Colonel Mitchell Paige - The Real GI Joe
You might be surprised you learn that a GI Joe was modeled after a real American Hero. Colonel Mitchell Paige is that real GI Joe.
Mitchell Paige was a Platoon Sergeant during the battle for Guadacanal on 26 October, 1942. During the battle, Platoon Sergeant Paige held the line against repeated Japanese attacks after all his Marines had either been killed or wounded. He operated four machine guns singlehandedly and stopped an entire Japanese regimental attack by himself.
After reinforcements arrived Colonel Paige led a counterattack which repelled Japanese forces and again held the Marine position.
Colonel Mitchell Paige was commissioned a 2ndLt while still on Guadacanal on 19 Dec, 1942 and was presented the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions by General A.A. Vandergrift in Australia on 21 May, 1943. He retired from active duty in 1959.
Colonel Paige served as a model for the GI Joe action figure, the Marine GI Joe honoring Medal of Honor reciptients from each branch of service.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area on October 26, 1942. When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, Platoon Sergeant Paige, commanding a machine-gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he manned his gun, and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire against the advancing hordes until reinforcements finally arrived. Then, forming a new line, he dauntlessly and aggressively led a bayonet charge, driving the enemy back and preventing a break through in our lines. His great personal valor and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service
/S/ FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
On November 15, 2003, Colonel Mitchell Paige passed away at his home in La Quinta, California at the age of 85. He was the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the Guadalcanal campaign.