PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Corporal Luther Skaggs, Jr., USMCR, (1923-1976)

Luther Skaggs, Jr. was born on 3 March 1923 in Henderson, Kentucky. In October 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from that state and subsequently underwent training at Parris Island, South Carolina and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Sent to the Pacific war zone in 1943, Skaggs attained the rank of Private First Class. During the July 1944 invasion of Guam, he served with a mortar section of the Third Battalion, Third Marines, part of the Third Marine Division.

After landing on Guam's Asan-Adelup Beachhead on 21 July, PFC Skaggs took over command of his squad, leading his men to a position from which they provided fire support for the Marine assault. Severely wounded that night when Japanese forces counter-attacked, hefought on for many hours, until enemy opposition was suppressed. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, Skaggs was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was was promoted to Corporal in April 1946, upon discharge from active service. Luther Skaggs Jr. died on 6 April 1976 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

This page features the only images we have concerning Luther Skaggs Jr.

Photo #: NH 106453

Corporal Luther Skaggs, Jr., USMCR


Wearing the Medal of Honor, which was awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving as a Squad Leader with a Mortar Section of a Rifle Company in the Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in action against the Japanese on the Asan-Adelup Beachhead, Guam Marianas Islands on 21-22 July 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command.


Online Image: 51KB; 580 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 106453-A

Private First Class Luther Skaggs, Jr., USMCR


Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 261.
Luther Skaggs Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving as a Squad Leader with a Mortar Section of a Rifle Company in the Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in action against the Japanese on the Asan-Adelup Beachhead, Guam, Marianas Islands on 21-22 July 1944.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 56KB; 580 x 765 pixels

 


Medal of Honor citation of Private First Class Luther Skaggs, Jr., USMC (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 261):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Squad Leader with a Mortar Section of a Rifle Company in the Third Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on the Asan-Adelup Beachhead, Guam, Marianas Islands, 21-22 July 1944. When the section leader became a casualty under a heavy mortar barrage shortly after landing, Private First Class Skaggs promptly assumed command and led the section through intense fire for a distance of 200 yards to a position from which to deliver effective coverage of the assault on a strategic cliff. Valiantly defending this vital position against strong enemy counterattacks during the night, Private First Class Skaggs was critically wounded when a Japanese grenade lodged in his foxhole and exploded, shattering the lower part of one leg. Quick to act, he applied an improvised tourniquet and, while propped up in his foxhole, gallantly returned the enemy's fire with his rifle and hand grenades for a period of 8 hours, later crawling unassisted to the rear to continue the fight until the Japanese had been annihilated. Uncomplaining and calm throughout this critical period, Private First Class Skaggs served as a heroic example of courage and fortitude to other wounded men and, by his courageous leadership and inspiring devotion to duty, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."



For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





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