Marine Corps Trivia
For many of us, General Shoup was Commandant of the Marine Corps when we enlisted. For those of us that had the pleasure to serve under his command, his picture is in our platoon books. I for one, never really looked at the picture until today when it hit me. “Is that the Congressional Medal of Honor on his chest?” A little research showed that General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1960-1963 is indeed a Medal of Honor recipient and his citation reads as follows.
SHOUP, DAVID MONROE
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, and Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943. Entered service at: Indiana. Born: 30 December 1904, Tippecanoe, Ind. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops in action against enemy Japanese forces on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, from 20 to 22 November 1943. Although severely shocked by an exploding enemy shell soon after landing at the pier and suffering from a serious, painful leg wound which had become infected, Col. Shoup fearlessly exposed himself to the terrific and relentless artillery, machinegun, and rifle fire from hostile shore emplacements. Rallying his hesitant troops by his own inspiring heroism, he gallantly led them across the fringing reefs to charge the heavily fortified island and reinforce our hard-pressed, thinly held lines. Upon arrival on shore, he assumed command of all landed troops and, working without rest under constant, withering enemy fire during the next 2 days, conducted smashing attacks against unbelievably strong and fanatically defended Japanese positions despite innumerable obstacles and heavy casualties. By his brilliant leadership daring tactics, and selfless devotion to duty, Col. Shoup was largely responsible for the final decisive defeat of the enemy, and his indomitable fighting spirit reflects great credit upon the U.S. Naval Service.
The Few. The Proud.