Jimmie Dyess

In June, 2015, Perry published Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess. This book tells the story of Jimmie Dyess, the only person to receive both the Carnegie Medal and the Medal of Honor. Instructions on ordering the book appear below. The retail price of this book is $17.95. However, the book may be obtained for $15.00. Perry will pay the cost of shipping to any location in the United States. A check made out to Perry Smith should be sent to 3007 Cedar Hill Lane, Augusta, Ga. 30909. If you wish the book personalized by Perry, please state the name and message. You are encouraged to order multiple copies for your friends and family members.

Here’s a review of Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess from Kirkus Reviews

Smith’s (Rules & Tools for Leaders, 2013) biography honors a decorated World War II Marine. Jimmie Dyess was the epitome of an all-American hero: he served as a student cadet leader at military school, excelled on the football field, and received the Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism for saving a drowning woman. During the Depression, he was a young father and served in both the Army and Marine Reserves. As the U.S. built up its military in anticipation of the country’s entrance into WWII, Dyess was called up as an active-duty Marine officer and eventually placed in command of an infantry battalion. Dyess led his men into combat against the Japanese military in the battle for the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. On the island of Roi Nampur, Dyess volunteered to move forward with the advance line, rescued a group of stranded Marines, and ultimately lost his life. These actions posthumously earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. Smith provides a vivid account of the Marine’s successful assault on Roi Nampur and of Dyess’ final acts of heroism. Smith’s wife is Dyess’ daughter, and Dyess is clearly a personal hero of Smith’s. That being said, Smith’s book is by no means mere hagiography, and Dyess’ mistakes and shortcomings are noted. What’s more, Smith approaches his subject with a keen historian’s eye. Valuable historical context is provided in the form of black-and-white photographs and fascinating detours into the lives of figures such as Andrew Carnegie, Fiorello La Guardia, and Maj. Earl “Pete” Ellis. In this biography, the Marine Corps figures almost as prominently as Dyess himself; the institutional history of the Corps, from 1775 through to their crucial role in World War II, is thorough and interesting. In some ways, Smith’s book is without nuance: the virtues of the military and patriotism are never questioned, and Smith is a firm believer in the nobility of the “greatest generation.” Luckily, Smith has the research to back up his convictions. A classic account of service, duty, and sacrifice.

Perry Smith signs books after a special luncheon June 23, 2015 at the Pinnacle Club

Perry Smith signs books after a special luncheon June 23, 2015 at the Pinnacle Club

Here is a PayPal Link to buy Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess. Free shipping for all orders within the 50 United States. If you want copies shipped out of the US please use our contact form so shipping costs can be addressed.

COURAGE, COMPASSION, MARINE: THE UNIQUE STORY OF JIMMIE DYESS “The heroism of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Dyess is a stor y for the ages. I highly recommend this book to young people looking for a positive role model, for veterans of all the militar y ser vices and for those who love history.” — Sergeant First Class Sammy Davis, Medal of Honor recipient “The stor y of Jimmie Dyess is both remarkable and unique. He earned the Carnegie Medal for extraordinar y civilian heroism when he was a teenager. Sixteen years later, he received the Medal of Honor as a result of his heroism in combat. No other individual has received both awards. This book not only tells the Dyess stoy, it examines the dimensions of heroism.” — Walter Rutkowski, President, Carnegie Hero Fund Commission

Perry has revised and will soon release “Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess


Perry set out to make this DVD using the talents of local videographer Mark Albertin to show the great heroic acts that made Jimmie Dyess the only recipient of the Carnegie Medal for Heroism and the Medal of Honor. This DVD is available for purchase.



He was a man of the deep South yet he was proudly and unambiguously American. Open faced and open hearted, he gave those around him a sense of comfort and well being. Whenever he was involved in any activity, others wanted to join in. If he was “doing it”, whatever “it” was, “it” must be something worthwhile or fun or uplifting or adventurous. People, even those who had known him for a short time, just knew that if they were with him they would be safe and well taken care of. Even as a young man he exuded that sense of quiet competence and confidence which spoke volumes about his maturity and sense of purpose.

The red hair was very much a part of his persona. It was more auburn than red; it was not curly but had a natural wave. The hair was so rich and so full and he stood so tall and so straight that he could be spotted at a great distance-long before the others in his entourage would be recognized. People would see him and move naturally towards him. They clearly enjoyed his company and he, theirs.

Jimmie Dyess in his Marine Uniform

He had fine individual skills, especially as a world class marksman, yet he was fundamentally a team person and a team player. He loved sports and played them with great energy. Not a great athlete by any means, he thrived in sports through sheer determination, the willingness to work very hard in practice, an ability to ignore pain and a total commitment to his team. He had a keen sense for what was right and what was wrong and hence saw things as black or white. People knew where he stood on issues-he left no doubt. He was, in a real sense, larger than life. He lived his life to the fullest and, like young Theodore Roosevelt or Winston Churchill, was a man of action who was impossible to ignore.

His love for things military dated back to when he was eight years old. A great mass of soldiers had assembled in the Augusta area for training as they got ready for combat in World War I. His family would invite young soldiers from the nearby camp to come by for Sunday dinner and he would listen intently as they described
Their training and their commitment to saving democracy by joining the allies and defeating the Germans. From age fourteen, until he was killed twenty one-years later, he wore a military uniform–first at his military high school, then as a member of the cadet corps at Clemson College, next as an Army reservist, then as a Marine Corps reservist and finally on active duty with the United States Marines. He wore each uniform with pride, for it represented to him service above self, discipline, honor, tradition and esprit de corps.

The DVD Case Cover

There are very few who have the inborn ability to motivate and inspire people to do their very best to achieve a worthy goal, despite the obstacles, dangers, pain or exhaustion. Some would call innate leadership; others might label it charisma, charm, personality or magnetism. What ever it was, he had it in spades. He was clearly the time he walked into Richmond Academy in Augusta at age fourteen–many felt that his leadership skills were well developed at even an earlier age. He perfected these skills through the years so that when he led eight hundred men into combat, he was the epitome of a combat leader.

His name was Jimmie Dyess. His homes were Augusta, Georgia, Clemson College and the United States Marine Corps. This is his story.
–Prologue, A Hero Among Heroes

Connor Smith, daughter of Jimmie Dyess and my wife, unveils the Jimmie Dyess Parkway that leads to Gate 1 of Fort Gordon.

You may purchase a copy of the DVD here: