Near Stafford in Stafford County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
6th Marine Division Medal of Honor Recipients
6th Marine Division
Medal of Honor
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
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, World II. In addition, it is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients series list.
Location. 38° 29.931′ N, 77° 26.372′ W. Marker is near Stafford, Virginia, in Stafford County. Memorial can be reached from Tripoli Avenue. Marker is located between O'Bannon Hall and Heywood Hall. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stafford VA 22556, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 Sixties5th Special Basic Class (a few steps from this marker); 10th Special Basic Class (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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stafford.
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
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
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
The 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
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
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.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,404 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 9, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 3. submitted on July 29, 2014, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on September 13, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 9. submitted on September 12, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.