Never has such a Marine lived. We all know Dan Daily, Chesty Puller, etc. But Guy Gabaldon, P.F.C., USMC, 1943 - 1945 has been pretty much lost in the annals of history.

Never has such a Marine or American citizen lived who took the battle to the enemy like Guy did. Never in the history of the United States has anyone performed with greater results than he did. Yet, history has all but forgotten him.

Sgt. York received the Medal Of Honor in WWI when he captured 55 Germans. And he deserved it. But what about Guy?

Why is guy called, "The Pied Piper Of Saipan"?

On March 22, 1943, Gabaldon's 17th birthday, he joined the United States Marine Corps. After receiving his basic training at Camp Pendleton he was assigned to Headquarters & Service Company, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.

The United States considered the possibility of a full scale invasion of the Japanese mainland but decided that such a feat would be costly with an estimated one million American casualties. The capture of Saipan was considered essential for the establishment of airfields which would accommodate the B-29 Superfortress bombers to be used for the planned invasion. On June 15, 1944, an armada of 535 ships carrying 127,570 U. S. military personnel which included Marines from the 2nd and 4th Divisions began the invasion of Saipan. Japanese soldiers seldom surrendered during World War II and, as the invasion went badly for the Japanese, they were ordered by their superiors on Saipan to kill seven U.S. Marine and Army troops for every man they lost, or commit suicide.

Gabaldon began bringing in prisoners the very first day that he arrived on Saipan. According to Gabaldon:

"The first night I was on Saipan, I went out on my own," said Gabaldon, "I always worked on my own, and brought back two prisoners using my backstreet Japanese".

He was reprimanded by his superior officers and threatened with a court-martial for leaving his post. However, the next night he went out and repeated once more his actions. He carefully approached a cave, shot the guards outside, moved off to one side of the cave, and yelled in Japanese, "You're surrounded and have no choice but to surrender. Come out, and you will not be killed! I assure you will be well-treated. We do not want to kill you!"

The next morning he returned with 50 Japanese prisoners. As a result Gabaldon was permitted by his commanding officer to act as a "lone wolf" operator.

This was the situation when on July 7, 1944, after spending a night near Saipan's northern cliffs, Gabaldon heard and listened to thousands of Japanese troops and civilians preparing for a large "banzai charge." The attack was unsuccessful and the surviving Japanese returned to their positions. The next day, Gabaldon captured two guards and convinced one of them to return to the cave with an offering of surrender. Shortly after, a Japanese officer showed up and after speaking to Gabaldon accepted the conditions of surrender. Over eight hundred soldiers and civilians surrendered to Gabaldon and were turned over to the United States military authorities. For his exploits, Gabaldon became known as the "Pied Piper of Saipan".

Gabaldon continued to capture more Japanese soldiers until he was wounded in a machine gun ambush. He was credited with the capture of 1,500 enemy personnel and was recommended for the Medal of Honor by his commanding officer, Capt. John Schwabe, on the justification that he singlehandedly captured more than twenty-seven times the number of prisoners taken by Sgt. Alvin C. York in World War I, Gabaldon however, was awarded a Silver Star instead.

In later years his Silver Star was upgraded to a Navy Cross, the highest award the navy or Marine Corps can offer. There are many organizations working to turn his medal into a MOH as it should have been. The best way to help is contact your Congressman and Senator and demand this injustice be remedied. Semper Fi.

To contact your elected officials, please click here.


In 1960 the movie, "From Hell To Eternity" staring Jeffrey Hunter, David Jansen and Vic Damone was made. Here are the three main actors and real life Guy Gabaldon on the movie set.

For those interested, a documentary on Guys life titled, "East LA Marine"  has been made that more accurately represents the real Guy. It can be watched for $2.99 on Amazon.com videos.

Guy later in life. I heard just today from his son who said Guy did not have any hard feelings about not getting the MOH. He taught his boys that he was not a hero, "The ones who did not come back, they are the heroes", he told them. All three of them served.


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