CPT. LOUIS H. WILSON JR.
2nd Bn, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Div.
Fonte Hill, Guam
25-26 July 1944
Cpt Wilson was ordered to take a section of hilly terrain. When he initiated the assault, his men moved more than 300 yards, up the rough open terrain against heavy enemy fire before taking the objective.
Cpt Wilson gathered stray Marines separated from their own companies in the battle and absorbed them into his own unit and took command of other disorganized units.
Expecting a counterattack Wilson organized his night defenses and led his men in repelling each enemy probe. Wilson was wounded 3 separate times over a 5-hour period. Still he remained in command long enough to make sure his men were ready for a fight before seeking medical aid.
When the enemy launched the first of a series of savage counterattacks lasting all night, Wilson voluntarily rejoined his besieged units, re-took command and repeatedly exposed himself to a hail of shrapnel and bullets.
When Wilson saw one of his Marines get hit; he left his position of cover dashing 50 yards into the open to rescue him well beyond the frontlines.
Before the 10-hour battle came to an end it had become a ferocious hand-to-hand engagement.
Wilson held his line until he succeeded in crushing the Japanese early the following morning.
He then organized a 17-man patrol, to secure an additional strategic slope he knew would be essential to the security of his position. In spite of relentless mortar, machinegun, and rifle fire that took 13 of his men, Wilson continued the assault with the remnants of his patrol to take the high ground.
Capt. Wilson remained in the Marine Corps, achieving the rank of General (O-10) and served as the 26th commandant of the Marine Corps from 1975 until he retired in in 1979, after 38 years of service.
Gen. Wilson passed on June 21, 2005 (aged 85)
The last lines of Cpt Wilson’s Medal of Honor citation say it best:
“By his indomitable leadership, daring combat tactics, and valor in the face of overwhelming odds, Capt. Wilson succeeded in capturing and holding the strategic high ground in his regimental sector, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his regimental mission and to the annihilation of 350 Japanese troops. His inspiring conduct throughout the critical periods of this decisive action sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.”