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Congressional Medal of Honor
Heroes of the Kwajalein and Eniwetok


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor

RICHARD BEATTY ANDERSON

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, serving with the 4th Marine Division.
Place and date: Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944.
Born: 26 June 1921, Tacoma, Washington.
Accredited to: Washington.

Entering a shell crater occupied by three other Marines, Pfc. Anderson was preparing to throw a grenade at an enemy position when it slipped from his hands and rolled toward the men at the bottom of the hole. With insufficient time to retrieve the armed weapon and throw it, Pfc. Anderson fearlessly chose to sacrifice himself and save his companions by hurling his body upon the grenade and taking the full impact of the explosion. His personal valor and exceptional spirit of loyalty in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

ANTHONY PETER DAMATO

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps.
Place and date: Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, on the night of 19-20 February 1944.
Born: 28 March 1922, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
Accredited to: Pennsylvania.

Highly vulnerable to sudden attack by small, fanatical groups of Japanese still at large despite the efficient and determined efforts of our forces to clear the area, Cpl. Damato lay with two comrades in a large foxhole in his company's defense perimeter which had been dangerously thinned by the forced withdrawal of nearly half of the available men. When one of the enemy approached the foxhole undetected and threw in a hand grenade, Cpl. Damato desperately groped for it in the darkness. Realizing the imminent peril to all three and fully aware of the consequences of his act, he unhesitatingly flung himself on the grenade and, although instantly killed as his body absorbed the explosion, saved the lives of his two companions. Cpl. Damato's splendid initiative, fearless conduct and valiant sacrifice reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

AQUILLA JAMES DYESS

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Place and date: As Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, 24th Marines (Rein), 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 and 2 February 1944.
Born: 11 January 1909, Augusta, Georgia.
Appointed from: Georgia.

Undaunted by severe fire from automatic Japanese weapons, Lt. Col. Dyess launched a powerful final attack on the second day of the assault, unhesitatingly posting himself between the opposing lines to point out objectives and avenues of approach and personally leading the advancing troops. Alert, and determined to quicken the pace of the offensive against increased enemy fire, he was constantly at the head of advance units, inspiring his men to push forward until the Japanese had been driven back to a small center of resistance and victory assured. While standing on the parapet of an antitank trench directing a group of infantry in a flanking attack against the last enemy position, Lt. Col. Dyess was killed by a burst of enemy machinegun fire. His daring and forceful leadership and his valiant fighting spirit in the face of terrific opposition were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously

JOHN VINCENT POWER

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, attached to the 4th Marine Division.
Place and date: Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944
Born: 20 November 1918, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Appointed from: Massachusetts.

Severely wounded in the stomach while setting a demolition charge on a Japanese pillbox, 1st Lt. Power was steadfast in his determination to remain in action. Protecting his wound with his left hand and firing with his right, he courageously advanced as another hostile position was taken under attack, fiercely charging the opening made by the explosion and emptying his carbine into the pillbox. While attempting to reload and continue the attack, 1st Lt. Power was shot again in the stomach and head and collapsed in the doorway. His exceptional valor, fortitude and indomitable fighting spirit in the face of withering enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


World War II History Medal of Honor Separator


Congressional Medal of Honor

RICHARD KEITH SORENSON

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 4th Marine Division.
Place and date: Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll Marshall Islands, 1-2 February 1944.
Entered service at: Minnesota.
Born: 28 August 1924, Anoka, Minnesota.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with an assault battalion attached to the 4th Marine Division during the battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 1-2 February 1944. Putting up a brave defense against a particularly violent counterattack by the enemy during invasion operations, Pvt. Sorenson and 5 other Marines occupying a shellhole were endangered by a Japanese grenade thrown into their midst. Unhesitatingly, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Pvt. Sorenson hurled himself upon the deadly weapon, heroically taking the full impact of the explosion. As a result of his gallant action, he was severely wounded, but the lives of his comrades were saved. His great personal valor and exceptional spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


[To create this Medal of Honor information directory we used primary source materials from the U.S. Army Center for Military History. However, the official citations have been edited to make them more readable.]

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