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Quantico Marine Corps Base in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients

 
 
6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 8, 2007
1. 6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients Marker
Inscription.
Okinawa
Semper Fidelis
Dedicated
to the
6th Marine Division
Medal of Honor
Recipients
     Corporal      Richard E. Bush,                U.S.M.C.
     Major           Henry A. Courtney,   Jr.,    U.S.M.C.
     Corporal       James L. Day,                    U.S.M.C.
     P.F.C.          Harold Gonsalves,             U.S.M.C.
     H.A.I.          Fred E. Lester,                   U.S.N.
     Private         Robert M. McTureous, Jr., U.S.M.C.

WORLD WAR II

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
 
Location. 38° 29.931′ N, 77° 26.372′ W. Marker is in Quantico Marine Corps Base, Virginia, in Stafford County. Click for map. Marker is located between O'Bannon Hall and Heywood Hall. Marker is in this post office area: Quantico VA 22134, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 13th Special Basic Course (1952) (here, next to this marker); First Special Basic Class (a few steps from this marker); Quantico Marine Athletes of the Sixties (a few steps from this marker); 5th Special Basic Class (a few steps from this marker); 10th Special Basic Class
6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients and other markers image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., October 8, 2007
2. 6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients and other markers
Marker was moved from its original location here.
(a few steps from this marker); 9th Special Basic Class (within shouting distance of this marker); Gonzalez Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Heywood Hall (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Quantico Marine Corps Base.
 
Regarding 6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients. The Medal of Honor citation for Corporal Richard E. Bush reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a squad leader serving with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces, during the final assault against Mount Yaetake on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 16 April 1945. Rallying his men forward with indomitable determination, Cpl. Bush boldly defied the slashing fury of concentrated Japanese artillery fire pouring down from the gun-studded mountain fortress to lead his squad up the face of the rocky precipice, sweep over the ridge, and drive the defending troops from their deeply entrenched position. With his unit, the first to break through to the inner defense of Mount Yaetake, he fought relentlessly in the forefront of the action until seriously wounded and evacuated with others under protecting rocks. Although
6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients and other markers image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 22, 2014
3. 6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients and other markers
Marker, second from left, at its new location.
prostrate under medical treatment when a Japanese hand grenade landed in the midst of the group, Cpl. Bush, alert and courageous in extremity as in battle, unhesitatingly pulled the deadly missile to himself and absorbed the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his body, thereby saving his fellow marines from severe injury or death despite the certain peril to his own life. By his valiant leadership and aggressive tactics in the face of savage opposition, Cpl. Bush contributed materially to the success of the sustained drive toward the conquest of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His constant concern for the welfare of his men, his resolute spirit of self-sacrifice, and his unwavering devotion to duty throughout the bitter conflict enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

The Medal of Honor citation for Major Henry A. Courtney, Jr. reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of the 2d Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 14 and 15 May 1945. Ordered to hold for the night in static defense behind Sugar Loaf Hill after leading the forward elements of his command in a prolonged fire fight, Maj. Courtney weighed the effect of a hostile night counterattack against the tactical value of an immediate marine assault, resolved to initiate
Richard E. Bush-Medal of Honor grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 2004
4. Richard E. Bush-Medal of Honor grave marker
He is buried in Ascension Cemetery, Libertyville IL.
the assault, and promptly obtained permission to advance and seize the forward slope of the hill. Quickly explaining the situation to his small remaining force, he declared his personal intention of moving forward and then proceeded on his way, boldly blasting nearby cave positions and neutralizing enemy guns as he went. Inspired by his courage, every man followed without hesitation, and together the intrepid marines braved a terrific concentration of Japanese gunfire to skirt the hill on the right and reach the reverse slope. Temporarily halting, Maj. Courtney sent guides to the rear for more ammunition and possible replacements. Subsequently reinforced by 26 men and an LVT load of grenades, he determined to storm the crest of the hill and crush any planned counterattack before it could gain sufficient momentum to effect a breakthrough. Leading his men by example rather than by command, he pushed ahead with unrelenting aggressiveness, hurling grenades into cave openings on the slope with devastating effect. Upon reaching the crest and observing large numbers of Japanese forming for action less than 100 yards away, he instantly attacked, waged a furious battle and succeeded in killing many of the enemy and in forcing the remainder to take cover in the caves. Determined to hold, he ordered his men to dig in and, coolly disregarding the continuous hail of flying enemy shrapnel to rally his weary troops, tirelessly aided casualties and assigned his men to more advantageous positions.
Henry A. Courtney Jr., Medal of Honor grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 26, 2004
5. Henry A. Courtney Jr., Medal of Honor grave marker
He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Duluth MN.
Although instantly killed by a hostile mortar burst while moving among his men, Maj. Courtney, by his astute military acumen, indomitable leadership and decisive action in the face of overwhelming odds, had contributed essentially to the success of the Okinawa campaign. His great personal valor throughout sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

The Medal of Honor citation for Corporal James L. Day reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a squad leader serving with the Second Battalion, Twenty-Second Marines, Sixth Marine Division, in sustained combat operations against Japanese forces on Okinawa, Ryukya Islands from 14 to 17 May 1945. On the first day, Corporal Day rallied his squad and the remnants of another unit and led them to a critical position forward of the front lines of Sugar Loaf Hill. Soon thereafter, they came under an intense mortar and artillery barrage that was quickly followed by a ferocious ground attack by some forty Japanese soldiers. Despite the loss of one-half of his men, Corporal Day remained at the forefront, shouting encouragement, hurling hand grenades, and directing deadly fire, thereby repelling the determined enemy. Reinforced by six men, he led his squad in repelling three fierce night attacks but suffered five additional Marines killed and one wounded, whom he assisted to safety.
James L. Day-Medal of Honor grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 18, 2006
6. James L. Day-Medal of Honor grave marker
He is buried in Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego CA.
Upon hearing nearby calls for corpsman assistance, Corporal Day braved heavy enemy fire to escort four seriously wounded Marines, one at a time, to safety. Corporal Day then manned a light machine gun, assisted by a wounded Marine, and halted another night attack. In the ferocious action, his machine gun was destroyed, and he suffered multiple white phosphorous and fragmentation wounds. He reorganized his defensive position in time to halt a fifth enemy attack with devastating small arms fire. On three separated occasions, Japanese soldiers closed to within a few feet of his foxhole, but were killed by Corporal Day. During the second day, the enemy conducted numerous unsuccessful swarming attacks against his exposed position. When the attacks momentarily subsided, over 70 enemy dead were counted around his position. On the third day, a wounded and exhausted Corporal Day repulsed the enemy's final attack, killing a dozen enemy soldiers at close range. Having yielded no ground and with more than 100 enemy dead around his position, Corporal Day preserved the lives of his fellow Marines and made a significant contribution to the success of the Okinawa campaign. By his extraordinary heroism, repeated acts of valor, and quintessential battlefield leadership, Corporal Day inspired the efforts of his outnumbered Marines to defeat a much larger enemy force, reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

The
Harold Gonsalves Medal of Honor grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, October 12, 2006
7. Harold Gonsalves Medal of Honor grave marker
He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno CA.
Medal of Honor citation for PFC Harold Gonsalves reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Acting Scout Sergeant with the 4th Battalion, 15th Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 15 April 1945. Undaunted by the powerfully organized opposition encountered on Motobu Peninsula during the fierce assault waged by his battalion against the Japanese stronghold at Mount Yaetake, Pfc. Gonsalves repeatedly braved the terrific enemy bombardment to aid his forward observation team in directing well-placed artillery fire. When his commanding officer determined to move into the front lines in order to register a more effective bombardment in the enemy's defensive position, he unhesitatingly advanced uphill with the officer and another Marine despite a slashing barrage of enemy mortar and rifle fire. As they reached the front and a Japanese grenade fell close within the group, instantly Pfc. Gonsalves dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and thereby protecting the others from serious and perhaps fatal wounds. Stouthearted and indomitable, Pfc. Gonsalves readily yielded his own chances of survival that his fellow marines might carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy and his cool decision, prompt action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect
Fred F. Lester Medal of Honor grave marker (inscription at the bottom of the base. image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 23, 2004
8. Fred F. Lester Medal of Honor grave marker (inscription at the bottom of the base.
He is buried in Claredon Hills Cemetery, Darien Il.
the highest credit upon himself and upon the U.S. Naval Service

The Medal of Honor citation for Hospital Apprentice First Class Fred E. Lester reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Medical Corpsman with an Assault Rifle Platoon, attached to the 1st Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 8 June 1945. Quick to spot a wounded marine Iying in an open field beyond the front lines following the relentless assault against a strategic Japanese hill position, Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty under a concentrated barrage from hostile machineguns, rifles, and grenades. Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded man toward a covered position. Struck by enemy fire a second time before he reached cover, he exerted tremendous effort and succeeded in pulling his comrade to safety where, too seriously wounded himself to administer aid, he instructed 2 of his squad in proper medical treatment of the rescued marine. Realizing that his own wounds were fatal, he staunchly refused medical attention for himself and, gathering his fast-waning strength with calm determination, coolly and expertly directed his men in the treatment of 2 other wounded marines, succumbing shortly thereafter.
Robert M. McTureous Jr. Medal of Honor grave marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, February 26, 2002
9. Robert M. McTureous Jr. Medal of Honor grave marker
He is buried in Glendale Cemetery, Umatilla FL.
Completely selfless in his concern for the welfare of his fighting comrades, Lester, by his indomitable spirit, outstanding valor, and competent direction of others, had saved the life of 1 who otherwise must have perished and had contributed to the safety of countless others. Lester's fortitude in the face of certain death sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

The Medal of Honor citation for Private Robert M. McTureous, Jr. reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with the 3d Battalion, 29th Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 June 1945. Alert and ready for any hostile counteraction following his company's seizure of an important hill objective, Pvt. McTureous was quick to observe the plight of company stretcher bearers who were suddenly assailed by slashing machinegun fire as they attempted to evacuate wounded at the rear of the newly won position. Determined to prevent further casualties, he quickly filled his jacket with hand grenades and charged the enemy-occupied caves from which the concentrated barrage was emanating. Coolly disregarding all personal danger as he waged his furious 1-man assault, he smashed grenades into the cave entrances, thereby diverting the heaviest fire from the stretcher bearers to his own person and, resolutely returning to his own lines under a blanketing hail of rifle and machinegun fire to replenish his supply of grenades, dauntlessly continued his systematic reduction of Japanese strength until he himself sustained serious wounds after silencing a large number of the hostile guns. Aware of his own critical condition and unwilling to further endanger the lives of his comrades, he stoically crawled a distance of 200 yards to a sheltered position within friendly lines before calling for aid. By his fearless initiative and bold tactics, Pvt. McTureous had succeeded in neutralizing the enemy fire, killing 6 Japanese troops and effectively disorganizing the remainder of the savagely defending garrison. His outstanding valor and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice during a critical stage of operations reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.
 
Also see . . .  6th Marine Division Marine and Naval Corpsmen Medal of Honor Recipients. Link includes photographs and a brief biography of these recipients. (Submitted on October 9, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyHeroesWar, World II
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,211 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   9. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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