Ltc Merritt Edson (1st Marine Raider Battalion) Battle of Lunga Ridge, Guadalcanal 12-13SEPT1942
12-13SEPT1942: Commanding the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, Ltc Merritt Edson learned of a coming attack against the US lines. Anticipating that it would come near an area known as Lunga Ridge, he petitioned his commander to reinforce. The two disagreed so in turn, Edson asked that his men move to that sector for a little rest from the main lines.
Arriving on September 11th, he had his men start to dig in and prepare their defense. Just as they were doing so, Japanese soldiers were making their way through the thick undergrowth in preparation for their attack.
As the battle kicked off on the 12th, Edson moved back and forth amongst his lines, motivating his men, assigning sectors of fire and doing all he could to hold the lines. If his men failed, Henderson Field could fall and with it, the entire US presence on Guadalcanal.
As the sun rose after hours of deadly combat, Edson had his men reinforce their positions and prepare for what they all knew was coming, a second wave that night. Just after 2100 on the 13th it kicked off, with nearly 3,000 Japanese attacking Edson's 830 Marines.
With some Marines falling back or being overrun, Edson consolidated their position and directed danger close artillery right against their position. By morning, the ridge was covered with dead Japanese soldiers. The Marines had held.
For his actions during the fight that would come to be known as Edson's Ridge, Ltc Merritt Edson was awarded the Medal of Honor.