Rank and organization:   Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve,
3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division.
Place and date:   Asan-Adelup
beachhead, Guam, Marianas Islands, 21 -22 July 1944.
Entered service at:
Birth:   3 March 1923, Henderson, Ky.
Citation:   For conspicuous
gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty while serving as squad leader with a mortar section of a rifle
company in the 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, during action
against enemy Japanese forces on the Asan-Adelup beachhead, Guam, Marianas
Islands, 21 -22 July 1944. When the section leader became a casualty under
a heavy mortar barrage shortly after landing, Pfc. Skaggs promptly assumed
command and led the section through intense fire for a distance of 200
yards to a position from which to deliver effective coverage of the assault
on a strategic cliff. Valiantly defending this vital position against strong
enemy counterattacks during the night, Pfc. Skaggs was critically wounded
when a Japanese grenade lodged in his foxhole and exploded, shattering
the lower part of one leg. Quick to act, he applied an improvised tourniquet
and, while propped up in his foxhole, gallantly returned the enemy's fire
with his rifle and handgrenades for a period of 8 hours, later crawling
unassisted to the rear to continue the fight until the Japanese had been
annihilated. Uncomplaining and calm throughout this critical period, Pfc.
Skaggs served as a heroic example of courage and fortitude to other wounded
men and, by his courageous leadership and inspiring devotion to duty, upheld
the high traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)