Private, United States Marine Corps. Born Sept. 22, 1919, Stechoah, NC.
Paul Owen Gunter died Nov. 3, 1942, missing in action or buried at sea. Memorialized at Manila American Cemetery, Philippines. Purple Heart. McMinn County.
-Submitted by John M. Gunter Jr.
Served with Kilo 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division at the Battle of Guadalcanal.
According to the book Hell in the Pacific by Jim McEnery, Private Gunter died during a bayonet charge that successfully cleared a ditch of hundreds of Japanese riflemen who along with 75-millimeter field pieces and a dozen machine guns had the battalion pinned down in the afternoon with temperatures approaching 100 degrees. Lt. Charles Kimmel decided to at least attempt a charge instead of just taking it from the Japanese and he organized a wave of about 100 marines with fixed bayonets to charge the Japanese who were caught off guard. Japanese casualties were about 400 killed – those wounded refused to be captured and fought to the death or used grenades to kill themselves.
-Submitted by Tom Stallings