44 years ago, Capt. Robert J. Modrzejewski and his men of Company K, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, THIRD Marine Division were inserted by helicopter into an enemy-infested jungle near the De-Militarized Zone. Their mission was to set up a blocking position for a major enemy trail network.
Shortly after landing, the company encountered a reinforced enemy platoon in a well-organized, defensive position. Major Modrzejewski led his men in the successful seizure of the enemy redoubt, which contained large quantities of ammunition and supplies. That evening, a numerically superior enemy force counterattacked in an effort to retake the vital supply area, thus setting the pattern of activity for the next 2 1/2 days.
The citation states that Modrzejewski was "constantly present wherever the fighting was heaviest, despite numerous casualties, a dwindling supply of ammunition and the knowledge that they were surrounded..."
In September 1944, Marine Corps Captain Everett P. Pope earned the Medal of Honor for his valiant leadership against overwhelming odds on Peleliu. Pope and his men held the strategic hill against Japanese suicide attacks. When ammunition ran low, the Marines resorted to using rocks and bare fists.