Guy Gabaldon, American Hero of the 20th Century
Click on stars
Friends of Guy Gabaldon
Here's what's going on
Help us tell Guy's story
a free lithograph
Resources & Contact
How Guy Touched lives
returns to Saipan 2004
LULAC Resolution, June 29, 2002
American GI Forum, Feb 13, 1991
Farewell to Dad, family photosl
Pied Piper of Saipan, Guy Gabaldon
Born: March 22, 1926
Los Angeles, California
Died: August 31, 2006
Old Town, Florida
"Farewell to Dad" pictures sent by Guy, Jr., who writes,
"Thank you all for your kind words and your hard work.
I look forward to working with all of you on my father's projects."
|The family gathered at Dad's place in Old
Town, FL to say farewell. Tony and Yoshio traveled from Saipan, Jeff
from San Diego, CA, Ray from Las Vegas, NV, Andrew from Anchorage, AK,
Kyle from Modesto, CA, Guy, Jr., Celia, Cindy, Guy III, Derek,
Todd and Manya came from Orlando, FL. Brad & Keith were already
staying with Dad. And of course, Ohana, Aiko & Danielle hosted us.
of Guy Gabaldon,
We’ve come to a crossroads. As you know, over the past several decades, people of all walks of life, from U.S. senators and congressional leaders to top veteran’s organizations, and influential civilians have attempted to convince our government to follow through on the July 1944 recommendation of U.S. Marine Captain John Schwabe and award Mr. Guy Gabaldon the Medal of Honor. There has always been a great outpouring of support for Guy and the Medal campaign, but, after 62 years, he’s still waiting to be recognized. However, recently a series of events have led us to believe that we could possibly be in the home stretch and I wanted to make you aware of these events. At this time, your letter of support to President Bush, with a copy to the Secretary of the Navy could push the whole campaign, finally, into action.
To jog your memory, during the bloody Saipan campaign of June and July 1944, Pfc Gabaldon, a scout and observer with the regimental intelligence section of the 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, is officially credited with single-handedly capturing over 1500 Japanese soldiers and civilians.
|A native of East Los Angeles,
Guy had learned some Japanese phrases from his Japanese-American friends
from the neighborhood and his understanding and respect for the Japanese
culture was a critical factor in his success in convincing the exhausted
defenders of Saipan to leave their caves, lay down their arms, and
The amount of prisoners Guy took over a two month period (800 were captured in one day) was verified on national television in 1957, on "This is Your Life," by Marines Corps intelligence officers Colonel Walter Layer, Colonel John Schwabe, Major James High and several enlisted men from military intelligence. In the entire history of the U.S. military, no soldier has ever single-handedly taken so many prisoners. It is further noteworthy that Japanese soldiers seldom surrendered during World War II and were ordered by their superiors on Saipan to kill seven U.S. Marine and Army troops for every man they lost, or commit suicide. Guy’s success on Saipan in bagging prisoners, thus, saved thousands on both sides. It is particularly noteworthy that Schwabe, now a retired Colonel, recommended Guy for the Medal of Honor back in 1944. Unfortunately, Schwabe and his adjutant were transferred off the island and the decoration was lost in the cracks. It is time to redress those events.
GUY MAKES THE COVER The World War II Veteran’s Committee in Washington D.C., a prominent organization that showcases the veterans of World War II and their history, has featured Guy on the cover of their quarterly magazine which appears this month and goes out to thousands of veterans and World War II enthusiasts.
GUY HONORED BY LA RAZA The National Council of La Raza, a prestigious national organization and a leading Latino civil rights advocate, honored Guy at their annual conference on July 7-10th.
GUYS DOCUMENTARY FILM DEBUTS At the conference, a new feature-length documentary film entitled "East L.A. Marine: the Untold True Story of Guy Gabaldon" by Hollywood producer Steve Rubin, received its world premiere at the inaugural NLCR Film Festival and was the hit of the film series. It is now being seen by Film Festival coordinators throughout the country and home video distribution companies. A second screening will be held in West Los Angeles in September, possibly in association with the local V.A.
GUY’S PORTRAIT UNVEILED A newly commissioned portrait of Guy, painted by renown Latino military artist, Henry Godines, was unveiled and lithographs were distributed to organizations to help promote public awareness of Guy’s accomplishments. The oil painting was placed in the Hispanic Medal of Honor booth, a 45 foot display mounted by Rick Leal, President of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society of San Francisco.
GUY MAY APPEAR AT MARINE MUSEUM OPENING In November of this year, a new U.S. Marine Museum will be opened in Quantico, Virginia, about forty miles south of Washington D.C. We are looking into the possibility of presenting both Guy and the film as programming at the event. Securing the Medal of Honor and having it presented there would be an incredible opportunity, especially since this would be during Hispanic Heritage Month. The media coverage alone would bring Guy’s story to the attention of millions of Hispanics throughout the U.S. who would see that their historic contribution and presence in the ranks would be honored.
2006 would be the perfect year for President Bush, Congress and the Pentagon to recognize Guy Gabaldon’s bravery as deserving of the Medal of Honor. We know for a fact that the Secretary of the Navy is currently reviewing the records of U.S. military personnel who served in World War II, were Navy Cross winners, and perhaps were deserving of the Medal of Honor. Our great hope is that President Bush will present this honor to Guy at the dedication of the U.S. Marine Museum on November 10th.
Such an event would signal to Hispanic/Latinos:
Thank you for your support of Mr. Gabaldon over the years. Please direct your support to President Bush or Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter. We can get this done by working together and working quickly.
Sincerely, Mimi Lozano
Honolulu Star-Bulletin Hawaii News
Some say "The Pied Piper of Saipan" never got the proper credit for single-handedly capturing 1,500 Japanese prisoners in World War II. But Guy Gabaldon shows no bitterness.
"Life has just been a beautiful experience," says a man who has piloted his own plane throughout the South Pacific, skippered longline fishing vessel and worked, as he put it, as "a spy in Mexico."
He corralled more than 800 prisoners on July 8, 1944. Gabaldon was only an 18-year-old Marine Corps private first class who had learned the language while growing up with a Japanese family in East Los Angeles.
"The first night I was on Saipan, I went out on my own," said Gabaldon, who now lives in Old Town, Fla. "I always worked on my own, and brought back two prisoners using my backstreet Japanese.
"My officers scolded me and threatened me with a court-martial for leaving my other duties, but I went out the next night and came back with 50 prisoners. After that I was given a free rein." His pitch simply was that the Japanese would be treated humanely.
This week Gabaldon will return to Saipan, a 46 square mile island the size of San Francisco, to participate in 60th anniversary of the World War II battles for Saipan and Tinian. He will discuss his battlefield experience on June 14. Also attending the formal commemoration ceremony on June 15 will be retired Gen. Paul Tibbets, who on Aug. 6, 1945, took off from Tinian in the cockpit of the B-52 bomber Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The Arizona Memorial Museum Association is a major sponsor of the commemoration.
Many World War II veterans, like Jerry Barnett, who lives part-time in Waikiki, also plan to attend the commemoration ceremonies. Barnett, 77, made his first parachute jump after attending basic training on Sept. 2, 1945, the day the surrender documents were signed by the Japanese on the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
"It's the sense of history," said Barnett, who also spends time working as a volunteer at the USS Arizona Memorial and the National Cemetery of the Pacific. "I like to see where these battles occurred, not to glorify them, but to pay my respects.
"I didn't take part in those battles," said Barnett who served with the Army's occupational forces in Germany in 1946, "but I respect those who did."
The Mariana Islands -- specifically Saipan, Tinian and Guam -- were considered key strategic Japanese strongholds in World War II, since they were located only 1,250 miles from Tokyo.
The Mariana assault, under the code name Operation Forager, was carried out by the 5th Amphibious Corps. The 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions landed on Saipan on June 15. The U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Battalion later joined those units. The battle of Saipan turned out to be one of the bloodiest confrontations of the Pacific War. It cost the lives of more than 3,000 American Marines and Army soldiers, 30,000 Japanese soldiers and 900 civilians before the island was secured on July 9, 1944. On Aug. 1, after nine days of fighting, Tinian Island, just five miles to the south of Saipan, was under U.S. control.
Gabaldon was recommended for the Medal of Honor by his commanding officer, Capt. John Schwabe, now a retired colonel. However, the Marine Corps initially downgraded the award to a Silver Star and then upgraded it to the Navy Cross -- one medal lower than the Medal of Honor -- just as a movie on his exploits, "Hell to Eternity," was released in 1960.
"I hate to use the race card," Gabaldon said in a phone interview, "but it is so obvious. I don't think the Marine Corps ever awarded the Medal of Honor to any Chicano in World War II.
"It was only with a twinge of conscious that they upgraded my Silver Star to a Navy Cross, and to me that indicated they knew they had made a mistake."
He said the campaign to award him the country's highest medal for valor continues with an ongoing congressional investigation on why he was denied the medal, since he captured more than 10 times the number of prisoners taken by Sgt. Alvin York, who won the Medal of Honor in World War I.
Besides the Hispanic communities in the western United States, Gabaldon, who spoke at the National Archives during the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day weekend, said he has the support of several congressional members.
"The fight continues," said the World War II hero who loves to fly and sail. "I don't want it. It's not false modesty. I enjoy what I was doing. It was a game to me. I didn't enjoy killing."
Gabaldon returned to Saipan after the war and lived there for more than 40 years with his wife, the former Ohara Suzuki, whom he met while working in Mexico.
"I loved the sea," said Gabaldon, who also had the government contract at one time to haul milk on his 95-foot boat from Tinian to Saipan. "God has given me everything."
In 1990, he wrote a book -- "Saipan: Suicide Island" -- about his wartime exploits. He said there is another movie in the works, with talk of Antonio Banderas in the lead role.
Referring to the 1960 movie, Gabaldon said, "I had a lot of fun shooting it. But Jeffrey Hunter (who portrayed Gabaldon) doesn't resemble me. He's tall with blue eyes. Me, I am a short Chicano."
Gabaldon said Hollywood "toned the story down. It gave me a sidekick -- actor David Janssen -- but that wasn't true, I always worked alone."
Gabaldon said it's hard to single out any one point in his life, which included being adopted by a Japanese family when he was 12.
"I came from such a large Latino family that no one objected when I moved in with a Japanese family. They were my extended family. It was there I learned Japanese, since I had to go language school with their children everyday."
But when the war broke out his Japanese family was relocated to a detention camp in Arizona and he went to Alaska and worked in a fish cannery and as a laborer until he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps at the age of 17.
YOU CAN HELP US
TELL GUY GABALDON'S STORY
Mimi Lozano, editor of Somos Primos is, in honor of Guy
Gabaldon and the U.S. military, distributing lithographs of the Pied
Piper of Saipan to non-profit groups for their organization's fund
raising and to military bases, hospitals, and educational agencies for public
display. Postage to be paid by the receiver.
ADOPT A PAINTING . . . . . SUPPORT A CAUSE
We accept a print of the Pied Piper of Saipan, Guy Gabaldon,
with the purpose of promoting the heroic feats of Guy Gabaldon during
World War II. Although Guy was recommended to receive the Medal of
Honor, he has not received it. The painting is a visual account. Posting
it all over the nation will be a reminder. Guy single-handedly effected
the surrender of over 1500 Japanese soldiers and civilians in Saipan, a
remarkable feat never before and never since, duplicated. He deserves
the Medal of Honor.
HOW THE PRINT WILL BE USED: Please specify . . for example . . .
Displayed in building, fund raising, Hispanic Heritage Month, present
to an elected official, visual for a community presentation. Use the
back of the paper, as needed.
Mail $4.05 stamp and form to:
Medal of Honor for Guy Louis Gabaldon
WHEREAS, Private First Class Marine Guy Louis Gabaldon was recognized and awarded by the United States of America for his extra heroism while serving with Headquarters and Service Company, Second Marines, in action against enemy Japanese forces and the capture of 1,500 of the enemy and Japanese civilians on Saipan and Tinian, Marianas Islands, South Pacific Area from June 15th to August 1st,1944,
WHEREAS, in a letter of endorsement dated May 13, 1960 on Commandant of the Marine Corps letter DLA-gib of April 22, from Colonel John L. Schwabe 08506 USMCR, Retired via Brigadier General Walter I. Stuart 03923 USMC, Retired Subject: Award; case of Guy L. Gabaldon, former Private First Class 517054 IUSMC, information concerning request for recommendation for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Colonel Schwabe testified to Gabaldon's extraordinary feats of heroism that readily illustrates the logic and reason for recommending him for the Congressional Medal of Honor Award.
WHEREAS, Col. Schwabe testified that he recalled that he did discuss Gabaldon's performance and expressed his belief that PFC Guy Louis Gabaldon deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor with General Walter J. Stuart who was the Regimental Commander at the time, he further testified that he believed that his recommendation was made orally during a general discussion of candidates for awards in a regimental staff meeting after the campaign had terminated.
WHEREAS, Private First Class Guy Louis Gabaldon was recognized for capturing both civilian and military personnel throughout the entire campaign, PFC Gabaldon entered enemy positions in caves, pillboxes, buildings and jungle brush and, in the face of direct fire, obtained vital information and captured over one thousand enemy civilians and military personnel. PFC Gabaldon worked alone in front lines of campaign.
WHEREAS, PFC Guy Louis Gabaldon was awarded a Purple Heart in a letter from the U.S. Naval Hospital Santa Magarita Ranch, Oceanside, California in the name of the President of the United States and by direction of the Secretary of the Navy for wounds received as a result of enemy action in the Asiatic-Pacific Area, on 25, January 1945.
WHEREAS, PFC Guy Louis Gabaldon was awarded the Silver Star Medal by the President of the United States for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a Japanese interpreter with Headquarters and Service Company during action against enemy Japanese forces in Saipan and Tinian, Marianas Islands, from June 15th to August 1st, 1944. His courage and devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class Gabaldon and the United States Naval Service.
WHEREAS, PFC Guy Louis Gabaldon was awarded the NAVY CROSS by the President of the United States for his valiant and distinguished exploits, which was an important contribution to the successful prosecution of the campaign, and efforts, a definite humane treatment of civilian prisoners was assured. His continually inspiring devotion to duty throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that this organization, The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) join in full endorsement and support along with the Los Angeles Chapter of the 11th Airborne Division Association of Southern California, "Rakkasans" Chapter One and "Rakkasans" Steel Beret Chapter in their campaign and efforts to support and encourage the President of the United States of America and the United States Congress to award Marine Corporal Guy Louis Gabaldon the Congressional Medal of Honor
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), urge the U.S. Department of Defense, Congressmen and Congresswomen via President George W. Bush to award Marine Corporal Guy Louis Gabaldon the Congressional Medal of Honor
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, Executive Board Members and general members of LULAC contact his/her federally elected officials to urge the support of the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Marine Corporal Guy Louis Gabaldon
Submitted by Council 4568, District: 21.
Approved this 29th day of June, 2002.
Hector M. Flores
GUY AND THE PAINTING
August 1, 2006
Thank you again for getting the lithograph to us so quickly. Enjoyed our telephone conversation the other day.
As you requested, described below is a history of my long and cherished friendship with Guy and his wife Ohana.
I met Guy in 1960 when he came to Dayton, Ohio promoting his movie "From Hell To Eternity". At the time I was in the Marine Corps Reserve and the local recruiting sergeant invited me to meet with Guy as I was one of the few Women Marines he knew from the Dayton area.
Over the span of 46 years, Guy and I have been in communication sharing our Marine Corps experiences through memory lane.
A few years ago Guy came to Fresno to promote his book "Saipan: Suicide Island" to help finance the Saipan War Memorial and other charitable endeavors. Guy was also invited as a guest on our local Radio Station and the interest from our local listeners was overwhelming. Guy was also the Guest of Honor at our Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Lemoore Naval Air Station and his candid remarks regarding politics and the Military, especially coming from such a statured veteran, was very well received.
Through all the years that I have known Guy, he has been committed to promoting the awareness of the Battles in Saipan and the sacrifices endured by our troops during WWII. His commitment continues to this day and we should all honor his dedicated service and his strong devotion to our military and Country. The Veterans that served during WWII as we all know has been dwindling to a very few in number. Its all the more reason that we now take every opportunity to honor these men and their accomplishments.
Regarding the lithograph, I thought the Pied Piper title was very appropriate and the scene graphically depicts what Guy really accomplished there as no other soldier in military history has ever achieved.
Would appreciate any updates on this project as it goes forward toward completion.
Shirley Stoker Miyahira
nation's highest military award, given for bravery in combat, is the
Congressional Medal of Honor. At least two eyewitnesses,
supported by incontestable evidence, must attest to the gallantry and
risk of life that goes "beyond the call of duty" before a
recommendation to receive this honor can be made. Guy met all
those pre-requisites and more...
Hispanic Medal of Honor Society proudly wishes to take this
opportunity to personally thank, Mimi Lozano,Steve Rubin and countless
others through out the country, that have brought
forth many years of working hard on the front lines hoping that
President Bush would present the Medal of Honor to our Guy.
they are not listening to us the way they should. Let me
respectfully remind them that since our country's founding, Hispanic
Americans, from missionaries and Admirals to Nobel laureates and
Astronauts have not only been seeking the American Dream for
themselves and their families, but have helped to preserve and expand
it for others, as well.
Americans have fought and contributed mightily in every war that our
nation has been engaged in The truth is of the like of Guy
Gabaldon, we have had more than our share of heroes, men and women who
have been awarded every decoration for valor that our nation can
bestow, and this is part of history that we must not allow to be
Gabaldon made such contributions not only to our national defense, but
also to our heritage and the spirit of democracy. Besides his
contributions, Guy was first a husband and a father.
was an honor for us to be with and escort Guy Gabaldon and his wife
Ohana during the NCLR Conference held at
all mourn the passing of our beloved friend who served our country so
well, with true patriotism and love.
a grateful nation, say GRACIAS, MUCHAS GRACIAS. THANK YOU
AND GOD BLESS GUY GABALDON AND 'GOD BLESS
ON THE INTERNET
Lots more information is available on the internet on Guy and his continuing activities.
Below are just a few of the 144,000 Google hits on Guy Gabaldon
War Time Journal Interview with Guy Gabaldon by James Burbeck
As of early October, 1998, the investigations being conducted by Congress and the Navy are still pending and new events may come about which change Guy's most recent status. Individuals who think they may be able to further this investigation are encouraged to contact the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4696-5, 4615 Cesar Chavez, Los Angeles, CA 90063. Questions regarding this article may be sent to The War Times Journal at email@example.com.
Guy Gabaldon - WWII Marine Invite Guy to speak to your Group. Purchase Guy's Autobiography: · Read an excerpt from Guy's Book · Letter from George W. Bush. This is Your Life - 1957 ... www.guygabaldon.com
1PFC Guy Gabaldon, WWII, The Pacific Has the distinction of capturing, singlehandely captured 1500 enemy soldiers, more than anyone else in the history of the United States Military. www.neta.com/~1stbooks/unit4.htm
Guy Gabaldon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Guy Gabaldon speaking at Pentagon ceremony honoring Hispanic World War II veterans, ... The Navy Cross is presented to Guy L. Gabaldon, Private First Class, ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Gabaldon
Editor of Somos Primos
Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
P.O. Box 490
Midway City, CA 92655-0490
12/30/2009 04:49 PM