|Born||22 Mar 1926|
|Died||31 Aug 2006|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseGuy Louis Gabaldon was born in Los Angeles, California, United States to Mexican-American parents. At age 12, he was adopted by parents of Japanese-American heritage who were interned at a relocation camp the Pacific War broke out. In 1943, while working for a cannery company in Alaska, he enlisted in the United States Marines. In Jun 1944, he was a part of the 2nd Marine Division that landed on the Marianas island of Saipan. By 5 Jul, Japanese troops were driven to the northern tip of the island. With their backs to the cliff, the largest banzai charge took place. 3,000 Japanese troops valiantly charged the advancing American line, and broke through the western flank, but they were ultimately stopped by American Marines. Encouraged by Tokyo, thousands of Japanese civilians on Saipan committed mass suicide to avoid the shame of being ruled by the conquering Americans. Unwilling to see more lives lost than necessary, Gabaldon used his rudimentary understanding of the Japanese language to convince small groups of Japanese troops to surrender. On a particular day in Jul, as he recalled, he was able to bring back 800 Japanese soldiers. He was given the nickname of the Pied Piper of Saipan. Near the end of the fighting on Saipan, he was wounded by machine gun fire, which ended the war for him.
ww2dbaseGabaldon was awarded the Navy Cross for his "extraordinary heroism".
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Gabaldon worked for various industries. The film Hell to Eternity portrayed his actions at Saipan; he also wrote two books also on the particular campaign. In 1964, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a representative of the state of California. He passed away in 2006 in Old Town, Florida.
ww2dbaseSources: the Plain Dealer, Wikipedia.
Guy Gabaldon Timeline
|22 Mar 1926||Guy Gabaldon was born.|
|27 Apr 1942||Allied convoy QP-11, consisted of 13 merchant ships, departed northern Russia.|
|31 Aug 2006||Guy Gabaldon passed away.|
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939