Once a Legend: Red Mike Edson of the Marine Raiders

Jon T. Hoffman, Author
Jon T. Hoffman, Author Presidio Press $24.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-89141-493-3
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-89141-732-3
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Merritt A. ``Red Mike'' Edson became a national hero on Guadalcanal during WW II for his epic defense of Henderson Field as the head of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion. He sustained his reputation for fearlessness on Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian as a regimental commander, then as assistant commander of the 2nd Marine Division. In his final wartime assignment, to Service Command of the Fleet Marine Force, he saw the evolution of the Marine Corps into a virtually independent branch of the U.S. armed forces. Edson, a leading Marine advocate during the postwar debate on preserving the corps, resigned rather than accept the compromises of the 1947 National Security Act determing the missions of the services. His suicide in 1955 at age 58 has obscured his distinguished career. Military freelance writer Hoffman's comprehensive biography goes far to restore Red Mike's stature in the history of the corps he loved. (July)
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