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 Albert “Al” Schmid

Albert “Al” Schmid

Birth
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 1 Dec 1982 (aged 62)
Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 65, Lot 1467, Map grid 11 16
Memorial ID 5933 · View Source
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Sergeant, USMC. Born Albert Andrew Schmid, the son of German immigrants Marian and Adolph Schmid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1940, he apprenticed as a steel burner at the Dodge Steel Company in Philadelphia. Two days after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. After training, he was assigned duty with the 11th Machine Gun Squad, Company H, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. His division landed on Guadalcanal 7 August 1942. He, Cpl Leroy Diamond, and Pfc John Rivers manned a .30-caliber machine gun on the west bank of the Tenaru (Ilu) River. Japanese troops attacked the Marine perimeter during the night. The machine gun nest became a target of enemy fire, incessant attacks killed Rivers; Schmid took his place and Diamond kept reloading the weapon as Schmid maintained a constant fire. When Diamond was wounded, Schmid had to continue both firing and reloading with minimal assistance for four hours. Finally, a grenade exploded near their position, shrapnel peppered his shoulder, arm, hand, and face, blinding him. With Diamond acting as their eyes, however, Schmid continued to fire until relieved. He returned to the United States in the fall of 1942, a patient at the naval hospital in San Diego, California. He lost the sight in one eye, the other was badly damaged. For their actions, Rivers, Schmid, and Diamond were awarded the Navy Cross on 18 February 1943, Schmid was promoted to corporal. The Philadelphia Enquirer awarded him a Hero Award and a check for $1,000. Author Roger Butterfield wrote a best-selling book, 'Al Schmid, Marine,' upon which a feature film, 'Pride of the Marines' (1945), was based. Schmid agreed to appear at war bond, hospital, and charity events during his convalescence. He was was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve on 9 December 1944 at the rank of sergeant. He became the Democrat candidate for the Pennsylvania Secretary of Internal Affairs in 1946, but lost the election. In 1957, problems during the cold winters led him to retire to Florida, close to the Veterans Hospital in St. Petersburg. He succumbed to bone cancer at age 62, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5933
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Albert “Al” Schmid (20 Oct 1920–1 Dec 1982), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5933, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .