Today, 15 September, 2009, Medal of Honor recipient Major Everett Pope, USMC, was buried at Arlington Cemetery. He died in July, on his 90th birthday. Major Pope won his Medal of Honor during the savage, bloody fighting on Peleliu. He was buried on the 65th anniversary of the landings on the island. On Peleliu, he commanded Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines. His citation is below:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
CAPTAIN EVERETT P. POPE
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following 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, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group, on 19-20 September, 1944. Subjected to point-blank cannon fire which caused heavy casualties and badly disorganized his company while assaulting a steep coral hill, Captain Pope rallied his men and gallantly led them to the summit in the face of machine-gun, mortar, and sniper fire. Forced by wide-spread hostile attack to deploy the remnants of his company thinly in order to hold the ground won, and with his machine-guns out of action and insufficient water and ammunition, he remained on the exposed hill with twelve men and one wounded officer, determined to hold through the night. Attacked continuously with grenades, machine-guns, and rifles from three sides and twice subjected to suicidal charges during the night, 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 eight 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 Captain Pope and the United States Naval Service
In his later years, Major Pope created a leadership award at his alma mater, Bowdoin College, called the Haldane Cup. It was named for his friend and comrade, Captain Andrew A. Haldane USMC, a company commander killed on Peleliu. Captain Haldane served as the Company Commander for K Co 3/5 during the battle. Among the Marines in Captain Haldane’s company was PFC Eugene B. Sledge, whose magnificent book, With the Old Breed on Peleliu and Okinawa, is one of the greatest works on the Pacific war. One cannot consider oneself a serious student of the Pacific war, the Marine Corps, or either battle of Peleliu or Okinawa, without having read that book.
Semper Fidelis, Major Pope. Yours are giant boondockers to fill.
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