Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps

David M. Shoup

Details
  • Rank: Colonel (Highest Rank: General)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    2d Marines,
    2d Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: November 20 - 22, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops in action against enemy Japanese forces on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands from 20-22 November 1943. Although severely shocked by an exploding enemy shell soon after landing at the pier and suffering from a serious, painful leg wound which had become infected, Col. Shoup fearlessly exposed himself to the terrific and relentless artillery, machine-gun, and rifle fire from hostile shore emplacements. Rallying his hesitant troops by his own inspiring heroism, he gallantly led them across the fringing reefs to charge the heavily fortified island and reinforce our hard-pressed, thinly held lines. Upon arrival onshore, he assumed command of all landed troops and, working without rest under constant, withering enemy fire during the next two days, conducted smashing attacks against unbelievably strong and fanatically defended Japanese positions despite innumerable obstacles and heavy casualties. By his brilliant leadership, daring tactics, and selfless devotion to duty, Col. Shoup was largely responsible for the final decisive defeat of the enemy, and his indomitable fighting spirit reflects great credit upon the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient David M. Shoup
Medal of Honor Recipient David M. Shoup
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Indiana
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: January 22, 1945
    Presented by Sec. of the Navy James V. Forrestal
  • Born: December 30, 1904, Battle Ground, Tippecanoe County, IN, United States
  • Died: January 13, 1983, Alexandria, VA, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (7-A-189), Arlington, VA, United States
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