TIL of Al Schmid, a US marine who continued to man his machine gun on Guadalcanal even after being permanently blinded by a Japanese grenade, and later received the Navy Cross for his actions

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> The Japanese attack began under the light of flares at 03:00 am. Part way into the assault, Pfc. Rivers was killed. Pvt. Schmid took over the gun and fired it for over four hours. As the assault progressed, Diamond was seriously wounded in the arm, and several bullets hit and shredded the Browning’s water jacket. Guided by Cpl. Diamond’s fire direction, Schmid kept shooting the gun by himself and loading 250-round belts of ammunition with and without help. Utilizing short bursts to avoid overheating and jamming, Schmid kept firing the machine gun even though it glowed red hot.[1] Ultimately, a crawling Japanese soldier threw a grenade into their machine gun position, wounding Schmid in the shoulder, arm, hand, and face. > In spite of being blinded by the blast, Schmid resumed manning the gun, both firing and replacing ammunition belts in response to physical and verbal cues from Diamond as the Japanese continued to pour across the Ilu firing their weapons at the gun emplacement covered by a sniper firing from a tree across the river. > The next morning, over 200 dead Japanese were counted in front of Schmid’s position.[4] Only 15 of the original attackers survived the assault, a solitary soldier among the 800 escaping unwounded. Colonel Ichiki committed suicide. > Schmid subsequently returned stateside for treatment of his wounds at the San Diego Naval Hospital. On January 18, 1943, he arrived home in Philadelphia.[5] On April 10, 1943, the city turned out in a massive parade to honor their hometown hero.[6] BAMF right there. He used his signing bonus for a ring to marry a girl he had known for 6 months before shipping out. I wonder if when the parade started he regretted not keeping his options open or if their forty years of marriage before his death meant he didn’t regret missing out on all that war-hero-strange.


And he would have gotten the medal of honor if he kept firing at the enemy.


So I started blasting…again.


Guadalcanal is a fun word


god bless him but can i question the effectiveness of a blind man on a machine gun?