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Search turned up nothing. I heard this story recently and wanted to share it.



On July 7, 1944, the battle to secure the Japanese occupied island of Saipan peaked in one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific War. The charge lasted over 15 hours and brought the total losses for the island battle to over 30,000. The next morning, American Marine reconnaissance patrols edged their dangerous way forward to map out Japanese lines. As one patrol approached the seacliffs which line the north side of the island, they were greeted by a rare sight. On the flats at the top of the cliff was a single American Marine surrounded by hundreds of Japanese troops, many of them still armed. One might have thought that this Marine was experiencing his last moments on earth. But as the incredulous scouts looked on, it became apparent that the lone Marine was actually ordering his hundreds of "prisoners" into smaller groups, even as more Japanese streamed quietly up from their ocean-side caves. Eventually, 800 Japanese soldiers and civilians surrendered on this one morning, an astonishing number considering that the battle for Tarawa a few months earlier had produced only 146 prisoners from a total garrison of nearly 5,000.

That lone Marine was Private Guy Gabaldon, and by the time of his July 8 "bagging" of 800 prisoners he had already become well known on Saipan for his capture of hundreds of other die-hard enemy troops using a brisk combination of fluent Japanese and point-blank carbine fire. Indeed, his performance was so impressive that he was awarded almost total discretion by his superiors and his solo raids into Japanese lines soon became a hot topic of discussion.

His routine previous to July 8 had been simple but effective; carefully approach a cave, shoot any guards outside, move off to one side of the cave and yell "You're surrounded and have no choice but to surrender. Come out, and you will not be killed! I assure you will be well treated. We do not want to kill you!" At this point, anyone running out with a weapon would be immediately shot, but anyone coming out slowly would be talked into returning to the cave and bringing out others.

On his first sortie Guy captured seven prisoners using this method, only to be told by his commander that if he deserted his post again he would be court-marshalled. The next morning Guy returned from another unauthorized trip, this time with 50 Japanese prisoners. From that moment Guy was granted the envious privilege of "lone wolf" operator. He could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. The perfect task for a tough Chicano kid from the East Los Angeles barrios.

On July 6, Guy left on another of his evening patrols and entered an area near Saipan's northern cliffs. It seemed fairly deserted at the time, but before daybreak he realized that hundreds of enemy infantry were moving onto the flats and gathering for an assault. By this time he was cut off from any path of retreat and any attempt to show himself would have resulted in a quick and noisy death. He remained under cover and listened as thousands of Japanese troops and some civilians drank sake and loudly prepared for the largest banzai charge of the campaign. This tragic and unsuccessful charge ended late that evening, with most of the remaining Japanese returning to their cliff-side positions.

The next morning, Guy crept to the edge of the cliffs where he quickly captured two guards. It was then that he embarked on the most risky of his many ventures. After talking to the two men he convinced one of them to return to the caves below. This was a personal moment of truth for both of them. If the soldiers below were still too agitated, then everyone involved would face immediate death and a disgraceful one at that for the two guards. Shortly afterward a Japanese officer and some of his men walked slowly up from the caves and sat down in front of Gabaldon. Within an hour hundreds of Japanese infantry accompanied by civilians began surrendering en-masse; the gamble paid off.

This climactic morning did not end Guy's prisoner-taking days. By the time he was machine-gunned in an ambush, he single-handedly captured over 1,500 soldiers and civilians from the most fanatically inclined army in the world. Decades later stories of the "Pied Piper of Saipan" continued to be told and retold within the Marine Corps, although they were considered by some to be one of many great fish stories of World War Two.

Saipan veterans, however, knew these stories to be true. Guy's actions were witnessed by dozens of officers and hundreds of line soldiers, many of whom repeatedly went on record affirming the dozens of lone sorties and hundreds of prisoners. While the war still raged, his commanders requested that Guy receive the Medal of Honor, but somehow a silver star arrived, which was only later elevated to a Navy Cross. And while many contrasted Guy's 1,500 Japanese prisoners to Alvin York's 132 German prisoners, the United States Marine Corps of the 1940s did not arrange time for further investigation and so the matter lay dormant.

Only in 1998 did veterans become anxious to resolve this long delayed case and push for Guy's Medal of Honor. That year and through 2000, the City of Los Angeles and several district Congressional representatives petitioned the Navy to investigate this matter to help assure a fair resolution. As of this writing, no change in status had been granted.



Guy did get his medal…

More on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Gabaldon


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14671810/
 

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Search turned up nothing. I heard this story recently and wanted to share it.



On July 7, 1944, the battle to secure the Japanese occupied island of Saipan peaked in one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific War. The charge lasted over 15 hours and brought the total losses for the island battle to over 30,000. The next morning, American Marine reconnaissance patrols edged their dangerous way forward to map out Japanese lines. As one patrol approached the seacliffs which line the north side of the island, they were greeted by a rare sight. On the flats at the top of the cliff was a single American Marine surrounded by hundreds of Japanese troops, many of them still armed. One might have thought that this Marine was experiencing his last moments on earth. But as the incredulous scouts looked on, it became apparent that the lone Marine was actually ordering his hundreds of "prisoners" into smaller groups, even as more Japanese streamed quietly up from their ocean-side caves. Eventually, 800 Japanese soldiers and civilians surrendered on this one morning, an astonishing number considering that the battle for Tarawa a few months earlier had produced only 146 prisoners from a total garrison of nearly 5,000.

That lone Marine was Private Guy Gabaldon, and by the time of his July 8 "bagging" of 800 prisoners he had already become well known on Saipan for his capture of hundreds of other die-hard enemy troops using a brisk combination of fluent Japanese and point-blank carbine fire. Indeed, his performance was so impressive that he was awarded almost total discretion by his superiors and his solo raids into Japanese lines soon became a hot topic of discussion.

His routine previous to July 8 had been simple but effective; carefully approach a cave, shoot any guards outside, move off to one side of the cave and yell "You're surrounded and have no choice but to surrender. Come out, and you will not be killed! I assure you will be well treated. We do not want to kill you!" At this point, anyone running out with a weapon would be immediately shot, but anyone coming out slowly would be talked into returning to the cave and bringing out others.

On his first sortie Guy captured seven prisoners using this method, only to be told by his commander that if he deserted his post again he would be court-marshalled. The next morning Guy returned from another unauthorized trip, this time with 50 Japanese prisoners. From that moment Guy was granted the envious privilege of "lone wolf" operator. He could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. The perfect task for a tough Chicano kid from the East Los Angeles barrios.

On July 6, Guy left on another of his evening patrols and entered an area near Saipan's northern cliffs. It seemed fairly deserted at the time, but before daybreak he realized that hundreds of enemy infantry were moving onto the flats and gathering for an assault. By this time he was cut off from any path of retreat and any attempt to show himself would have resulted in a quick and noisy death. He remained under cover and listened as thousands of Japanese troops and some civilians drank sake and loudly prepared for the largest banzai charge of the campaign. This tragic and unsuccessful charge ended late that evening, with most of the remaining Japanese returning to their cliff-side positions.

The next morning, Guy crept to the edge of the cliffs where he quickly captured two guards. It was then that he embarked on the most risky of his many ventures. After talking to the two men he convinced one of them to return to the caves below. This was a personal moment of truth for both of them. If the soldiers below were still too agitated, then everyone involved would face immediate death and a disgraceful one at that for the two guards. Shortly afterward a Japanese officer and some of his men walked slowly up from the caves and sat down in front of Gabaldon. Within an hour hundreds of Japanese infantry accompanied by civilians began surrendering en-masse; the gamble paid off.

This climactic morning did not end Guy's prisoner-taking days. By the time he was machine-gunned in an ambush, he single-handedly captured over 1,500 soldiers and civilians from the most fanatically inclined army in the world. Decades later stories of the "Pied Piper of Saipan" continued to be told and retold within the Marine Corps, although they were considered by some to be one of many great fish stories of World War Two.

Saipan veterans, however, knew these stories to be true. Guy's actions were witnessed by dozens of officers and hundreds of line soldiers, many of whom repeatedly went on record affirming the dozens of lone sorties and hundreds of prisoners. While the war still raged, his commanders requested that Guy receive the Medal of Honor, but somehow a silver star arrived, which was only later elevated to a Navy Cross. And while many contrasted Guy's 1,500 Japanese prisoners to Alvin York's 132 German prisoners, the United States Marine Corps of the 1940s did not arrange time for further investigation and so the matter lay dormant.

Only in 1998 did veterans become anxious to resolve this long delayed case and push for Guy's Medal of Honor. That year and through 2000, the City of Los Angeles and several district Congressional representatives petitioned the Navy to investigate this matter to help assure a fair resolution. As of this writing, no change in status had been granted.



Guy did get his medal…

More on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Gabaldon


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14671810/
I assume you heard the interview of the author of the book (who had a chapter on Guy Gabaldon) on NPR this weekend. Very interesting...and an amazing story.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #3
I assume you heard the interview of the author of the book (who had a chapter on Guy Gabaldon) on NPR this weekend. Very interesting...and an amazing story.
I did and you're right, it was terrific. (I love NPR.)
 
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