Mitchell Paige

 

Portrait of Mitchell PaigeColonel Mitchell Paige (1918-2003) was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps 1 September 1936 and went to recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina.

 

He was the last surviving Medal of Honour recipient from the ground battle for Guadalcanal, America's first ground offensive of WWII. He 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 on 9 December 1942. Col. Paige completed a four year college equivalency in the Marine Corps. He was the director for all Marine Corps Schools in Japan 1954.

 

He attended the Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, Virginia and the Army Language School, Presidio of Monterey, California. His field experience has taken him to the Philippines, China, Cuba, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, New

guinea, Cape Gloucester, New Britain Island, Pavuvu, Russell Islands, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

 

After retirement on 1July 1964 he 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 13 mm gyro-jet flares, smoke, radar chaff and explosive rounds while working at MB Associates, Science and Rocketry, San Ramon, California. He used the 13 mm hand gun and 13 mm Foliage Penetrating Signal Distress Kit in combat in Vietnam in 1967, with orders from President Johnson. He 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, Mass. Author of an autobiography "A Marine Named Mitch" published in 1975.

 

United Nations Service MedalA complete list of the colonel's decorations and medals includes: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, the China Service Medal, the American Defence Service Medal with Base clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, the Victory Medal, the National Defence Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, and the United Nations Service Medal.

 

He has been speaker to numerous civilian and military groups since WWII. He was "Special Ambassador", representing the president, with The US State Department in the Solomon Islands, at the 10th anniversary celebrating Guadalcanal's independence.

 

He was the liaison officer from The Congressional Medal of Honour Society to the FBI and worked with an assigned Special Agent exposing MOH impostors. He was Marine, "GI Joe" Action Figure (WWII) produced in 1998 by Hasbro Toy Company. He was a member of California State Governors "Blue Ribbon Task Force" on veterans.

 

He was the recipient of numerous awards and letters of commendation from the government, civic and fraternal organizations.

 

 

Stamp catalogue

 

Solomon Islands                   7 August 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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last revised: 28 March 2010