John U. D Page

Lieutenant Colonel

U. S Army


John Page

 

Citation

John U. D. Page
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

 

Organization: U.S. Army, X Corps Artillery, while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion.
Place and date: Near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, Nov. 29, to Dec. 10, 1950.
Entered service at: St. Paul, Minn.
Birth: 1904, Malahi Island, Luzon, Philippine Islands.
General Order No.: 21, April 25, 1957.
Citation: Lieutenant Colonel John U. D. Page, United States Army, a member of X Corps Artillery while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits near the Chosin Reservoir from 29 Novermber to 10 December 1950. On 29 November, Colonel Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau. Having completed his mission Colonel Page was free to return to the safety of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal station, thus being cut off with elements of the Marine division. After rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge Colonel Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri. He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army troops trapped with the Marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy attack. During two such attacks, Colonel Page exposed himself on the airstrip to direct fire on the enemy, and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank, manning the machinegun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no man's land. On 3 December, while being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Colonel Page dropped handgrenades on Chinese positions and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After 10 days of constant fighting the Marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Colonel Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Colonel Page refused an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Colonel Page joined the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Colonel Page manned the machinegun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Colonel Page took a machinegun to the hillside and delivered effective counterfire, remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade. On the night of 10 December, the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column as it lay motionless, Colonel Page fought his way to the head of the column and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the preceding 10 days, Colonel Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the enemy single-handed until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive spirit Colonel Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice reflect great credit upon Colonel Page and are in the highest tradition of the military service.

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