1LT Lee Morris Happ, Jr.
Fourth Marine Division, 24th Regiment,
3rd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Killed in Action between 19-28 June 1944,
Saipan Island, Marianas Group, South Pacific
-- CITATION --
My father was born July 19, 1921, in Macon, Georgia. His parents were
Olivia Tatum Pope and Lee Morris Happ. He was extremely bright and well
loved by all who knew him. He graduated in 1942 as a Phi Beta Kappa from
Duke University and joined the Marine Corps. He and my mother, Anne Shirley
Williams, were married in February 1943 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. My
mother traveled to San Diego in January 1944 to see him off to the South
Pacific and shortly after his departure I was born. He never saw or held
me, but he kept a picture of Mama and me close to his heart. I have that
picture with the bullet holes in it.
My mother remarried when I was six and my stepfather, Capt. William Edmund
Pendleton, Jr., 8th Army Air Corps, was the only father I ever knew. He and
my mother had two daughters, which gave me a loving family. He was a
wonderful father who listened and joined in conversations that my mother had
with me about my father. He gave me the gift of learning about my hero.
My father has always been my hero and I read the letter sent by James
Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy and I know why he is a hero to the country:
-- Olivia Tatum Pope Happ Pendleton Young --
"For heroic service as Battalion Liaison Officer attached to the Third
Battalion, Twenty-fourth Marines, Fourth Marine Division, during action
against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan Island, Marianas Group, From 19 to
28 June 1944. Courageous and alert under extremely hazardous combat
conditions, First lieutenant Happ unhesitatingly made his way forward from
regimental headquarters despite intense hostile fire and successfully
contacted his battalion during the early stages of the assault.
Subsequently, with consistent skill and determination, he continued to carry
out his vital duties until fatally wounded by fire from an enemy tank while
advancing with the battalion command group. First Lieutenant Happ's
indomitable spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of grave peril
were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval
Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."