John Ninian Guild – Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps

John Ninian Guild
Fort Banks, Massachusetts
Hometown Glenwood Springs, CO
Born May 19, 1925
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Killed in Action
Died September 21, 1950 in Korea

A member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1947, Second Lieutenant Guild commanded the 2nd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division.

On September 21, 1950, while leading his platoon in an assault on Hills 80 and 85 near Youngdong-po, on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea, he was killed by enemy small arms fire.

For his leadership and valor, Second Lieutenant Guild was awarded the Navy Cross, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

The Navy Cross is presented to John Ninian Guild (O-49817), Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Leader in Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces during the assault and capture of Hill 85 near Yongdungp'o, Korea, on 20 September 1950.

Leading his platoon in an aggressive attack up a steep slope without cover against well-entrenched enemy positions on high ground, Second Lieutenant Guild coolly directed the deployment of his men and, exposing himself to hostile grenades and machine-gun, rifle and mortar fire, succeeded in personally destroying two of the enemy. Pressing onward at the head of his group in the face of the continued intense hostile barrage, he was fatally wounded but refused medical attention until all his men had been cared for and, despite his own critical condition, continued to direct the attack until he lost consciousness. An officer of outstanding courage and leadership, Second Lieutenant Guild, by his indomitable fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.



Says Hand Of Dead G. I. Son Were Tied By “Hated” Policy of Appeasement to Reds

WASHINGTON, May 26, 1951 – A father's bitter letter – saying his boy had been killed in Korea because of a “hated and dishonorable” policy of appeasement – was read at the Senate hearing on foreign policy today.

Senator William F. Knowland, Republican of California, read the letter, which he said had been delivered personally to Senator Eugene D. Millikin, Republican of Colorado, by Eugene R. Guild of Glenwood Spring, Colorado.  Senator Knowland said Mr. Guild was a retired Army Captain of Infantry.

General J. Lawton Collins, the Army Chief of Staff, was in the witness chair when the Senator obtained permission to read the letter. It follows:

“I have just buried my boy at Arlington (National Cemetery), a boy, who in dying, earned the award next in rank to the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross.

“My son was killed by a piece of metal; a piece of metal shipped to the enemy in all likelihood by our so-called allied whose continuing recognition and support of our enemy will long live in infamy.

“He was killed by a piece of metal brought down over supply lines we were forbidden to bomb, and made into ammunition by power from Korean dams we were forbidden to destroy; a piece of metal whose transportation was protected by Red planes we were forbidden to pursue and shoot down.

“The name for the reason this and other bits of metal were transported and protected until they could kill this boy and other thousands of American boys is a justly hated and dishonorable one – it is appeasement.

“Our leaders prefer to call it by another name and they excuse it on the grounds of expediency.  It has, they say, given us more time – which is but a paraphrase of  ‘Peace in our time.'  It has, they say, kept us out of a big war. Those excused are but echoes of the words of the man with the umbrella at Munich.

“This boy, these boys, fought and died without hope or chance of victory.  When before in our history has America ever committed such a crime against its fighting sons?  Appeasement tied one of their hands; the Reds tied the other, and so shackled, they died.

“The reasons for paying blackmail are always compelling, and the alternative to paying it, is always horrible.  Pay or have your house burned down; pay or have your child murdered.  The reasons today are no less compelling – pay or have World War III, pay or have Washington atomic bombed.

“Nevertheless appeasement or paying blackmail is wrong and does not work.  The child held for ransom has already been killed; the decision to hurn your house down has been made not matter how much blackmail you pay. Today the Russian decision as to whether and when to attack will not be altered by our hand-tying appeasement.

“We are paying with beloved human lives to buy time that we might have for nothing.  Our blackmail payments in American blood purchase neither time nor security.”

When he finished reading the letter, Senator Knowland asked General Collins whether he wasnted to comment.

“I have no comments, Sir,” General Collins replied.

Almost at the same time the letter was being read, Mr. Guild received a posthumous award of the Navy Cross to his son, Marine Lieutenant John N. Guild, in ceremonies at the Marine Corps Schools in Quantico, Virginia.  Young Guild was cited for “extraordinaryheroism as a platoon leader during the assault and capture of Hill 85 near Youngdungpo, Korea, on September 20, 1950.”


  • 2ND LT. USMC
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/19/1925
  • DATE OF DEATH: 09/21/1950

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