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NOTE - After 19 years online, HomeOfHeroes.com may soon close it's doors.

Many of the HERO STORIES, history, citations and other information detailed in this website are, at least for now, available in PRINT or DIGITAL format from AMAZON.COM. The below comprise the nearly 4-dozen  "Home Of Heroes" books currently available.

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Medal of Honor Books

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This series of books contains the citations for ALL Medals of Honor awarded to that branch of service, with brief biographical data and photos of many of the recipients. Some of them also include citations for other awards, analysis of awards, data tables and analysis and more. These are LARGE volumes, each 8 1/2" x 11" and more than 500 pages each. Click on a book to find it on Amazon.com where you can find more details on what is contained in each book, as well as to get a free preview. Each volume is $24.95.

Heroes in the War on Terrorism

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NAVY    -  MARINES   -  AIR FORCE   - ARMY O.E.F.  - ARMY O.I.F.

These books contain the citations for nearly all of the awards of the Silve Star and higher to members of each branch of service in the War on Terrorism. Books include photos of most recipients, some biographical data, analysis of awards by rank, unit, date, and more.

ENCYCLOPEDIA of AMERICAN MILITARY HEROES

With the 5 Medal of Honor volumes above, these compilations comprise a virtual 28-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA of decorated American heroes(15,000 pages)  with award citations, history, tables & analysis, and detailed indexes of ACEs, FLAG OFFICERS, and more. (Click on any book to see it in Amazon.com - $24.95 Each Volume)

United States Army Heroes

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Medals
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1873 - 1941 Korea Vietnam 1862 - 1960 RVN - Present

United States Navy Heroes

Navy Cross Silver Star Navy Corpsmen
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1915 - 1941 WWII Korea - Present WWII

United States Marine Corps Heroes

Navy Cross Silver Star
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1915 - WWII Korea - Present 1900 - 1941 WWII 1947 - Korea Vietnam - Present

WINGS OF VALOR
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The Defining Generation
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Visit My
AUTHOR PAGE

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News From The Past


November 18, 2003

 

 

Col. Mitchell Paige, 
Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies



  By Adam Bernstein
 Washington Post Staff Writer
 Tuesday, November 18, 2003; Page B06

 Mitchell Paige, 85, a retired Marine Corps colonel who received the Medal of Honor after almost single-handedly staving off enemy forces during a crucial battle of World War II, died Nov. 15 at his home in La Quinta, Calif., southeast of Palm Springs. He had congestive heart failure.

On Oct. 26, 1942, Col. Paige, who was then a sergeant, was leading a platoon defending a small but strategic airfield on jungle-covered Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The islands and the airstrip, Henderson Field, were key positions in the defense of Australia.

Col. Paige and his 33 men placed their few machine guns on a hilltop ridge, bracing for the inevitable: thousands of Japanese soldiers planning to rush them at night. 

To hear any sneak attack, Col. Paige placed C ration tins filled with empty bullet casings about 20 yards away, near the tall grass.

It was, in fact, a noisy assault. He said the Japanese yelled in the darkness "Banzai!" and "Blood for the emperor!" One of his own men started a chorus of "Blood for Eleanor!" referring to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Because of the sheer volume of Japanese troops he faced, Col. Paige ordered members of his platoon to fire until they or the enemy were dead or wounded. 

Soon, he was the only able-bodied American left on the ridge and solely held the Japanese at bay. In the pre-dawn, he darted from one machine gun to another, firing constantly to make the Japanese think he had a fully manned defense.

He was under ceaseless threat. At one point, he said, he felt the heat from bullets that whizzed past his neck. His metal helmet also was struck by gunfire.

As the battle waged into morning, he knew the enemy would see he was the only one standing. 

By then, U.S. reinforcements had arrived with bayonets. Col. Paige grabbed one of his machine guns, still burning hot after hours of use and charged into enemy lines with the others.

The Japanese began their retreat.

Besides the Medal of Honor, the military's highest award for valor, Col. Paige's decorations included the Purple Heart. 

 He spent two more years in the South Pacific before returning home. He was a veteran of the Korean War and retired in 1964 as a full colonel. During the Vietnam War, he did advisory work to test high-powered rockets.

Col. Paige, the son of Serbian immigrants, was born in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of Charleroi.

On his 18th birthday, in 1936, he walked and hitchhiked to the nearest Marine Corps recruiting station -- in Baltimore, 200 miles away.

 After retiring, he spent years on a crusade to identify those who bought, stole and sold the Medal of Honor for profit or false glory. Starting in the mid-1990s, he worked in tandem with the FBI.

 "I couldn't arrest these guys before I got together with the FBI," he told Newsday in April, "but I scared the hell out of them and even got some of the medals back."

Working with Rep. Al McCandless (R-Calif.), Col. Paige successfully lobbied for a provision in a 1994 crime bill that increased the penalties for selling a Medal of Honor from six months in jail and a $250 fine to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

 A friend in the FBI also helped Col. Paige on another issue of great personal interest: becoming an Eagle Scout. His old paperwork had never been properly submitted before he enlisted in the Marine Corps. 

 In March, he received his Eagle Scout badge. "My heart is overwhelmed with joy," he said at the time.

 His first wife, Genevieve Paige, died in 1979.

 Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Marilyn Paige of La Quinta; two children from his first marriage, Mitchell J. Paige of Goddard, Kan., and Janis Bruha of San Mateo, Calif.; four stepchildren, Wendy Allaire of Laguna Hills, Calif., Judith Terry of Biggs, Calif., William Wylde of Whittier, Calif., and Robert Corey Wylde of Fullerton, Calif.; 15 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. 

 

2003, by Washington Post.com
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

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