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Durfee, Charles R.

Date of birth:
August 28th, 1918 (Morristown/South Dakota, United States)
Date of death:
June 17th, 1944 (Saipan)
Buried on:
Black Hills National Cemetery
Plot: A. Grave: 15.
American (1776 - present, Republic)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division "The Silent Second", U.S. Marine Corps
Awarded on:
February 23rd, 1944
"For extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving with Company A, First Battalion, Sixth Marines, SECOND Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces at Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, on 22 November 1943. While in Command of Company A, several enemy counter-attacks were experienced. In addition to commanding his own company, and while under continuous rifle, machine gun and mortar fire, Captain Durfee, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, traversed the entire length of the battalion sector to consolidate our lines. Throughout the action, by his calm determination and excellent judgment, he inspired the men and gave his commanding officer invaluable aid in forming a correct estimate of the situation, enabling all of the available troops and supporting weapons to be most effectively employed in stopping the enemy attacks. His heroism, resourcefulness and inspiring leadership were in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 0647
Navy Cross
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer of Company A, First Battalion, Sixth Marines, SECOND Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan Island, Marianas Islands, 17 June 1944. Landing on Saipan in the face of terrific fire from Japanese guns, Captain Durfee quickly reorganized the units of his rifle company and advancing inland secured the beachhead in his sector. When attacked by intense fire from enemy tanks and infantry, he effectively directed the defense of this position and then led his company in an offensive against Hill 790, where he encountered a hostile emplacement that seriously affected the consolidation of his position. Personally directing the close range fire of his supporting tanks against the enemy troops in holes and caves, Captain Durfee was mortally wounded by Japanese fire. By his superb leadership and great personal valor, he had contributed materially to the success of a vital campaign. His daring initiative and heroic conduct were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 12714 (posthumously awarded)