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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

David M. Shoup


Section 7A, Grave 189

Gen. David M. Shoup (1904-1983) served as the 22nd commandant of the Marine Corps, from 1960 through 1963. During World War II, he received the Medal of Honor as commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops in the Battle of Tarawa (November 20-23, 1943), one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific Theater. His report from Tarawa stated simply: "Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning." Later, Shoup became known as a critic of the Vietnam War. 

Medal of Honor 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 to 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 on shore, he assumed command of all landed troops and, working without rest under constant, withering enemy fire during the next 2 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."