“Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, [Paige] 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 [of Japanese] until reinforcements finally arrived.”
Today marks the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. One man who made the Corps proud that he claimed the title of Marine was Mitchell Paige. Born to Serbian immigrants, his dream was to be a Marine. He ended up in the hell of Guadalcanal during WWII.
Unfortunately, however, during a fight with the Japanese, the machine guns overheated, and the American and Japanese forces were soon fighting a brutal hand-to-hand battle. Following the first attack, the Japanese swept the American left flank. In the dark, Paige suddenly realized he was the only Marine from his company still manning his machine gun line.
Alone, surrounded by a vicious enemy, his gun shot from under him, Paige didn’t back down. US Marine Mitchell Paige was supposed to hold the line, and that’s what he was doing, even with no one else to help him.
History Collection explains, “Paige found himself manning a machine gun position by himself, that was surrounded by an entire Japanese regiment. He kept pouring fire into the enemy, until his machine gun was shot up and put out of action. So he braved heavy fire and broke through enemy lines to a neighboring company.” Paige was facing an estimated 2,500+ Japanese opponents.
He found and commandeered a gun from the different company. He also found some riflemen, and in the morning Paige had them fix bayonets and charge the Japanese under heavy fire.
Paige’s last stand found the Marine alternating between four machine guns. When one was out of action, he moved to the next. But that wasn’t all—Paige also charged down a hill to disrupt a Japanese regrouping. And Paige held the line.
Read the rest on Substack
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