Gunnery Sergeant Robert H. McCard, USMC, (1918-1944)

Robert Howard McCard was born on 25 November 1918 in Syracuse, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from that state in December 1939. Upon completion of training, he reported for sea duty on board USS Tuscaloosa and was promoted in July 1940 to Private First Class. In May 1941, he was temporarily promoted to Sergeant for recruiting duty at Centralia, Illinois. That December, as the U.S. entered World War II, McCard reverted to Private First Class and was assigned to Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois. He was later transferred to the Training Center at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. In January 1943, McCard was promoted to Corporal. In April, he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the Fourth Tank Battalion, Fourth Marine Division, then based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

In January 1944, McCard left for duty in the Pacific and participated in the invasion of Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands. Promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in May, on 16 June 1944, during the battle of Saipan, Marianas Islands, he served as Platoon Sergeant with Company A, Fourth Tank Battalion, Fourth Marine Division. When his tank was disabled by enemy 77-mm. gun fire, McCard covered the evacuation of his crew with grenades and machine gun fire, sacrificing his life to save his men. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Robert H. McCard is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu, Hawaii.

USS Robert H. McCard (DD-822), 1946-1980, was named in honor of Gunnery Sergeant Robert H. McCard.

This page features the only image we have concerning Robert H. McCard.

Photo #: NH 106310

Gunnery Sergeant Robert H. McCard, USMC

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 225.
Robert H. McCard was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for " conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving as Platoon Sergeant of Company A, Fourth Tank Battalion, Fourth Marine Division at the Battle of Saipan, Marianas Islands, 16 June 1944.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 63KB; 580 x 765 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of Gunnery Sergeant Robert Howard McCard, USMC (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 225):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Platoon Sergeant of Company A, Fourth Tank Battalion, FOURTH Marine Division, during the battle for enemy Japanese-held Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 16 June 1944. Cut off from the other units of his platoon when his tank was put out of action by a battery of enemy 77-mm. guns, Gunnery Sergeant McCard carried on resolutely, bringing all the tank's weapons to bear on the enemy, until the severity of hostile fire caused him to order his crew out of the escape hatch while he courageously exposed himself to enemy guns by hurling hand grenades, in order to cover the evacuation of his men. Seriously wounded during this action and with his supply of grenades exhausted, Gunnery Sergeant McCard then dismantled one of the tank's machine guns and faced the Japanese for the second time to deliver vigorous fire into their positions, destroying 16 of the enemy but sacrificing himself to insure the safety of his crew. His valiant fighting spirit and supreme loyalty in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon Gunnery Sergeant McCard and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

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