The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
COLONEL DAVID M. SHOUP
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own 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 November 20 to 22, 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, Colonel Shoup fearlessly exposed himself to the terrific, relentless artillery, machine-gun and rifle fire from hostile shore emplacements and, rallying his hesitant troops by his own inspiring herosim, 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 two days, conducted smashing attacks against unbeliveable strong and fanatically defended Japanese positions despite innumerable obstacles and heavy casualties. By his brilliant leadership, daring tactics and selfless devotion to duty, Colonel Shoup was largely responsible for the final, decisive defeat of the enemy, and his indomitable fighting spirit reflects great credit upon the United States Naval Service.
Harry S. Truman
President of the United States
General David Monroe Shoup, World War II Medal of Honor recipient and 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, was born 30 December 1904 in Battle Ground, Indiana. A 1926 graduate of DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University. He served for a month as a second lieutenant in the Army Infantry Reserve before he was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant on 20 July 1926.
Ordered to Marine Officers Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 2dLt Shoup’s instruction was interrupted twice by temporary duty elsewhere in the United States and by expeditionary duty with the 6th Marines in Tientsin, China. After serving in China during most of 1927, he completed Basic School in 1928. He then served at Quantico, Virginia; Pensacola, Florida; and San Diego, California.
From June 1929 to September 1931, 2dLt Shoup was assigned to the Marine detachment aboard the USS Maryland. On his return from sea duty, he served as a company officer at the Marine Corps Base (later Marine Corps Recruit Depot), San Diego until May 1932 when he was ordered to the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington. He was promoted to first lieutenant in June 1932.
First Lieutenant Shoup later served on temporary duty with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Idaho and New Jersey from June 1933 to May 1934. Following duty in Seattle, Washington, he was again ordered to China in November 1934, serving briefly with the 4th Marines in Shanghai and, subsequently, at the American Legation in Peiping. He returned to the United States, via Japan, early in June 1936 and was again stationed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. He was promoted to captain in October 1936.
Captain Shoup entered the Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, in July 1937. On completing the course in May 1938, he served as an instructor for two years. In June 1940, he joined the 6th Marines in San Diego. He was promoted to major in April 1941.
Major Shoup was ordered to Iceland with the 6th Marines in May 1941, and after serving as Regimental Operations Officer, became Operations Officer of the 1st Marine Brigade in Iceland in October 1941. For his service in Iceland during the first three months after the United States entered World War II, he was awarded the Letter of Commendation with Commendation Ribbon. He assumed command of the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, in February 1942. On returning to the States in March, the 1st Marine Brigade was disbanded and he returned with his battalion to San Diego. In July 1942, he became Assistant Operations and Training Officer of the 2d Marine Division. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1942.
Sailing from San Diego aboard the USS Matsonia in September 1942, LtCol Shoup arrived at Wellington, New Zealand, later that month. From then until November 1943, he served as G-3, Operations and Training Officer of the 2d Marine Division during the unit’s training period in New Zealand. His service in this capacity during the planning of the assault on Tarawa earned him his first Legion of Merit with Combat “V.” During this period, he also served briefly as an observer with the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal in October 1942 and as an observer with the 43d Army Division on Rendova, New Georgia, in the summer of 1943, earning a Purple Heart in the latter operation.
Promoted to colonel on 9 November 1943, Col Shoup was placed in command of the 2d Marines, the spearhead of the assault on Tarawa. During this action he earned the Medal of Honor as well as a second Purple Heart. He earned the Medal of Honor at Betio, a bitterly contested island of Tarawa Atoll, 20-22 November 1943, while commanding all ground troops ashore. The British Distinguished Service Order was also awarded him for this action.
In December 1943, he became Chief of Staff of the 2d Marine Division. For outstanding service in this capacity from June to August 1944, during the battles for Saipan and Tinian, he was again awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat “V.” He returned to the United States in October 1944.
On his return to the States, Col Shoup served as Logistics Officer, Division of Plans and Policies, Headquarters Marine Corps. He was again ordered overseas in June 1947. Two months later he became Commanding Officer, Service Command, Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Pacific. In June 1949, he joined the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton as Division Chief of Staff. A year later, he was transferred to Quantico where he served as Commanding Officer of the Basic School from July 1950 until April 1952. He was then assigned to the Office of the Fiscal Director, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), serving as Assistant Fiscal Director. He was promoted to brigadier general in April 1953.
In July 1953, BGen Shoup was named Fiscal Director of the Marine Corps. While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to major general in September 1955. Subsequently, in May 1956, he began a brief assignment as Inspector General for Recruit Training. Following this, he served as Inspector General of the Marine Corps from September 1956 until May 1957. He returned to Camp Pendleton in June 1957 to become Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division.
Major General Shoup joined the 3d Marine Division on Okinawa in March 1958 as Commanding General. Following his return to the States, he served as Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, from May to October 1959. On 2 November 1959, he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned duties as Chief of Staff, HQMC.
Lieutenant General Shoup was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on 12 August 1959 to be the 22d Commandant of the Marine Corps. Upon assuming his post as Commandant of the Marine Corps on 1 January 1960, he was promoted to four-star rank.
His time in office saw the beginning of limited operations in Vietnam with Marine helicopter units flying from Soc Trang, an abandoned airstrip south of Saigon.
On 21 January 1964, shortly after his retirement, Gen Shoup was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by President Lyndon B. Johnson for exceptionally meritorious service as Commandant of the Marine Corps.
General Shoup retired to Arlington, Virginia, in 1963. He died on 13 January 1983 after a long illness and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
A complete list of the Gen Shoup’s medals and decorations includes: the Medal of Honor; the Distinguished Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” and Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Letter of Commendation with Commendation Ribbon; the Purple Heart with Gold Star in lieu of a second award; the Expeditionary Unit Citation; the Yangtze Service Medal; the Expeditionary Medal; the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze stars; the American Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; and the British Distinguished Service Order.
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