Col. Merrit R. Edson
Serial Number - 00257
Chief of Staff, 2nd Marine Division
Col. Edson was awarded the Legion of Merit for his part in the Tarawa invasion:
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct and outstanding service. Under his direction, the division staff made a complete intelligence study of the chief objective amd a situation estimate from which the decision to invade Tarawa across the lagoon beaches was made. During the operation he presented sound solutions to many difficult problems, established the division's advance command post under heavy fire, and prepared plans for the final attack and mopping up operations against enemy positions."
After the war Col. Edson was Head of the Vermont State Police and also President of the National Rifle Association. Edson was also deeply involved in the fight to save the Marine Corps during the budget cuts of the late 1940s. Unfortunately Edson took his own life in 1953.
"Red" Mike Edson
"Red" Mike interrogating a prisoner on Tarawa.
For more information on "Red Mike" see Jon T. Hoffman's book,
Once a Legend: "Red Mike" Edson of the Marine Raiders.
The complete citation can be found in the bibliography.
copyright 2001 Wheaton, Illinois
Created 30 June 2001 - Updated 2 September 2002