Born: August 31, 1918
War: World War II
Rank: Platoon Sergeant, U.S.
Location of action: Solomon Islands
Date of action: October 26, 1942
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 fire of his gunners until all of 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 breakthrough 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.
Colonel Mitchell Paige is the sole surviving Medal of Honor
recipient from the ground battle for Guadalcanal, America’s
first ground offensive of World War II. Paige enlisted in the
Marine Corps in September 1936, and he went to recruit training
at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Paige has held practically every rank and assignment in a Marine
Corps Infantry battalion, from private to commanding officer.
He received a Field Commission from platoon sergeant to second
lieutenant at Guadalcanal in December 1942. His field experience
has taken him to Cape Gloucester, China, Cuba, Guadalcanal,
Japan, Korea, New Britain Island, New Guinea, Pavuvu, the Philippines,
the Russell Islands, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam.
After retirement in July 1964, Paige researched and developed
miniature rockets, miniature rocket weapons systems, penetration
aids, and hypervelocity acceleration. He assisted in the design
and development of a four-inch rocket launcher capable of firing
13mm gyro-jet flares, smoke, radar chaff and explosive rounds
while work’ing at MB Associates Science and Rocketry in
San Ramon, California. He used the 13mm hand gun and 13mm Foliage
Penetrating Signal Distress Kit in combat in Vietnam in 1967,
with orders from President Johnson. Paige was involved in research
and development of air-inflated devices and related recovery
equipment. He invented the “TUPIT” (The Universal
Paige Inflatable Tent),which he donated to the Army laboratories
in Natick, Massachusetts.
Paige is the author of an autobiography, “A Marine Named
Mitch,” published in 1975, and he is a member of the Congressional
Medal of Honor Society, Army and Navy Legion of Valor, Military
Order of the Purple Heart, First Marine Division Association,
Marine Corps League, British Royal Marines, Guadalcanal Campaign
Veterans, National Order of Battlefield Commissions, Disabled
American Veterans, American Legion, AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign
Wars, Naval Order of the United States, and the Marine Corps
Paige was “special ambassador,” representing the president,
with the United States State Department in the Solomon Islands,
at the 10th anniversary celebrating Guadalcanal’s independence.
He is the liaison officer from the Congressional Medal of Honor
Society to the FBI and works with an assigned special agent
exposing Medal of Honor imposters.
Watch video clip of Mitchell Paige.