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Congressional Medal of Honor
Heroes of Guadalcanal


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

KENNETH D. BAILEY

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps.
Place and date: As Commanding Officer of Company C, 1st Marine Raider Battalion, during the enemy Japanese attack on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 12-13 September 1942.
Born: 21 October 1910, Pawnee, Oklahoma.
Appointed from: Illinois.
Other Navy awards: Silver Star Medal.

Completely reorganized following the severe engagement of the night before, Maj. Bailey's company, within an hour after taking its assigned position as reserve battalion between the main line and the coveted airport, was threatened on the right flank by the penetration of the enemy into a gap in the main line. In addition to repulsing this threat, while steadily improving his own desperately held position, he used every weapon at his command to cover the forced withdrawal of the main line before a hammering assault by superior enemy forces.

After rendering invaluable service to the battalion commander in stemming the retreat, reorganizing the troops and extending the reverse position to the left, Maj. Bailey, despite a severe head wound, repeatedly led his troops in fierce hand-to-hand combat for a period of 10 hours. His great personal valor while exposed to constant and merciless enemy fire, and his indomitable fighting spirit inspired his troops to heights of heroic endeavor which enabled them to repulse the enemy and hold Henderson Field. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


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Congressional Medal of Honor

JOHN BASILONE

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.
Place and date: While serving with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division in the Lunga Area, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, on 24 and 25 October 1942.
Born: 4 November 1916, Buffalo, New York.
Accredited to: New Jersey.
Other Navy award: Navy Cross.

While the enemy was hammering at the Marines' defensive positions, Sgt. Basilone, in charge of two sections of heavy machineguns, fought valiantly to check the savage and determined assault. In a fierce frontal attack with the Japanese blasting his guns with grenades and mortar fire, one of Sgt. Basilone's sections, with its guncrews, was put out of action, leaving only two men able to carry on. Moving an extra gun into position, he placed it in action, then, under continual fire, repaired another and personally manned it, gallantly holding his line until replacements arrived.

A little later, with ammunition critically low and the supply lines cut off, Sgt. Basilone, at great risk of his life and in the face of continued enemy attack, battled his way through hostile lines with urgently needed shells for his gunners, thereby contributing in large measure to the virtual annihilation of a Japanese regiment. His great personal valor and courageous initiative were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


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Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

HAROLD WILLIAM BAUER

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps.
Place and date: As Squadron Commander of Marine Fighting Squadron 212 in the South Pacific Area during the period 10 May to 14 November 1942.
Born: 20 November 1908. Woodruff, Kansas.
Appointed from: Nebraska.

Volunteering to pilot a fighter plane in defense of our positions on Guadalcanal, Lt. Col. Bauer participated in two air battles against enemy bombers and fighters outnumbering our force more than two to one, boldly engaged the enemy and destroyed one Japanese bomber in the engagement of 28 September and shot down four enemy fighter planes in flames on 3 October, leaving a fifth smoking badly.

After successfully leading 26 planes on an over-water ferry flight of more than 600 miles on 16 October, Lt. Col. Bauer, while circling to land, sighted a squadron of enemy planes attacking the U.S.S. McFarland. Undaunted by the formidable opposition and with valor above and beyond the call of duty, he engaged the entire squadron and, although alone and his fuel supply nearly exhausted, fought his plane so brilliantly that four of the Japanese planes were destroyed before he was forced down by lack of fuel.

His intrepid fighting spirit and distinctive ability as a leader and an airman, exemplified in his splendid record of combat achievement, were vital factors in the successful operations in the South Pacific Area.


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Congressional Medal of Honor

ANTHONY CASAMENTO

Rank and organization: Corporal, Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division.
Place and date: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1 November 1942.
Entered service at: Brooklyn, New York.
Born: 16 November 1920, Brooklyn, New York.

Serving as a leader of a machine gun section, Corporal Casamento directed his unit to advance along a ridge near the Matanikau River where they engaged the enemy. He positioned his section to provide covering fire for two flanking units and to provide direct support for the main force of his company which was behind him. During the course of this engagement, all members of his section were either killed or severely wounded and he himself suffered multiple, grievous wounds. Nonetheless, Corporal Casamento continued to provide critical supporting fire for the attack and in defense of his position. Following the loss of all effective personnel, he set up, loaded, and manned his unit's machine gun. tenaciously holding the enemy forces at bay. Corporal Casamento single-handedly engaged and destroyed one machine gun emplacement to his front and took under fire the other emplacement on the flank. Despite the heat and ferocity of the engagement, he continued to man his weapon and repeatedly repulsed multiple assaults by the enemy forces, thereby protecting the flanks of the adjoining companies and holding his position until the arrival of his main attacking force. Corporal Casamento's courageous fighting spirit, heroic conduct, and unwavering dedication to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.


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Congressional Medal of Honor

CHARLES W. DAVIS

Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army, 25th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Guadalcanal Island, 12 January 1943.
Entered service at: Montgomery, Alabama.
Born: Gordo, Alabama.
G.O. No.: 40, 17 July 1943.

On 12 January 1943, Maj. Davis (then Capt.), executive officer of an infantry battalion, volunteered to carry instructions to the leading companies of his battalion which had been caught in crossfire from Japanese machineguns. With complete disregard for his own safety, he made his way to the trapped units, delivered the instructions, supervised their execution, and remained overnight in this exposed position.

On the following day, Maj. Davis again volunteered to lead an assault on the Japanese position which was holding up the advance. When his rifle jammed at its first shot, he drew his pistol and, waving his men on, led the assault over the top of the hill. Electrified by this action, another body of soldiers followed and seized the hill. The capture of this position broke Japanese resistance and the battalion was then able to proceed and secure the corps objective.

The courage and leadership displayed by Maj. Davis inspired the entire battalion and unquestionably led to the success of its attack.


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Congressional Medal of Honor

MERRITT AUSTIN EDSON

Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps.
Place and date: As Commanding Officer of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, with Parachute Battalion attached, Solomon Islands, on the night of 13-14 September 1942.
Born: 25 April 1897, Rutland, Vermont.
Appointed from: Vermont.
Other Navy awards: Navy Cross with Gold Star, Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit with Gold Star.

After the airfield on Guadalcanal had been seized from the enemy on 8 August, Col. Edson, with a force of 800 men, was assigned to the occupation and defense of a ridge dominating the jungle on either side of the airport. Facing a formidable Japanese attack which, augmented by infiltration, had crashed through our front lines, he, by skillful handling of his troops, successfully withdrew his forward units to a reserve line with minimum casualties.

When the enemy, in a subsequent series of violent assaults, engaged our force in desperate hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, rifles, pistols, grenades, and knives, Col. Edson, although continuously exposed to hostile fire throughout the night, personally directed defense of the reserve position against a fanatical foe of greatly superior numbers. By his astute leadership and gallant devotion to duty, he enabled his men, despite severe losses, to cling tenaciously to their position on the vital ridge, thereby retaining command not only of the Guadalcanal airfield, but also of the 1st Division's entire offensive installations in the surrounding area.


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Congressional Medal of Honor

JOSEPH JACOB FOSS

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Fighting Squadron 121, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
Place and date: At Guadalcanal, 9-19 November 1942.
Entered service at: South Dakota.
Born: 17 April 1915, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from 9 October to 19 November 1942, Capt. Foss personally shot down 23 Japanese planes and damaged others so severely that their destruction was extremely probable. In addition, during this period, he successfully led a large number of escort missions, skillfully covering reconnaissance, bombing, and photographic planes as well as surface craft. On 15 January 1943, he added three more enemy planes to his already brilliant successes for a record of aerial combat achievement unsurpassed in this war. Boldly searching out an approaching enemy force on 25 January, Capt. Foss led his 8 F-4F Marine planes and four Army P-38's into action and, undaunted by tremendously superior numbers, intercepted and struck with such force that four Japanese fighters were shot down and the bombers were turned back without releasing a single bomb. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership, and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal.


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Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

WILLIAM G. FOURNIER

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Mount Austen, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 10 January 1943.
Entered service at: Winterport, Maine.
Born: Norwich, Connecticut.
G.O. No.: 28, 5 June 1943.

As leader of a machinegun section charged with the protection of other battalion units, Sgt. Fournier's group was attacked by a superior number of Japanese, his gunner killed, his assistant gunner wounded, and an adjoining guncrew put out of action.

Ordered to withdraw from this hazardous position, Sgt. Fournier refused to retire but rushed forward to the idle gun and, with the aid of another soldier who joined him, held up the machinegun by the tripod to increase its field action. They opened fire and inflicted heavy casualties upon the enemy.

While so engaged both these gallant soldiers were killed, but their sturdy defensive was a decisive factor in the following success of the attacking battalion.


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Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

LEWIS HALL

Rank and organization: Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army, Company M, 35th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Mount Austen, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 10 January 1943.
Entered service at: Obetz, Rural Station 7, Columbus, Ohio.
Born: 1895, Bloom, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 28, 5 June 1943.

As leader of a machinegun squad charged with the protection of other battalion units, his group was attacked by a superior number of Japanese, his gunner killed, his assistant gunner wounded, and an adjoining guncrew put out of action. Ordered to withdraw from his hazardous position, he refused to retire but rushed forward to the idle gun and with the aid of another soldier who joined him and held up the machinegun by the tripod to increase its field of action he opened fire and inflicted heavy casualties upon the enemy. While so engaged both these gallant soldiers were killed, but their sturdy defense was a decisive factor in the following success of the attacking battalion.


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Congressional Medal of Honor

DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO

Rank and organization: Signalman First Class, U.S. Coast Guard
Born: 11 October 1919, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Accredited to: Washington.

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Petty Officer in Charge of a group of 24 Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz Guadalcanal, on 27 September 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant strafing by enemy machineguns on the island, and at great risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was instantly killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


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Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

NORMAN SCOTT

Rank and organization: Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy.
Born: 10 August 1889, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Appointed from: Indiana.

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty during action against enemy Japanese forces off Savo Island on the night of 11-12 October and again on the night of 12-13 November 1942. In the earlier action, intercepting a Japanese Task Force intent upon storming our island positions and landing reinforcements at Guadalcanal, Rear Adm. Scott, with courageous skill and superb coordination of the units under his command, destroyed 8 hostile vessels and put the others to flight. Again challenged, a month later, by the return of a stubborn and persistent foe, he led his force into a desperate battle against tremendous odds, directing close-range operations against the invading enemy until he himself was killed in the furious bombardment by their superior firepower. On each of these occasions his dauntless initiative, inspiring leadership and judicious foresight in a crisis of grave responsibility contributed decisively to the rout of a powerful invasion fleet and to the consequent frustration of a formidable Japanese offensive. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


[To create this Medal of Honor information directory we used primary source materials from the U.S. Army Center for Military History. However, the official citations have been edited to make them more readable.]

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