Edson, Major General Merritt Austin, 1897-1955

‘Red Mike’ Edson was Commander of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion which took part in special operations in the Pacific. Edson trained his Marines in special tactics and shortly after Pearl Harbor, President ROOSEVELT set up the 1st Raider Battalion. Edson’s men first saw action on Tulagi in the Solomons and took the island in August 1942. They then transferred to Guadalcanal where they defended the ridge on either side of Henderson Airfield and were so courageous that Edson was awarded the Medal of Honor for his action. His Marine Raiders worked alongside regular troops from August 1943 and participated in the operations in the Gilberts, Marshalls and Marianas. In 1944 he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

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