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Something to think about.

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/in-1942-it-came-down-to-one-marine-65931412.html

"As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully placing their four water-cooled .30-caliber Brownings, manning their section of the thin khaki line that was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault everyone expected on the night of Oct. 25, 1942, it's unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to what had previously been a mainly theoretical question: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against a desperate attacking force of 2,000?"
 

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Thanks for sharing. Great story. Great man. Great guns!
 

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Absolutely fabulous story

That is a great story.
 

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it is nice to hear about these folks in WW2. i like this one. just goes to show americans will go down to the last straw kicking ass and taking names....:D

robert
 

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Paige was also the fellow who had modified his crew's 1917A1s to fire around 1200 rounds per minute, between drilling holes in the bolts and changing out the drive springs. There is a good pic in Dolf's book of Paige, showing off a bullet damaged gun from the battle. It still has an early top cover pivot, left over from the 1917.
 

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Dag nabbit Lucky you are going to force me to break down and increase my library. My attic floor joist are creaking already!:D
 

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Marines are quite proud of there history, and of there heroes. It is taught to us all throughout the time we serve.
i'm very proud to be a part of that brotherhood, and Mitchell Paige is one of the Devil Dogs i learned about many many years ago. He was right up there with Chesty Puller, Dan Daily, John Basilone, and Pappy Boyington (among MANY others)

i have a hand signed print from Waterhouse signed by both Mitchell Paige, and Charles Waterhouse (who was also a world war 2 Marine hero) hanging on the wall.

 

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I was there last month. Tried to post a photo of an unknown type of MG, but it failed and I haven't tried again.

One of the local guys has started a museum focusing on small arms, and in less than a year he's amassed a collection of over 50 MGs, some of which still function!
 

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If the pic is a reasonable size send it over and I'll post it tomorrow.
 

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Every time I read about that story, it still makes my hair stand, and my chest gets tight. Bad to the bone.
It still amazes me what a man with a strong belief system can accomplish.
 

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John Basilone on Iwo, His Navy Cross and his death

http://www.marineswwii.com/pdfs/Searching for Manila John Basilone.pdf

Great first person account of Going ashore on Iwo Jima. Guy was a .30 cal gunner under Manila John Basilone and Basilone used him and his gun to destroy the pillbox to get off the beach. The author refers to Basilone straddling him and his gun unlatching it and picking it up by the carry handle and telling him to carry the belt. He the climbed to satchel blown pillbox that their flamethrower had just BBQd and took out the 9 survivors of the pillbox that were trying to wipe the burning napalm off themselves. He also chronicles watching artillery take out Basilone while he was coming back to his position with replacements.
makes me wonder if the unusual carry handle picture of marines on the beach in Chester Nimitz post is of the type carry handle they had on their 1919s. see the link below.
http://www.1919a4.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20542&highlight=basilone
 

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Off my M38 jeep had just converted to 8mm had feed issues working with guides all good now runs well.
 

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End of 1000 rnds

 

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In 1942, it came down to one Marine
George Evashwick Bullhead City




It’s hard to envision — or, for the dwindling few, to remember — what the world looked like on Oct. 26, 1942, when a few thousand U.S. Marines stood essentially stranded on the God-forsaken jungle island of Guadalcanal, placed like a speed bump at the end of the long blue-water slot between New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago, the most likely route for the Japanese Navy to take if they hoped to reach Australia.
On Guadalcanal, the Marines struggled to complete an airfield. Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto knew what that meant. No effort would be spared to dislodge these upstart Yanks. Before long, relentless Japanese counterattacks had driven supporting U.S. Navy vessels from inshore waters. The Marines were on their own.
As Platoon Sgt. Mitchell Paige and his 33 riflemen set about carefully placing their four water-cooled .30-caliber Brownings, manning their section of the thin khaki line that was expected to defend Henderson Field against the assault everyone expected on the night of Oct. 25, 1942, it’s unlikely anyone thought they were about to provide the definitive answer to what had previously been a mainly theoretical question: How many able-bodied U.S. Marines does it take to hold a hill against a desperate attacking force of 2,000?
Nor did the commanders of the mighty Japanese Army, who had swept all before them for decades — OK, they decided not to push Marshall Zhukov any further in Manchuria — expect their advance to be halted on some God-forsaken jungle ridge manned by one thin line of Yanks in khaki in October 1942.
But by the time the night was over, “The 29th (Japanese) Infantry Regiment has lost 553 killed or missing and 479 wounded among its 2,554 men,” writes naval historian David Lippman. “The 16th (Japanese) Regiment’s losses are uncounted, but the 164th’s burial parties handled 975 Japanese bodies. … The American estimate of 2,200 Japanese dead is probably too low.”
You’ve already figured out where the Japanese focused their attack, haven’t you? Among the 90 American dead and seriously wounded that night were all the men in Mitchell Paige’s platoon. As the night of endless attacks wore on, Paige moved up and down his line, pulling his dead and wounded comrades back into their foxholes and firing a few bursts from each of the four Brownings in turn, convincing the Japanese forces down the hill that the positions were still manned.
The citation for Paige’s Medal of Honor picks up the tale: “When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, P/Sgt. 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 fought with his gun, and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire.”
In the end, Sgt. Paige picked up the last of the 40-pound, belt-fed Brownings — the same design which John Moses Browning famously fired for a continuous 25 minutes until it ran out of ammunition, glowing cherry red, at its first U.S. Army trial — and did something for which the weapon was never designed. Sgt. Paige walked down the hill toward the place where he could hear the last Japanese survivors rallying to move around his flank, the belt-fed gun cradled under his arm, firing as he went.
And the weapon did not fail.
— — —
Coming up at dawn, battalion exec Maj. Odell M. Conoley was first to discover the answer to our question.
On a hill where the bodies were piled like cordwood, Mitchell Paige, alone, sat upright behind his 30-caliber Browning, waiting to see what the dawn would bring.
One hill. One Marine.
But “in the early morning light, the enemy could be seen a few yards off, and vapor from the barrels of their machine guns was clearly visible,” reports Lippman, the historian. “It was decided to try to rush the position.”
For the task, Maj. Conoley gathered together “three enlisted communication personnel, several riflemen, a few company runners who were at the point, together with a cook and a few messmen who had brought food to the position the evening before.”
Joined by Paige, this ad hoc force of 17 Marines counterattacked at 5:40 a.m. Discovering that “the extremely short range allowed the optimum use of grenades,” they cleared the ridge.
And that’s where the unstoppable wave of Japanese conquest finally crested, broke and began to recede. Sixty-seven years ago, on an unnamed ridge on an insignificant jungle island.
But who remembers, today, how close-run a thing it was — or why we found ourselves in such desperate straits in 1942?
When the Hasbro Toy Co. called some years back, asking permission to put the retired colonel’s face on a child’s doll, Mitchell Paige thought they must be joking.
But they weren’t. That’s his mug, on the little Marine issued as part of the “branches of the service” series by the makers of “G.I. Joe.”
— — —
On Nov. 15, 2003, a few years after I published the first version of this column, 85-year-old retired Marine Corps Col. Mitchell Paige died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, Calif., southeast of Palm Springs.
A dwindling number of the boys who fought in the Pacific — or in Europe or North Africa — are still with us. When they are gone, will the lessons they learned vanish with them? Those who cannot remember the past, recall, are condemned to have George Santayana quoted at them forever.
Is the lesson that we should fund a permanent expensive worldwide empire of military occupation? I don’t think so — doesn’t seem compatible, somehow, with a republican government of limited powers. Overstretched empires have a tendency to collapse from the center, anyway. In fact, our forces were pretty far-flung, as it was, in 1941 — though their apparent strength, in places like the Philippines, proved hollow.
But once, 85 long years ago, the arrogant victorious allies quibbled about whether bankrupt Germany should be made to pay them $4 billion or $10 billion in reparations over the next 60 years, as frustrated German veterans in Bavaria grew fed up and marched down to join the German Workers’ Party, an outfit that promised them a rebirth of Aryan glory, a “New Deal,” if you will.
Once, those who sought “peace, peace at any price” sold scrap steel to the Japanese, attended “peace conferences,” stood by and hoped for the best as Hitler re-militarized the Rhineland and then grabbed Austria and the Sudentenland in what we now know were a series of huge bluffs — the fuhrer started out using “tanks” that would barely have stood up to a cap pistol.
We gave away our advantages, one by one, based on our trust in the good will of man. Till it came down to one Marine.
Shall we have to cut it that close, again?
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the books “Send in the Waco Killers” and “The Black Arrow.” A version of this column first appeared in these pages more than a decade ago.
 
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