Posted in Military Roundup

Military Roundup

Photo of the Day: Marines in Norway

Military history: ‘Flaming Joe’ returns to Iwo Jima (now called Iwo To).

The House of Representatives has voted to exempt TRICARE from the health reform bill. But if Obamacare is such a great thing, then why keep veterans out?

Haditha: Wuterich seeks to dismiss charges

Hillary Clinton tells audience that the U.S. will not “compromise on its commitment” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. What exactly is our “commitment,” and what will it do to prevent Iran from nuking up? She also stated that U.S. support for Israeli security is “rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever.” Talk about a “willing suspension of disbelief.” Judging by our foreign policy, one would think that Israel is the genocidal country that also happens to be killing our troops in two theaters – not Iran, who we seem to be placating at every opportunity.

In case you missed it, the American Civil Liberties Union (more accurately – the American Communist Lawyers Union) has filed a lawsuit demanding the basis for conducting targeted killings with armed drones.

Posted in Military History

65 years ago: The Battle of Iwo Jima

First Iwo Jima Flag Raising
Marines raise the U.S. flag on Mount Siribachi on Feb. 23, 1945. Holding the flagpole are Sergeant H.O. Hansen, Platoon Sergeant E.I. Thomas, and First Lieutenant H.G. Schrier. In the foreground Private First Class J.R. Michaels stands guard with an M-1 Carbine. Corporal C.W. Lindberg is behind him. USMC Photo/SSgt. Louis R. Lowery

On Feb. 19, 1945, thousands of Marines landed on the beaches of Iwo Jima, the first U.S. assault on Japanese home islands. For over a month, the Marines fought an epic fight with Japanese troops before declaring the island secured on March 16, 1945. Of the thousands (estimates run as high as 22,000) of Japanese troops defending the island, only 216 were captured. The rest were either killed either in battle or by ritual suicide.

The intense fighting produced over 26,000 U.S. casualties. Nearly 7,000 Marines (and 300 sailors) were killed. After the battle, Admiral Chester Nimitz said, “Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

Indeed, 27 Medals of Honor were awarded to Marines and sailors for their actions at Iwo Jima. Unto the Breach will post each Honor citation on the anniversary of the action, so check back frequently.

Posted in Real American Heroes

James D. LaBelle Medal of Honor citation

Navy MOH CitationThe President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS

JAMES DENNIS LABELLE

MARINE CORPS RESERVE

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private First Class James Dennis LaBelle, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to the Twenty-Seventh Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 8 March 1945. Filling a gap in the front lines during a critical phase of the battle, Private First Class LaBelle had dug into a foxhole with two other Marines and, grimly aware of the enemy’s persistent attempts to blast a way through our lines with hand grenades, applied himself with steady concentration to maintaining a sharply vigilant watch during the hazardous night hours. Suddenly a hostile grenade landed beyond reach in his foxhole. Quickly estimating the situation, he determined to save the others if possible, shouted a warning, and instantly dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and thereby protecting his comrades from serious injury. Stouthearted and indomitable, he had unhesitatingly relinquished his own chance of survival that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless fight against a fanatic enemy. His dauntless courage, cool decision and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon Private First Class LaBelle and upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


Born: 22 Nov. 1925 in Columbia Heights, Minn…. 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division

Posted in Real American Heroes

William G. Harrell Medal of Honor citation

Navy MOH Citation

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

SERGEANT

WILLIAM GEORGE HARRELL

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant William George Harrell, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as leader of an assault group attached to the First Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division during hand-to-hand combat with enemy Japanese at Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 3 March 1945. Standing watch alternately with another Marine in a terrain studded with caves and ravines, Sergeant Harrell was holding a position in a perimeter defense around the company command post when Japanese troops infiltrated our lines in the early hours of dawn. Awakened by a sudden attack, he quickly opened fire with his carbine and killed two of the enemy as they emerged from a ravine in the light of a star shellburst. Unmindful of his danger as hostile grenades fell closer, he waged a fierce lone battle until an exploding missile tore off his left hand and fractured his thigh. He was vainly attempting to reload the carbine when his companion returned from the command post with another weapon. Wounded again by a Japanese who rushed the foxhole wielding a saber in the darkness, Sergeant Harrell succeeded in drawing his pistol and killing his opponent and then ordered his wounded companion to a place of safety. Exhausted by profuse bleeding but still unbeaten, he fearlessly met the challenge of two more enemy troops who charged his position and placed a grenade near his head. Killing one man with his pistol, he grasped the sputtering grenade with his good right hand, and, pushing it painfully toward the crouching soldier, saw his remaining assailant destroyed but his own hand severed in the explosion. At dawn Sergeant Harrell was evacuated from a position hedged by the bodies of 12 dead Japanese, at least five of whom he had personally destroyed in his self-sacrificing defense of the command post. His grim fortitude, exceptional valor, and indomitable fighting spirit against almost insurmountable odds reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


Born: 26 July 1922, Rio Grande City, Tex…. Discharged in 1964 due to his injuries… Departed 9 Aug. 1964.

Posted in Real American Heroes

Charles J. Berry Medal of Honor citation

Navy MOH CitationThe President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

CORPORAL

CHARLES JOSEPH BERRY

MARINE CORPS

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Corporal Charles Joseph Berry, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as member of a machinegun crew, serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-Sixth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, on 3 March 1945. Stationed in the front lines, Corporal Berry manned his weapon with alert readiness as he maintained a constant vigil with other members of his guncrew during the hazardous night hours. When infiltrating Japanese soldiers launched a surprise attack shortly after midnight in an attempt to overrun his position, he engaged in a pitched hand grenade duel, returning the dangerous weapons with prompt and deadly accuracy until an enemy grenade landed in the foxhole. Determined to save his comrades, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and immediately dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his own body and protecting the others from serious injury. Stouthearted and indomitable, Corporal Berry fearlessly yielded his own life that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless battle against a ruthless enemy and his superb valor and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Born: 10 July 1923, Loraine, Ohio… 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division… Served in the First Parachute Battalion prior to landing at Iwo Jima… Also landed at Bougainville, took part in the raid at Koairi Beach, and in the Empress Augusta Bay action… Namesake of USS Charles Berry (DW-1035) which was decommissioned in 1974