayonet. We...