Edson, Merritt Austin, born 25-04-1897 in Rutland, Vermont, to Erwin Azro Edson (1866–1943) and Lelia Monetta, born Davis, Edson (1865–1948), and had one sister and one brother, Myrton Willis Edson (1889–1913) and Mary Lucinda Edson (1894–19750). Merritt joined the Marine Corps Reserve on 26-06-1917.
He married Ethel Winifred Robbins Edson (1896–1985) (geh. 1920) and they had one son Merritt Austin Edson (1922–1994) . He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on 09-10-1917 and in September of the next year he sailed for France with the 11th Marines . This regiment saw no combat, but during the last six months of his European tour, he commanded Company D, 15th Separate Marine Battalion. Colonel Edson’s introduction to the Pacific theater of operations began with the overseas training of his raider command in American Samoa. On 07-08-1942, his raiders, , together with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines , landed on Tulagi, British Solomon Islands. The battle he is best known for was the defense of Lunga Ridge on Guadalcanal, September 13–14-1942. The Battle of Edson’s Ridge, also known as the Battle of the Bloody Ridge, Battle of Raiders Ridge, and Battle of the Ridge, was a land battle of the Pacific campaign between Imperial Japanese Army and Allied, mainly United States Marine Corps ground forces. It took place from 12–14 September 1942, on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, and was the second of three separate major Japanese ground offensives during the Guadalcanal. In September, Edson’s Battalion raided Tasimboko. Here they were successful as well – but their greatest success was the discovery of a great deal of intelligence documents. These documents confirmed that the Japanese were about to launch a major attack on Guadalcanal. In response to this, Edson with men from the Parachute Marines, were ordered to defend a ridge one mile from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. On September 12th, the Japanese attacked with ferocity. On several occasions, it seemed as if the Raiders line might fall but on each occasion it held out. When the Japanese had stopped their attack on September 13.600 Japanese soldiers were found dead and captured records later showed that 1500 others later died of their wounds – such was the ferocity of fighting. Known as the Battle of Bloody Ridge, the Raiders and associated units, lost 40 dead and 130 wounded. Edson was awarded the Medal of Honour.
Death and burial ground of Edson, Merritt Austin “Red Mike “.
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