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Captain Everett P. Pope-Usmc

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Essay title: Captain Everett P. Pope-Usmc

5 January 2002

EVERETT P. POPE

Captain Everett P. Pope was born on 16 July 1919 in

Milton, Massachusetts and joined the Marine Corps while living in that state. He currently resides in Fernandina Beach, Florida. He is a living recipient of the Marine Corps Medal of Honor for his valiant leadership against devastating odds during the actions against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group from 19 to 20 September, 1944. Captain Pope was the Commanding Officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines (1/1), 1st Marine Division during the battle of Peleliu.

The citation which, was signed by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, reads as follows:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer of Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, during the action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group, on 19-20 September, 1944. Subjected to point- blank cannon fire which caused heavy casualties and badly disorganized his company while assaulting a steep coral hill, Captain Pope rallied his men and gallantly led them to the summit in the face of machine-gun, mortar, and sniper fire. Forced by wide-spread hostile attack to deploy the remnants of his company thinly in order to hold the ground won, and with his machine-guns out of action and insufficient water and ammunition, he remained on the exposed hill with twelve men and one wounded officer, determined to hold through the night. Attacked continuously with grenades, machine-guns, and rifles from three sides and twice subjected to suicidal charges during the night, he and his valiant men fiercely beat back or destroyed the enemy, resorting to hand- to-hand combat as the supply of ammunition dwindled and still maintaining his lines with his eight remaining riflemen when daylight brought more deadly fire and he was ordered to withdraw. His valiant leadership against devastating odds while protecting the units below from heavy Japanese attack reflects the highest credit upon Captain Pope and the United States Naval Service."

Some important notes that are not mentioned in depth within the text of the citation, but can be realized through the writings of E.B. Sledge in his book "With the Old Breed" (Sledge was one of the riflemen that survived the action at Peleliu), are the extreme conditions that were encountered during this battle.

Captain Pope was twenty-five at the time of his actions on Peleliu, which is a fairly young age for the leader of an entire company. This may not seem like such a young age for an enlisted Marine of today, but for an officer, whose average starting age in the Marine Corps is twenty-two to twenty-four, this is definitely far younger than today's officers--much less a commander.

Numerically, the facts will jump out as this story unfolds. The battle started with an amphibious landing on the shores of Peleliu Island and the strength of Company C was 234 Marines. The Marines were receiving heavy fire from the Japanese that were shooting down from above a hilltop, and by the end of the first day, half of those Marines were gone. When Captain Pope received the orders to take control of the steep

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