Col. Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, hand-to-hand combat expert, 1943. Known for ordering trainee Marines to attempt to kill him with bayonets, and disarming them all.
The following article on Colonel Biddle, WW II hand-to-hand combat instructor, is from the June 17, 1942, issue of Yank: The Army Weekly.
THE BITTER BAYONET OF COLONEL BIDDLE
By Pvt. Lloyd Shearer
"Sixteen inches of steel at the end of a rifle can be a lease on life when "Assault Fire" comes and men fight hand-to-hand, no holds barred. The bayonet is the last souvenir of days when men slugged it out with sword and battle-axe. Artillery and automatic weapons kill at a distance, chemicals sometimes inflict casualties days after first released.
There is nothing delicate or deceiving about a bayonet. Grooved for blood letting and cast for bitter service, it is a fearful weapon in the hands of a trained fighter.
It is the weapon of the individual soldier, it is vicious. And it is still important in warfare of tanks and mechanized equipment. Today we fight not in masses but in combat teams in which every man is a unit within himself.
The supposedly-expert Jap felt American steel burn on Bataan. Those same Japs have been accused by Chiang Kai-Shek's guerillas of refusing the challenge of man-to-man fight. But if the Jap's courage to face steel is questioned, his training in the weapon is not. He is drilled incessantly in its use.
British Commandos have developed the bayonet and a dozen variations of it. Their use of steel is as great as the German's aversion to it. The long, thin blade of the Russian soldier has helped withstand Hitler on the Eastern Front.
The bayonet cannot and does not pretend to be more effective than fire power. But as long as there are armies there will be bayonets, because where there are armies men will come together in personal combat.
In that kind of fight steel wins.
From time immemorial, it has been the same. Caesar had his battle pikes, and what were they but bayonets when you come to think of it. In the Middle Ages, they had their swords, and swords slash like bayonets. You know the part the bayonet played in the World War. The part it played in China".
Sergeant James Elbert "Jake" McNiece (May 24, 1919 – January 21, 2013) was a US Army paratrooper in WW2. McNiece was a member of the Filthy Thirteen, an elite demolition unit whose exploits inspired the novel and movie The Dirty Dozen.
Lee Marvin left school to join the Marine Corps, serving as a Scout Sniper in the S. Pacific. Wounded during the battle of Saipan where most of his platoon was killed. Wounded by machine gun fire, severing his sciatic nerve, he was awarded the Purple Heart medal and given a medical discharge. Marvin died of a heart attack in 1987 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His headstone reads “Lee Marvin, PFC US Marine Corps, WW2”.
Here it is seen the Tech. Sgt. Melvin Clott of the Graves Registration Service who labels bags (Personal Effects Bag) before being sent to "Effects Quartermaster' Army Effects Bureau, Kansas City Quartermaster Depot, Kansas City, Missouri."
Each one contains the personal belongings of a US soldier fallen in battle, to be sent back to their next of kin.