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Pendleton post office named after Medal of Honor recipients

By LINDA MCINTOSH | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: October 11, 2016

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — The base’s Mainside Post Office in the heart of one of the largest military installations in the country, is set to be renamed the “Camp Pendleton Medal of Honor Post Office” in a dedication ceremony slated for Oct. 17.

The designation is intended to recognize the sacrifice of Camp Pendleton Marines and Navy Corpsmen, especially those who received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the country’s highest award for heroism, often given after a service member was killed in battle.

The effort to rename the base’s main post office began September 17, 2014, when local Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) ) along with bipartisan support from 50 members of Congress, introduced a bill to designate the facility at the “Camp Pendleton Medal of Honor Post Office” in recognition of members of units from Camp Pendleton, who have received the Medal of Honor.

The legislation, known as H.R. 136, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March this year and a dedication plaque was created in June.

“It is my hope that this renaming will serve as a living reminder for all those who visit of the incredible bravery and selflessness of our servicemen and servicewomen. We remain forever indebted to these brave individuals, and their families, for their service and sacrifice for our great nation,” Issa said in a statement.

Issa represents California’s 49th Congressional District, which includes Camp Pendleton, northern parts of San Diego County and southern Orange County.

The post office is not being named after specific Medal of Honor Recipients. But, when the legislation was first introduced, five Medal of Honor recipients connected with Camp Pendleton were named in the official bill.

The five recipients who were mentioned in the original bill and who are among others who received the Medal of Honor  are First Lt. John V. Power, Maj. Robert Dunlap, Private First Class Albert Schwab, Second Lt. Sherrod Skinner, Jr. and Staff Sgt. Karl Taylor.

First Lt. John V. Power was awarded the medal posthumously in 1944 by President Franklin Roosevelt, for his service as platoon leader, during the landing and Battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands on Feb. 1, 1944. Power came to Camp Pendleton in 1943.  

Maj. Robert Dunlap was awarded the medal in 1945 by President Harry Truman for his bravery against Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on Feb. 20-21, 1945, while he was commanding officer of Company C, First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division. Dunlap was activated to Camp Pendleton in 1950.  

Private First Class Albert Schwab was awarded the medal posthumously in 1946 by Rear Admiral J. J. Clark, for his actions as a flame thrower operator fighting Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima on one of the Ryukyu Islands on May 7, 1945.  Private Schwab was reactivated at Camp Pendleton in 1949.

Second Lt. Sherrod Skinner, Jr. was awarded the medal posthumously in 1953 by Vice President Richard Nixon, for his valor as an artillery forward observer against enemy aggressor forces in Korea Oct. 26, 1952. Skinner was reactivated at Camp Pendleton in 1950.

Staff Sgt. Karl Taylor was awarded the medal posthumously in 1971 by President Nixon, for his service as company gunnery sergeant during Operation MEADE RIVER in the Republic of Vietnam on the night of Dec. 8, 1968. Taylor trained at Camp Pendleton.

The dedication is 11 a.m. at the post office in the Mainside area at Building 1103 on base.

Attendees at the event are slated to include base leaders, Congressman Issa, and two local Medal of honor recipients, Col. Jay Vargas and Col. Robert Modrzejewski.

©2016 The San Diego Union-Tribune
Visit The San Diego Union-Tribune at www.sandiegouniontribune.com
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Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., listens to testimony during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in July, 2016.
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