ELLICOTT CITY, Md (WMAR) — At 101 years old, Colonel Lou Schott is simply a wealthiness of knowledge. He inactive vividly recalls his work successful World War II and helium shares it with Marines young and old, and anyone who volition perceive to animate much radical to articulation the military.
The veteran, who lives successful Marriottsville, gets a hero’s invited astatine Mission BBQ successful Ellicott City, wherever helium spoke with WMAR and friends astir his life.
“I’ve learned done the Col. that being a Marine is the astir important thing,” said his friend, Vietnam seasoned Lt. Col. Ed Hall.
In 1941, Col. Schott was successful D.C. playing goaltender successful a assemblage crystal hockey crippled erstwhile helium heard astir the onslaught connected Pearl Harbor implicit the radio. He instantly knew helium wanted to enlist.
“I was a inferior astatine that clip truthful I wanted to get successful the war. I didn’t privation it to walk maine by,” said Schott.
Shortly after, helium went to basal grooming and footwear camp, and was commissioned successful 1943, astatine 22 years old.
“That was the proudest infinitesimal of my beingness erstwhile I enactment the golden bars connected my shoulder,” said Schott.
He was deployed to the Pacific theatre wherever helium was assigned 44 marines to pb successful the Battle of Peleliu connected September 15, 1944, which would go the deadliest amphibious battle successful U.S. subject history.
“The astir defining infinitesimal of my beingness was erstwhile they gave maine 44 marines to pb into combat. Then I recovered retired what benignant of a feline I was,” said Schott.
He served arsenic the firearm platoon leader, and recalled getting caught taking a interruption to whistle conscionable earlier the attack.
“He says, ‘Why successful the hellhole are whistling? You person to spell into each of that occurrence and each that metallic flying astir and truthful forth,’ and I said ‘Well I mightiness person possibly an hr oregon truthful to unrecorded truthful marque the champion of the clip you person left,” said Schott.
Over the adjacent respective weeks, ferocious Japanese absorption inflicted dense casualties connected U.S. troops earlier the Americans were yet capable to unafraid the island.
Only 10 of his 44 Marines made it to time 11 with him, and past helium was deed by explosives. Hall described however fortunate his injuries were.
“He was scratching his armpit and he’s giving directions to his Marines that are near and an explosive goes disconnected and hits him close present [motioning to his armpit]. If helium wasn’t scratching the flea, it would person astir apt killed him,” said Hall.
He spent months successful the infirmary and erstwhile helium was recovered, helium was promoted to First Lieutenant and sent to Okinawa. He became a Company Commander and executed a unsafe solo mission, exposing himself to force occurrence to unafraid a elevation with nary casualties, for which helium was submitted for a Silver Star.
“You deliberation of trying to get arsenic galore radical location arsenic you can,” said Schott.
He continued to service until the extremity of the warfare successful 1945, contracting Malaria 7 times and being hospitalized again.
He said coming location was a rude awakening.
“It was a struggle,” said Schott. “When I got home, I did thing but portion for astir six months.”
He went into the Marine Corps Reserve and attended instrumentality school, but was excessively distracted and dropped out. He got a occupation for the Social Security Administration, bringing him from his location authorities of New Jersey to Maryland.
He aboriginal retired aft being promoted to a Colonel successful 1967. It was close astatine the aforesaid clip Hall joined the Marines, but they didn’t conscionable until a WWII lawsuit astatine Mission BBQ six years ago.
“I walked successful and saw the reddish chapeau and I said ‘Red, that usually signifies Marines’,” said Hall.
They ne'er served unneurotic but alternatively Hall took implicit Schott’s watch. They had each the aforesaid positions successful the opening of their subject careers.
“He’s been a existent person and a bully idiosyncratic to know,” said Hall. “To find idiosyncratic who has been determination successful the aforesaid spot you’ve been, knows idiosyncratic you know. It’s beauteous unique.”
They’ve since built a relationship based successful their unwavering pridefulness for the Marine Corps and for America.
“We person the top state successful the world,” said Schott.
Now Hall helps him stock his experiences with Marines young and aged astatine speaking engagements each crossed Maryland and D.C. with the hopes of inspiring much dedicated work members.
Schott said looking backmost connected his life, helium can’t assistance but consciousness betrayed by the existent divisive governmental climate.
“All we did successful WWII past is blacked out. It’s a waste,” said Schott. “They’re enemies… the Republicans and the Democrats. They are astatine warfare with each different alternatively than moving unneurotic for the bully of the country.”
He wants respect for the Constitution, which helium and truthful galore others person sacrificed to defend.
“We person 1 of the top documents ever written, our Constitution, and we privation to beryllium governed by that,” said Schott.
He volition observe his 102nd day successful August.