Private Robert M. McTureous, Jr., USMC, (1924-1945)
Robert Miller McTureous Jr. was born on 26 March 1924 in Altoona, Florida. He enlisted from that same state in the U.S. Marine Corps in August 1944 and
completed recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, where he became qualified as a sharpshooter. In November, he was
assigned to the Fourth Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, then transferred to the Forty-Sixth Draft Regiment. In late winter, he moved with his
unit to Camp Pendleton, California. In March 1945, he departed for combat duty in the Pacific. In May, he transferred to Rifle Company H, Third Battalion,
Twenty-Ninth Marines, Sixth Marine Division and received additional combat training.
On 7 June 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, McTureous' company suffered casualties after capturing a hill on Oroku Peninsula, and
the wounded could not be evacuated due to heavy Japanese fire. Waging a one-man assault to redirect enemy fire away from the wounded,
McTureous attacked numerous times and suffered severe wounds in the process. He crawled 200 yards back to safety before asking for aid.
His actions disorganized the enemy and enabled his company to complete its mission. Evacuated to the hospital ship USS Relief, he succumbed to his wounds on 11 June.
For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Robert M. McTureous, Jr. is buried at Glendale Cemetery, Umatilla, Florida.
This page features the only image we have concerning Robert M McTureous, Jr.
Photo #: NH 106311|
Private Robert M. McTureous, Jr., USMC
Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official
publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 228.
Robert M. McTureous, Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for
"conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving with the
Third Marine Battalion, Twenty-Ninth Marines, Sixth Marine Division in action against
Japanese forces at the Battle of Okinawa, Japan, 7 June 1945.
U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph
Online Image: 54KB; 580 x 765 pixels
Medal of Honor citation of Private Robert M. McTureous, Jr., USMC
(as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor,
1861-1949, The Navy", page 228):
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of
duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty-ninth Marines, SIXTH 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, Private McTureous was quick to observe the plight of company stretcher bearers
who were suddenly assailed by slashing machine-gun fire as they attempted to evacuate wounded
at the rear of his 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 one-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 machine-gun 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 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, Private McTureous had succeeded in neutralizing the enemy fire, killing six 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 United States Naval Service."
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