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First Name: Albert

Last Name: Schmid

Birthplace: Burholme, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Andrew

Date of Birth: 20 October 1920

Date of Death: 01 December 1982

Rank: Sergeant

Years Served:
Albert Andrew Schmid

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Albert "Al" Andrew Schmid
Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

Albert Andrew Schmid was born on 20 October 1920 in Burholme, PA.

Schmid worked a variety of jobs before becoming an apprentice steel burner at the Dodge Steel Company in Philadelphia in 1940. After hearing of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Schmid enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 9 December 1941. He was trained at Parris Island, SC, and at New River, NC, where he was assigned to the 11th Machine Gun Squad, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. He used a bonus from his employer to purchase an engagement ring for his girlfriend, Ruth Hartley.

Schmid landed with his Regiment at Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942. On the night of 21 August 1942, Schmid was manning a M1917 Browning machine gun along with Corporal LeRoy Diamond and PFC Johnny Rivers. Schmid refused medical treatment for a serious foot infection in order to remain with his weapon and fellow Marines.

Japanese Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki and 800 of his men attacked the perimeter held by the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment during the night with the goal of breaking through to destroy the American airstrip of Henderson Field that would conclude the campaign in the favor of Japan.

During the night, Rivers, the gunner, was killed by a bullet through the head; Diamond, the gun commander, was wounded and several bullets hit and shredded the water jacket of their machine gun which kept on firing. A Japanese soldier threw a grenade in the machine gun pit blinding Schmid, but Schmid kept his weapon firing with instructions from Diamond. The next morning over 200 dead Japanese were counted in front of their machine gun.

Schmid was awarded the Navy Cross on 18 February 1943. He married Ruth Hartley in April 1943. They had a son, Al Schmid, Jr., in June 1944. Diamond and Rivers were also awarded the Navy Cross. He spoke at war bond rallies across the nation and was in the public's eye through Roger Butterfield's book and the Warner Brothers film. The Democratic Party nominated Schmid for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Internal Affairs but he lost the election.

Schmid eventually recovered partial sight in one eye, but problems with his leg led him to retire in 1957 and move to Florida.

Death and Burial

Sergeant Albert Andrew Schmid died of bone cancer on 1 December 1982. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 3045   Created by: MHOH




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