Everett P. Pope
Company C, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps. Awarded for actions in Peleliu Island, Palau group.
September 19, 1944
Born July 16, 1919, in Milton, MA, and accredited to Quincy, MA, Pope was a magna cum laude graduate of Bowdoin College, a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and the state championship tennis team. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1941.
Pope fought at Guadalcanal in August 1942 with 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. In 1943, he was a company commander, 1st Marine Regiment, in Australia. After the New Britain Campaign, he was at the head of a 14-man team which killed 20 and captured seven during a 12-mile jungle march.
In September 1944, he fought in the Peleliu campaign, and for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart. Although wounded on September 20, he returned to duty the next day.
After being promoted to major in January 1945, he studied Japanese at Yale University, followed by inactive status and private employment. He commanded the Marine Corps Reserve, 2nd Infantry Battalion in Hingham, MA, until he returned to active duty at the outbreak of the Korean War and served as Executive Officer of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC, until September 1951.
Citation: 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, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau group, on 19-20 September 1944. Subjected to pointblank cannon fire which caused heavy casualties and badly disorganized his company while assaulting a steep coral hill, Capt. Pope rallied his men and gallantly led them to the summit in the face of machinegun, mortar, and sniper fire. Forced by widespread hostile attack to deploy the remnants of his company thinly in order to hold the ground won, and with his machineguns out of order and insufficient water and men osed hill with 12 men and 1 wounded officer determined to hold through the night. Attacked continuously with grenades, machineguns, and rifles from 3 sides, 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 8 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 Capt. Pope and the U.S. Naval Service.