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 on March 22, 2010 at 14:55 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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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 on February 19, 2010 at 10:00 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Military History · Tagged with: , ,

George Phillips 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

GEORGE PHILLIPS

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 George Phillips, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, on 14 March 1945. Standing the foxhole watch while other members of his squad rested after a night of bitter hand grenade fighting against infiltrating Japanese troops, Private Phillips was the only member of his unit alerted when an enemy hand grenade was tossed into their midst. Instantly shouting a warning, he unhesitatingly threw himself on the deadly missile, absorbing the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his own body and protecting his comrades from serious injury. Stouthearted and indomitable, Private Phillips willingly yielded his own life that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His superb valor and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice 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:14 Jul. 1926 Rock Hill, Mo.

Joseph R. Julian 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

PLATOON SERGEANT

JOSEPH RODOLPH JULIAN

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 Platoon Sergeant Joseph Rodolph Julian, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Platoon Sergeant serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 9 March 1945. Determined to force a breakthrough when Japanese troops occupying trenches and fortified positions on the left front laid down a terrific machinegun and mortar barrage in a desperate effort to halt his company’s advance, Platoon Sergeant Julian quickly established his platoon’s guns in strategic supporting positions, and then, acting on his own initiative, fearlessly moved forward to execute a one man assault on the nearest pillbox. Advancing alone, he hurled deadly demolition and white phosphorus grenades into the emplacement, killing two of the enemy and driving the remaining five out into the adjoining trench system. Seizing a discarded rifle, he jumped into the trench and dispatched the five before they could make an escape. Intent on wiping out all resistance, he obtained more explosives and, accompanied by another Marine, again charged the hostile fortifications and knocked out two more cave positions. Immediately thereafter, he launched a bazooka attack unassisted, firing four rounds into the one remaining pillbox and completely destroying it before he fell, mortally wounded by a vicious burst of enemy fire. Stouthearted and indomitable, Platoon Sergeant Julian consistently disregarded all personal danger and, by his bold decision, daring tactics, and relentless fighting spirit during a critical phase of the battle, contributed materially to the continued advance of his company and to the success of his division’s operations in the sustained drive toward the conquest of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His outstanding valor and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice throughout the bitter conflict sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Born: 3 Apr. 1918 in Sturbridge, Mass…. 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division

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

John H. Leims Medal of Honor citiation

Navy MOH Citation

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

SECOND LIEUTENANT

JOHN HAROLD LEIMS

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 pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Second Lieutenant John Harold Leims, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of Company B, First Battalion, Ninth Marines, THIRD Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 7 March 1945. Launching a surprise attack against the rock-imbedded fortification of a dominating Japanese hill position, Second Lieutenant Leims spurred his company forward with indomitable determination and, skillfully directing his assault platoons against the cave-emplaced enemy troops and heavily fortified pillboxes, succeeded in capturing the objective in later afternoon. When it became apparent that his assault platoons were cut off in this newly won position, approximately 400 yards forward of adjacent units and lacked all communication with the command post, he personally advanced and laid telephone lines across the isolating expanse of open fire-swept terrain. Ordered to withdraw his command after he had joined his forward platoons, he immediately complied, adroitly effecting the withdrawal of his troops without incident. Upon arriving at the rear, he was informed that several casualties had been left at the abandoned ridge position beyond the frontlines. Although suffering acutely from the strain and exhausting of battle, he instantly went forward despite darkness and the slashing fury of hostile machinegun fire, located and carried to safety one seriously wounded Marine and then, running the gauntlet of enemy fire for the third time that night, again made his tortuous way into the bullet-riddled deathtrap and rescued another of his wounded men. A dauntless leader, concerned at all time for the welfare of his men, Second Lieutenant Leims soundly maintained the coordinated strength of his battle-wearied company under extremely difficult conditions and, by his bold tactics, sustained aggressiveness, and heroic disregard for all personal danger, contributed essentially to the success of his division’s operations against this vital Japanese base. His valiant conduct in the face of fanatic opposition sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


Born: 8 June 1921, Chicago, Ill…. Selected for officer training following overseas duty in New Zealand and Guadalcanal… Retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Captain in 1962… Departed: 28 June 1985.

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.

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

Douglas T. Jacobson 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

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS

DOUGLAS THOMAS JACOBSON

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 pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private First Class Douglas Thomas Jacobson, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, FOURTH Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Island, 26 February 1945. Promptly destroying a stubborn 20-mm. anti-aircraft gun and its crew after assuming the duties of a bazooka man who had been killed, Private First Class Jacobson waged a relentless battle as his unit fought desperately toward the summit of Hill 382 in an effort to penetrate the heart of Japanese cross-island defense. Employing his weapon with ready accuracy when his platoon was halted by overwhelming enemy fire on 26 February, he first destroyed two hostile machinegun positions, then attacked a large blockhouse, completely neutralizing the fortification before dispatching the five-man crew of a second pillbox and exploding the installation with a terrific demolitions blast. Moving steadily forward, he wiped out an earth-covered rifle emplacement and, confronted by a cluster of similar emplacements which constituted the perimeter of enemy defenses in his assigned sector, fearlessly advanced, quickly reduced all six positions to a shambles, killed ten of the enemy, and enabled our forces to occupy the strong point. Determined to widen the breach thus forced, he volunteered his services to an adjacent assault company, neutralized a pillbox holding up its advance, opened fire on a Japanese tank pouring a steady stream of bullets on one of our supporting tanks, and smashed the enemy tank’s gun turret in a brief but furious action culminating in a single-handed assault against still another blockhouse and the subsequent neutralization of its firepower. By his dauntless skill and valor, Private First Class Jacobson destroyed a total of 16 enemy positions and annihilated approximately 75 Japanese, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his division’s operations against this fanatically defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His gallant conduct in the face of tremendous odds enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


Born: 25 Nov. 1925 in Rochester, N.Y…. Also participated in Tinian, Marianas Islands, and Marshall Islands… Achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant prior to becoming a commissioned officer – Retired from Marine Corps Reserve as Major in 1967… Departed: 20 Aug. 2000

Joseph J. McCarthy 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

CAPTAIN

JOSEPH JEREMIAH MCCARTHY

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 pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Captain Joseph Jeremiah McCarthy, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of Company G, attached to the Second Battalion, Twenty-Fourth Marines, FOURTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 21 February 1945. Determined to break through the enemy’s cross-island defenses, Captain McCarthy acted on his own initiative when his company advance was held up by uninterrupted Japanese rifle, machinegun, and high-velocity 47-mm. fire during the approach to Motoyama Airfield No. 2. Quickly organizing a demolitions and flamethrower team to accompany his picked rifle squad, he fearlessly led the way across 75 yards of fire-swept ground, charged a heavily fortified pillbox on the ridge of the front and, personally hurling hand grenades into the emplacement as he directed the combined operations of his small assault group, completely destroyed the hostile installation. Spotting two Japanese soldiers attempting an escape from the shattered pillbox, he boldly stood upright in full view of the enemy and dispatched both troops before advancing to a second emplacement under greatly intensified fire and then blasted the strong fortifications with a well-planned demolitions attack. Subsequently entering the ruins, he found a Japanese taking aim at one of our men and, with alert presence of mind, jumped the enemy, disarmed and shot him with his own weapon. Then, intent on smashing through the narrow breach, he rallied the remainder of his company and pressed a full attack with furious aggressiveness until he had neutralized all resistance and captured the ridge. An inspiring leader and indomitable fighter, Captain McCarthy consistently disregarded all personal danger during the fierce conflict and, by his brilliant professional skill, daring tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, contributed materially to the success of his division’s operations against this savagely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His cool decision and outstanding valor reflect the highest credit upon Captain McCarthy and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval
Service.


Born: 10 Aug. 1910 in Chicago, Ill…. Also participated in Roi-Namur and Saipan-Tinian campaigns… Awarded Silver Star for actions on Saipan… Was First Sergeant prior to becoming a commissioned officer… Retired from Marine Corps Reserve as Lt. Colonel in 1971… Became the superintendent of ambulances for the Chicago Fire Department… Departed: 15 June 1996