Cpt. HENRY T. ELROD,
Marine Fighting Squadron 211
8 to 23 December 1941.
While engaging a vastly superior force of enemy bombers and warships on 9 and 12 December, Capt. Elrod shot down 2 of a flight of 22 hostile planes and, succeeded in inflicting serious damage upon a large Japanese vessel, thereby sinking the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft.
When his plane was disabled by hostile fire and having no other aircraft available. Capt. Elrod assumed the natural state for every Marine – He became a Rifleman.
Elrod took command of one flank in defiance of the enemy landing. His command and brilliant defense enabled his men to hold their positions and repulse intense hostiles while providing covering fire for unarmed ammunition carriers.
The Marines were short on weapons and ammo so the Captain gave his weapon and ammo to a fellow Marine and captured a replacement automatic weapon from the enemy.
Cpt. Elrod was largely responsible for the strength of his sector’s gallant resistance. Cpt. Elrod fell in battle on 23 December, mortally wounded. His superb skill as a pilot, daring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty distinguished him among the defenders of Wake Island, and his valiant conduct reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.