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Posted: 11/18/2003 5:00:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2003 5:01:35 AM EDT by Hawkeye]
www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/111803/met_14072747.shtml


Marine Medal of Honor winner dies


Mitchell Paige served during WW II and got a belated Eagle Scout pin.


By CHARLIE PATTON
The Times-Union
Mitchell Paige, a legendary Marine Medal of Honor winner who in March received his Eagle Scout pin from the North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, has died.

Mr. Paige, who retired from the Marines as a colonel in 1964 after a heart attack, died early Saturday morning at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 85.

Mr. Paige, who became a Marine icon during action on Guadalcanal in World War II, was deeply moved by the belated Eagle Scout award. He wore it on every occasion on which he wore the Medal of Honor during the last year of his life, said Bill McCamy, a Jacksonville business executive and retired Navy helicopter pilot who helped arrange the honor and became a friend.

Mr. Paige, who enlisted in the Marines when he turned 18 in the fall of 1936, thought he had earned the Eagle Scout award during his senior year in high school in McKeesport, Pa. But apparently the paperwork was never filed.

A mortified Mr. Paige discovered years later that he was not on the official list of Eagle Scouts, which was especially embarrassing because he had helped expose more than 500 Medal of Honor impostors.

He mentioned his dilemma to Thomas A. Cottone Jr., an FBI special agent. Cottone investigated and verified that Paige had earned his Eagle Scout award. Cottone contacted friends who were active with the North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America. They took the issue to the organization's National Advancement Committee which authorized the award.

Mr. Paige got his Eagle Scout pin March 24 as part of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville's annual Eagle Scout Day, on which North Florida's 205 Eagle Scouts were honored.

After the ceremony, Mr. Paige's wife Marilyn said, "I've never seen a tear in his eye before."

Mr. Paige, who was a Marine sergeant at the time, won his Medal of Honor during action in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 1942, while commanding an under-strength platoon of 33 Marines assigned to hold a ridge near strategically crucial Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. In the course of fighting that began about 2 a.m., his platoon was attacked by a Japanese force he estimated at 2,500.

As dawn broke, Mr. Paige gathered together what was left of his command and led a charge down the ridge that broke the Japanese attack. He took a water-cooled machine gun off its tripod, cradling it in his arms and firing from the waist, an image that every Marine has seen in paintings and posters, said 1st Sgt. Steven A. Garcia, who led a Marine Color Guard from the Blount Island Command during the Eagle Scout ceremony.

Mr. Paige is survived by his wife, Marilyn, six children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.




Mr. Paige


33 vs 2,500. The Japanese didnt have a chance.

We are starting to loose our older warriors fast now it seems.

Link Posted: 11/18/2003 5:35:20 AM EDT
God bless him.

Another of The Greatest Generation has left us.
We are losing more and more of them every day. There are so few left with the will and the strength to fight the battles they fought...



Link Posted: 11/18/2003 5:39:19 AM EDT
"If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines."

Another Marine reporting for guard duty, Lord.

God rest him and keep him.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 5:56:10 AM EDT
Rest in peace,Marine.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 6:57:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kpel308:
"If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines."

Another Marine reporting for guard duty, Lord.

God rest him and keep him.



AMEN
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 7:31:19 AM EDT


Rest in peace Marine.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 7:31:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
God bless him.

Another of The Greatest Generation has left us.
We are losing more and more of them every day. There are so few left with the will and the strength to fight the battles they fought...






How true.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 7:35:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 7:44:15 AM EDT
After reading it again......can you imagine yourself in that position? I mean really? 33 men vs 2500. And then to not only HOLD your position, but to CHARGE THE ENEMY after your nummber have dropped BELOW the original 33??

I want to see the wheel barrow that Mr. Paige used to haul his gonads in because them things must be HUGE.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 8:11:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 8:54:39 AM EDT
One thing is for sure. If I make it to Heaven I won't have to worry about finding a secure LZ.
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 8:55:14 AM EDT
God bless him. Heroes like that are scarce these days.

My uncle might have been at Henderson Field while Mr. Paige was earning his MOH.
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