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McCarthy, Joseph Jeremiah

Date of birth:
August 10th, 1911 (Chicago, United States)
Date of death:
June 15th, 1996 (Palm Beach/Florida, United States)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division "Fighting Fourth", U.S. Marine Corps
Awarded for:
Operation Detachment
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of a rifle company attached to the 2d Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on 21 February 1945. Determined to break through the enemy's cross-island defenses, Capt. McCarthy acted on his own initiative when his company advance was held up by uninterrupted Japanese rifle, machinegun, and high-velocity 47mm. fire during the approach to Motoyama Airfield No. 2. Quickly organizing a demolitions and flamethrower team to accompany his picked rifle squad, he fearlessly led the way across 75 yards of fire-swept ground, charged a heavily fortified pillbox on the ridge of the front and, personally hurling hand grenades into the emplacement as he directed the combined operations of his small assault group, completely destroyed the hostile installation. Spotting 2 Japanese soldiers attempting an escape from the shattered pillbox, he boldly stood upright in full view of the enemy and dispatched both troops before advancing to a second emplacement under greatly intensified fire and then blasted the strong fortifications with a well-planned demolitions attack. Subsequently entering the ruins, he found a Japanese taking aim at 1 of our men and, with alert presence of mind, jumped the enemy, disarmed and shot him with his own weapon. Then, intent on smashing through the narrow breach, he rallied the remainder of his company and pressed a full attack with furious aggressiveness until he had neutralized all resistance and captured the ridge. An inspiring leader and indomitable fighter, Capt. McCarthy consistently disregarded all personal danger during the fierce conflict and, by his brilliant professional skill, daring tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, contributed materially to the success of his division's operations against this savagely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His cool decision and outstanding valor reflect the highest credit upon Capt. McCarthy and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service."
Medal of Honor - Navy/Marine Corps (MoH)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Captain
Unit:
2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division "Fighting Fourth", U.S. Marine Corps
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as Commanding Officer in action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan, Marianas Islands, 4 July 1944. With his company in a defensive position and receiving intense and accurate enemy rifle and machine-gun fire, Captain McCarthy gallantly left cover to answer the cries of the wounded after two hospital corpsmen had been shot in quick succession while attempting to aid a wounded officer. Finding one of the men still alive, he attempted to remove him to safety despite the withering enemy fire, but during this endeavor the wounded man was shot through the head and died in Captain McCarthy's arms. His outstanding courage, unselfish efforts and gallant devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Commander in Chief, Pacific: Serial 78
Silver Star Medal (SSM)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Gold Star in lieu
Purple Heart
1 bronze service star
Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
4 bronze campaign stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
1 bronze service star
National Defense Service Medal (NDSM)

Sources

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