Halyburton, William David, Jr.

    Date of birth:
    August 2nd, 1924 (Canton/North Carolina, United States)
    Date of death:
    May 10th, 1945 (Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Islands)
    Buried on:
    National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
    Plot: O. Grave: 274.
    Nationality:
    American (1776 - present, Republic)

    Biography

    William David Halyburton Jr. Was born in Canton, North Carolina on August 2nd, 1924. He graduated at the New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina and was supposed to have gone to the Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.

    In stead he entered the United States Naval Reserve as apprentice Seaman on August 4th, 1943 at Raleigh, North Carolina. As Seaman Second Class he was transferred to the Naval Training Station at Bainbridge, Maryland. Here he trained at the Hospital Corps School and was passed to Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class. After several advancing courses he bacame Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class on August 1st, 1944.

    After he had followed the combat training at Camp Pendleton in California, he embarked on December 14th, 1944 on the U.S.S. General M.M. Patrick, with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division bound for Okinawa. Here he and his unit landed in April 1945. May 10th his unit attacked a significant opbject. During the fignting’s he kept doing his job and shielded wounded with his own body. Doing this he suffered a mortal wound.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Pharmacist's Mate Second Class
    Unit:
    2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division "The Old Breed", U.S. Marine Corps
    Awarded on:
    May 10th, 1945
    Awarded for:
    Operation Iceberg
    Action:
    "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with a Marine Rifle Company in the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 10 May 1945. Undaunted by the deadly accuracy of Japanese counterfire as his unit pushed the attack through a strategically important draw, Halyburton unhesitatingly dashed across the draw and up the hill into an open fire-swept field where the company advance squad was suddenly pinned down under a terrific concentration of mortar, machinegun and sniper fire with resultant severe casualties. Moving steadily forward despite the enemy's merciless barrage, he reached the wounded marine who lay farthest away and was rendering first aid when his patient was struck for the second time by a Japanese bullet. Instantly placing himself in the direct line of fire, he shielded the fallen fighter with his own body and staunchly continued his ministrations although constantly menaced by the slashing fury of shrapnel and bullets falling on all sides. Alert, determined and completely unselfish in his concern for the helpless marine, he persevered in his efforts until he himself sustained mortal wounds and collapsed, heroically sacrificing himself that his comrade might live. By his outstanding valor and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of tremendous odds, Halyburton sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."
    Details:
    Awarded posthumously
    Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)

    Sources

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