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Dodd, Paul M. (Pete)


Rank: 1st Lieutenant
Serial Number: 019406
Military Branch: HQ Co.,1st Bn., 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Div.
Origin: Illinois
Date of Death: 1995-4-7
Featured: No

Paul M. Dodd was born  February 8, 1915 in Illinois, the son of Lon and Minnie Dodd. He enlisted in the Marines January15, 1935 and was assigned to Parris Island for training. The Ancestry.com muster rolls show that he went to Norfolk Navy yard in April, 1935. In June he briefly went to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and then in August went to Guantanimo Bay. He is also shown to be on the USS Henderson that month, and then in September at sea on the USS Louisville. In November, he was at the Canal Zone on the USS Manley. He was then on the sea detachment of the USS Louisville until November, 1936. He was promoted to PFC in May, 1936. In December, 1936, he is shown on the USS Manley in the Canal Zone until February, 1937 when he was promoted to Corporal. In March of 1937 he is shown in the Philippines on the USS Augusta,and then in April in Shanghai, China on the Augusta. In May, they traveled to Tsingtao, China, and then in July they returned to the Canal Zone. Later that month, he is part of the Marine Detachment on the USS Omaha. In September, Dodd went to the Naval training station in Newport Rhode Island and was there until at least January of 1939. He re-enlisted in February, 1939 and the next entry is for December 1939, when he is shown in Chicago in the 9th Reserve District.

In WW2, Dodd was part of the 6th marines that saw lengthy service in the Pacific. The 6th was sent to Iceland when war broke out in 1941, and returned to New York in March, 1942. The 6th was stationed in New Zealnd until being sent to Guadalcanal; landing January 4, 1943. After that campaign, they returned to New Zealand. They were then sent to Tarawa for that invasion and went ashore in rubber boats on D plus 1, landing at Green Beach on November 21, 1943. Shortly afterward, the 1st and 3rd Battalions withdrew to Hawaii. The next major operation was the invasion at Saipan landing at Red Beach June 15, 1944. Following a brief, bloody battle (356 killed and 1208 wounded), the 6th landed at Tinian on July 25, 1944 for a battle that lasted until August 1. They then returned to Saipan and participated in a feint to Okinawa in April, 1945, but did not land. A good history can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Marine_Regiment_(United_States).

1st Lt. Paul Dodd received the Bronze Star with V for valor with a citation reading: "For meritorious service while attached to Headquarters Company, First Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon, Gilbert and Marianas Islands, from 4 January 1943 to 1 August 1944. Participating in these three major campaigns during thhis period, First Lieutenant Dodd efficiently performed his duties and contibuted materially to the success achieved by his unit. His courage and devotion to duty in the face of enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Dodd was wounded on Saipan, and received the Purple Heart. The medal in this group is a Type 1 Navy/Marine heart which is probably the one he received in theatre. 1st Lt. Dodd was discharged in 1947, but remained in the Resrves. He was called back in 1950 for the Korean war, and advanced to a rank of Lt. Colonel. He served in the Justice Department in civil life.

Dodd's group is extensive. It all came from his stepson in 2008. There are 12 medal bars that he would have had at different times in his career, rank insignia and Marine Corps EGA's. In addition to his Bronze Star and Purple Heart, his medals include WW2 Victory medal, National Defense medal, European Campaign medal (Iceland) American Campaign medal, American Defense medal, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign medal, Korean Service medal, and UN Korea medal. Additional bars include the WW2 Navy/Marine Unit Citation and Presidential Unit Citation for Korea. A Second Award bar for his Good Conduct medal is present, but not the medal.

A couple of snapshots taken on Guadalcanal and an official 8x10 portrait of Dodd with his Bronze Star are part of the group. On the back of the official photo, it states: "ILLINOIS LEATHERNECK DECORATED--At a Pacific Post recently Marine First Lieutenant Paul M. Dodd, 30, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his 'meritorious achievement' in combat against the Japs at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, and Tinian. The Marine's wife, Mrs. Myrtle Dodd lives at (no street address), Vienna, Illinois... OFFICIAL US MARINE CORPS PHOTO".

A copy of page 12 of the October, 1944 "Marine Corps Gazette" recites the following about Dodd's wounding on Saipan: "One officer, Lt. Paul M. Dodd, executive officer of B Company, had been listed as missing until D plus 15. Then he turned up at a rear base, clammering for transportation back to the battle. It developed that Lt. Dodd had been in an amphtrack which received a direct hit from a mortar shell. The man next to him had been blown to pieces and Lt. Dodd had been wounded by a bone from his body."