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History behind the names of the Camp Perry ranges

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Steve Smith, Feb 28, 2003.

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  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    The ranges of Camp Perry are named in honor and memory of Medal of Honor medal owners. Here are their stories.

    FRANK J. PETRARCA
    Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 145th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division. Place and date: At Horseshoe Hill, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 27 July 1943. Entered service at: Cleveland, Ohio. Birth: Cleveland, Ohio. G.O. No.: 86, 23 December 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Petrarca advanced with the leading troop element to within 100 yards of the enemy fortifications where mortar and small-arms fire caused a number of casualties. Singling out the most seriously wounded, he worked his way to the aid of Pfc. Scott, Iying within 75 yards of the enemy, whose wounds were so serious that he could not even be moved out of the direct line of fire Pfc Petrarca fearlessly administered first aid to Pfc. Scott and 2 other soldiers and shielded the former until his death. On 29 July 1943, Pfc. Petrarca. during an intense mortar barrage, went to the aid of his sergeant who had been partly buried in a foxhole under the debris of a shell explosion, dug him out, restored him to consciousness and caused his evacuation. On 31 July 1943 and against the warning of a fellow soldier, he went to the aid of a mortar fragment casualty where his path over the crest of a hill exposed him to enemy observation from only 20 yards distance. A target for intense knee mortar and automatic fire, he resolutely worked his way to within 2 yards of his objective where he was mortally wounded by hostile mortar fire. Even on the threshold of death he continued to display valor and contempt for the foe, raising himself to his knees, this intrepid soldier shouted defiance at the enemy, made a last attempt to reach his wounded comrade and fell in glorious death.



    CLETO RODRIGUEZ
    Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant (then Private), U.S. Army, Company B, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division. Place and date: Paco Railroad Station, Manila, Philippine Islands, 9 February 1945. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Birth: San Marcos, Tex. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945. Citation: He was an automatic rifleman when his unit attacked the strongly defended Paco Railroad Station during the battle for Manila, Philippine Islands. While making a frontal assault across an open field, his platoon was halted 100 yards from the station by intense enemy fire. On his own initiative, he left the platoon, accompanied by a comrade, and continued forward to a house 60 yards from the objective. Although under constant enemy observation, the 2 men remained in this position for an hour, firing at targets of opportunity, killing more than 35 hostile soldiers and wounding many more. Moving closer to the station and discovering a group of Japanese replacements attempting to reach pillboxes, they opened heavy fire, killed more than 40 and stopped all subsequent attempts to man the emplacements. Enemy fire became more intense as they advanced to within 20 yards of the station. Then, covered by his companion, Pvt. Rodriguez boldly moved up to the building and threw 5 grenades through a doorway killing 7 Japanese, destroying a 20-mm. gun and wrecking a heavy machinegun. With their ammunition running low, the 2 men started to return to the American lines, alternately providing covering fire for each other's withdrawal. During this movement, Pvt. Rodriguez' companion was killed. In 2 l/2 hours of fierce fighting the intrepid team killed more than 82 Japanese, completely disorganized their defense, and paved the way for the subsequent overwhelming defeat of the enemy at this strongpoint. Two days later, Pvt. Rodriguez again enabled his comrades to advance when he single-handedly killed 6 Japanese and destroyed a well-placed 20-mm. gun by his outstanding skill with his weapons, gallant determination to destroy the enemy, and heroic courage in the face of tremendous odds, Pvt. Rodriguez, on 2 occasions, materially aided the advance of our troops in Manila.



    ROBERT M. VIALE
    Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division. Place and date: Manila, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 5 February 1945. Entered service at: Ukiah, Calif. Birth: Bayside, Calif. G.O. No.: 92, 25 October 1945. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. Forced by the enemy's detonation of prepared demolitions to shift the course of his advance through the city, he led the 1st platoon toward a small bridge, where heavy fire from 3 enemy pillboxes halted the unit. With 2 men he crossed the bridge behind screening grenade smoke to attack the pillboxes. The first he knocked out himself while covered by his men's protecting fire; the other 2 were silenced by 1 of his companions and a bazooka team which he had called up. He suffered a painful wound in the right arm during the action. After his entire platoon had joined him, he pushed ahead through mortar fire and encircling flames. Blocked from the only escape route by an enemy machinegun placed at a street corner, he entered a nearby building with his men to explore possible means of reducing the emplacement. In 1 room he found civilians huddled together, in another, a small window placed high in the wall and reached by a ladder. Because of the relative positions of the window, ladder, and enemy emplacement, he decided that he, being left-handed, could better hurl a grenade than 1 of his men who had made an unsuccessful attempt. Grasping an armed grenade, he started up the ladder. His wounded right arm weakened, and, as he tried to steady himself, the grenade fell to the floor. In the 5 seconds before the grenade would explode, he dropped down, recovered the grenade and looked for a place to dispose of it safely. Finding no way to get rid of the grenade without exposing his own men or the civilians to injury or death, he turned to the wall, held it close to his body and bent over it as it exploded. 2d Lt. Viale died in a few minutes, but his heroic act saved the lives of others.



    RODGER W. YOUNG
    Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division. Place and date: On New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 31 July 1943. Entered service at: Clyde, Ohio. Birth: Tiffin, Ohio. G.O. No.: 3, 6 January 1944. Citation: On 31 July 1943, the infantry company of which Pvt. Young was a member, was ordered to make a limited withdrawal from the battle line in order to adjust the battalion's position for the night. At this time, Pvt. Young's platoon was engaged with the enemy in a dense jungle where observation was very limited. The platoon suddenly was pinned down by intense fire from a Japanese machinegun concealed on higher ground only 75 yards away. The initial burst wounded Pvt. Young. As the platoon started to obey the order to withdraw, Pvt. Young called out that he could see the enemy emplacement, whereupon he started creeping toward it. Another burst from the machinegun wounded him the second time. Despite the wounds, he continued his heroic advance, attracting enemy fire and answering with rifle fire. When he was close enough to his objective, he began throwing handgrenades, and while doing so was hit again and killed. Pvt. Young's bold action in closing with this Japanese pillbox and thus diverting its fire, permitted his platoon to disengage itself, without loss, and was responsible for several enemy casualties.
     
  2. Ledbetter

    Ledbetter Member

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    Wow.

    Thanks Steve.
     
  3. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    excuse my ramblings but.....

    the citation for Rodger W. Young is of interest to me for reasons not realted to Perry. as it is to ANYONE who's ever read Starship troopers.

    that citation is the one thing that Robert Heinlien SHOULD have put somewhere in the book but didn't. going instead for a glancing overveiw of who/what Young was,


    for those who haven't read the book (and do NOT condem the book due to that travesty of a movie) the main character is stationed aboard the ship "Rodger Young" adn there are references to a song about Young.

    i ownder fi there is any truth to the rumore that Heinlein was aboard one fo the ships supportign the New Georgia campaign??
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey, I'd forgotten about the name of his ship. Huh!
     
  5. cadfael

    cadfael Member

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    I was looking at the paperback copy I've read several times. The citation is a historical note at the end (at least in my copy). I agree it would have been better incorporated into the story, but its better than nothing.

    Adam
     
  6. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    Thanks Steve.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Back to top

    As we near the time for the CMP and NRA Highpower Rifle National Matches to begin, let us remember the men whose names grace our firing lines.

    Gentlemen, I look forward to shooting with each and every one of you. May the spirit of these men follow us onto the range, that we may become better marksmen and better citizen soldiers for our nation.
     
  8. 444

    444 Member

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    When I was a kid in school, prior to political correctness we used to sing that Roger Young song out of our music class book.

    The ranges at Gunsite are also named after Medal of Honor recipients.
     
  9. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    http://www.wegrokit.com/shines.htm

    Lyrics to "The Ballad of Rodger Young,"


    No, they've got no time for glory in the Infantry.
    No, they've got no use for praises loudly sung,
    But in every soldier's heart in all the Infantry
    Shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young.

    Shines the name--Rodger Young!
    Fought and died for the men he marched among.
    To the everlasting glory of the Infantry
    Lives the story of Private Rodger Young.


    Caught in ambush lay a company of riflemen--
    Just grenades against machine guns in the gloom--
    Caught in ambush till this one of twenty riflemen
    Volunteered, volunteered to meet his doom.


    Volunteered, Rodger Young!
    Fought and died for the men he marched among.
    In the everlasting annals of the Infantry
    Glows the last deed of Private Rodger Young.


    It was he who drew the fire of the enemy
    That a company of men might live to fight;
    And before the deadly fire of the enemy
    Stood the man, stood the man we hail tonight.


    On the island of New Georgia in the Solomons,
    Stands a simple wooden cross alone to tell
    That beneath the silent coral of the Solomons,
    Sleeps a man, sleeps a man remembered well.


    Sleeps a man, Rodger Young,
    Fought and died for the men he marched among.
    In the everlasting spirit of the Infantry
    Breathes the spirit of Private Rodger Young.


    No, they've got no time for glory in the Infantry,
    No, they've got no use for praises loudly sung,
    But in every soldier's heart in all the Infantry
    Shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young.


    Shines the name--Rodger Young!
    Fought and died for the men he marched among.
    To the everlasting glory of the Infantry
    Lives the story of Private Rodger Young.
     
  10. mikefoy223

    mikefoy223 Member

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    In fact, several of the names used in "STARSHIP TROOPERS" came from Camp Perry. Reread it and look for them. Heinlin was a High Power shooter for the Navy in the Twenties or Thirtys. He did not serve in WW2 due to being invaled out due to TB in the Thirtys.
     
  11. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

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    That was sobering. Thanks.
     
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