Paul Paich was born December 19, 1922 in Bressier, Pennsylvania to his parents Mark and Anna. He had 1 brother and 2 sisters, and lived in that area until he enlisted in the Marines at Philadelphia on December 6, 1941. The next day, we were at war. On January 9, 1943, he married Concetta Marie Ivone in Washington, DC. According to his records, he trained at Quantico, and remained on the east coast until late 1943, having been promoted to PFC in December of 1942. In late 1943 and early 1944, PFC Paich was in training with the 23rd on the west coast.
He and his comrades left for the Pacific on January 13, 1944 as a member of Company H. He arrived at Roi and Namur on February 1, 1944 where he participated in the capture of Roi and Namur, Kwajalien Atoll, Marshall Islands. His outfit went back to Maui where they arrived February 16, 1944. He was transferred to Company G in April, 1944. On May 30, 1944 they embarked on LST #45 and sailed to Enewetok Atoll. On June 9 they sailed to Saipan for the invasion scheduled for June 15.
PFC Paich was hit by a shell fragment June 16, 1944 in Saipan, just a day after that invasion began. He died from those wounds on June 17 aboard the USS Leon, APA-48, and was buried on Saipan. It was during this action on June 16 that PFC Paich was cited and was awarded the Silver Star. At his family's request, he was returned to the US and buried at Oberlin Cemetery in Oberlin, Pa. in 1948.
PFC Paich's group includes his officially engraved solid brooch posthumous Navy Silver Star, posthumous officially engraved Type 3 Navy Purple Heart, with purple presentation box, WW2 Victory medal, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign medal, plus copies of his records and internet research.
Here is the Siver Star Citation:
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving with the Second Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, Fourth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 16 June 1944. Seriously wounded when his platoon was pinned down by fire from two hostile machine guns during a perilous advance, Private First Class Paich voluntarily risked his life in a valiant attempt to wipe out the entrenchments. Unhesitatingly proceeding through the withering barrage, he boldly charged the emplacements and succeeded in destroying both weapons before he was mortally wounded by a bursting hostile shell. By his daring initiative, indominable fighting spirit and self-sacrificing devotion to duty, Private First Class Paich contributed materially to the success of our forces in capturing this vital stronghold and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."
SOLD to a collector 04-2021