102-Yr-Previous Maryland Veteran Awarded Silver Star for World Battle II Service within the Pacific

On June 20, 1945, Lou Schott discovered himself in one of many final firefights of World Battle II towards Imperial Japanese forces.

Throughout the Battle of Okinawa, Schott assumed command of Ready Firm, 1st Battalion, fifth Marines after his firm commander was significantly wounded by machine gun fireplace. Tasked with assaulting a hill close to the ruins of Shuri Fortress, he personally reconnoitered enemy positions and got here up with another plan of assault that proved profitable.

Almost 78 years after his actions, Schott, 102, of Marriottsville, was awarded the Silver Star, the U.S. Armed Forces’ third-highest navy ornament for valor in fight, throughout a ceremony Might 18 at Veterans of Overseas Wars Publish 7472 in Ellicott Metropolis.

“[Schott] says essentially the most memorable day that he had was the day he was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant,” stated Dr. Greg Jolissaint, chair of the Howard County Fee for Veterans & Navy Households. “However his most defining days have been when he led his Marines in fight. He beloved being a Marine.”

Schott was unable to attend in particular person on account of an sickness, however he watched a dwell video of the ceremony as his 5 daughters accepted the award on his behalf. Daughter Patti Turner stated an enormous grin unfold throughout his face when he first heard he would obtain the medal.

“It was past something that he actually had hoped would occur,” Turner, of Ellicott Metropolis, stated. “He’s not a man that’s about awards and recognition and all that form of stuff. However that is actually particular.”

Full recognition of Schott’s actions started when he met fellow Marine and Vietnam Battle veteran Lt. Col. Ed Corridor on the restaurant Mission BBQ in Ellicott Metropolis in 2016. A detailed friendship was shortly born. Now the 2 ceaselessly journey to veterans occasions collectively in Corridor’s jeep, which bears Schott’s identify on the appropriate passenger door.

Corridor realized Schott initially had been put ahead for a Silver Star within the weeks following Okinawa, however regardless of the endorsement of the commanding common of the fleet Marine drive within the Pacific, the award was downgraded to a Bronze Star medal with “V” gadget, which denotes valor or heroism. The glory is the fourth-highest fight ornament within the U.S. navy. The Silver Star is the third highest.

In 2020, after researching Schott’s unique award suggestion, Corridor penned a letter to the Division of the Navy, wherein the Marines are a element, looking for reconsideration.

“I stated you guys usually are not studying this accurately,” Corridor stated. “Take a look at the dates. Take a look at the petitions. Take a look at the citations.”

Corridor’s appeals went nowhere for nearly two years, however on Might 12 he lastly acquired a name that Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro had personally accredited and signed off on Schott’s Silver Star.

“We did it,” stated Corridor as applause broke out on the award ceremony.

‘It was like hell on Earth’

Schott had simply completed enjoying an ice hockey recreation for La Salle College towards Georgetown in Washington, in December 1941 when he heard information of the assault on Pearl Harbor over the radio.

As he and his teammates rode the bus again to Philadelphia, he knew their lives had modified ceaselessly and shortly determined to enlist within the Marines.

“The Marines are the best combating group on the earth,” Schott advised The Howard County Occasions in 2019.

After receiving his fee as a second lieutenant in 1943, Schott participated in fight operations within the New Britain, Peleliu and Okinawa campaigns. In September 1944, he led a rifle platoon ashore through the first assault wave at Peleliu, an island within the Palau archipelago in Micronesia, thought of by historians to be one of many bitterest battles of the Pacific.

Division management predicted the island could be secured in 4 days, however Schott and his fellow Marines met fierce Japanese resistance upon touchdown on the coral- and obstacle-strewn seashore.

“It was like hell on Earth,” Schott stated in an interview with the American Veterans Heart. “The surf was thick with blood. Our blood.”

By the tenth day of the battle, solely 10 of the 44 marines in Schott’s platoon have been left standing. That day he was wounded by an enemy mortar spherical, incomes him a Purple Coronary heart and evacuation to a hospital ship. Regardless of his accidents, Schott was decided to get again within the battle and secured a switch to a front-line unit upon arriving at Okinawa in spring 1945.

Schott’s assumed command of his firm’s assault on Hill 69, which in the end led to his belated Silver Star. Exposing himself to enemy fireplace, Schott observed Japanese forces have been reinforcing the place by way of a surrounding cave system, which he helped eradicate first earlier than taking the hill.

“He formulated a plan whereby his goal was taken with minimal pleasant casualties,” Schott’s Silver Star quotation reads. “By his aggressive initiative and in a position management, 2nd Lt. Schott saved the lives of a lot of his Marines and Sailors.”

Following the conflict, Schott went into the Marine Corps Reserve and finally rose to the rank of colonel. He married his spouse, Regina, in 1947 and moved from his residence state of New Jersey to Maryland to work for the Social Safety Administration. That they had 5 daughters.

Rising up, Debbie Hinds stated she didn’t hear her father talk about many particulars of his service. It wasn’t till Schott turned concerned with veterans teams within the Nineteen Nineties that she started to know the scope of what he had accomplished.

“I couldn’t even consider that he was [24] years outdated,” stated Hinds, of Ellicott Metropolis. “Tom Brokaw wrote that e book, ‘The Biggest Technology,’ and so they actually have been.”

Hinds stated her father’s household, Catholic religion and the Marines have been the guiding forces in his life. Together with being a voracious reader, lifelong golfer and a “nice cracker of jokes,” Schott is understood for his deep sense of ethics and honesty, in line with his daughters.

Main Marines into battle, daughter Eileen Yaeger stated, is what gave him a real sense of self.

“It so profoundly impacted him,” Yaeger stated. “He realized he was a pacesetter. They have been younger youngsters. He talks concerning the issues he needed to do and the choices he needed to make and the way he needed to maintain his males … That’s the superb factor.”

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