BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — In remembrance of former Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) institution student-athletes who made the ultimate sacrifice, the CWPA recalls the service of United States Marine Corps 2LT/United States Naval Academy alumnus John Ninian Guild on Memorial Day weekend.
The son of United States Army Captain Eugene and Isabel Guild, he was born in Massachusetts on May 19, 1925, and relocated with his family from Manila, the Philippines, to San Francisco in February 1929. In 1935, the family moved to Boise, Idaho, prior to moving to Glenwood, Colorado, in 1940.
Guild was active in swimming, sailing and water polo at the Naval Academy before graduating in June 1946. Guild was slated to graduate in June 1947, but the entirety of 2nd class (junior year) was removed from the curriculum due to World War II to expedite graduation.
His service in the Marine Corps as part of the 1st Marines, 1st Battalion, Company C brought him to service during the Korean War where he was killed in action on September 21, 1950, and buried in Arlington National Cemetery. For his service, Guild was presented with the Navy Cross for his efforts.
His Navy Cross citation reads:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant John Ninian Guild (MCSN: 0-49817), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as a Platoon Leader in Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces during the assault and capture of Hill 85 near Yongdungp’o, Korea, on 20 September 1950. Leading his platoon in an aggressive attack up a steep slope without cover against well-entrenched enemy positions on high ground, Second Lieutenant Guild coolly directed the deployment of his men and, exposing himself to hostile grenades and machine-gun, rifle and mortar fire, succeeded in personally destroying two of the enemy. Pressing onward at the head of his group in the face of the continued intense hostile barrage, he was fatally wounded but refused medical attention until all his men had been cared for and, despite his own critical condition, continued to direct the attack until he lost consciousness. An officer of outstanding courage and leadership, Second Lieutenant Guild, by his indomitable fighting spirit and unwavering devotion to duty, upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.