Medal of Honor: SKAGGS, LUTHER, JR


This tough-as-nails United States Marine fought in WWII. While taking heavy fire on the Battle of Guam PFC Skaggs displayed courage and strength beyond belief. Rather than call for help and disclose his position to the enemy, PFC Skaggs put a tourniquet on his own destroyed leg and continued to fight the enemy propped up in a foxhole firing his rifle and throwing grenades. Please take a moment to read the citation of a hero.

Rank: Private First Class
Organization: U.S. Marine Corps
Company: 3d Battalion
Division: 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division
Born: 3 March 1923, Henderson, Ky.
Departed: April 6, 1976
Entered Service At: Kentucky
Place / Date: Asan-Adelup beachhead, Guam, Marianas Islands, 21 -22 July 1944
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 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d 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, Pfc. 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, Pfc. 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, Pfc. 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 high traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.