Sergeant Grant F. Timmerman, USMC, (1919-1944)

Grant Frederick Timmerman was born on 19 February 1919 in Americus, Kansas. He attended Kansas State Teacher's College for a year and in 1937 moved to San Mateo, California, where he worked as an electric welder. In October 1937 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps from that state. Following recruit training at Marine Recruit Depot at San Diego, California, he was assigned to the Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton, Washington. Relocating to China on board USS Henderson in 1938, Timmerman then served with the Motor Transport Company, Fourth Marines. In July 1940, he was promoted to Private First Class.

Returning to the U.S. in April 1941, Timmerman was assigned to duty at the Naval Prison, Mare Island Navy Yard, California. In October, he was discharged from the Marines, but reenlisted in February 1942, after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. He initially served with the Transport Company at Marine Corps Base, San Diego, then was assigned to the Commanding General of the Department of the Pacific, whose headquarters was at San Francisco. Transferred to the Second Tank Battalion of the Second Marine Division in the Spring, Timmerman was promoted to Corporal in July and to Sergeant in October 1942. The following month, he went overseas to Wellington, New Zealand to prepare for combat duty. In November 1943, Sergeant Timmerman participated in the conquest of Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands.

On 15 June 1944, serving as a tank commander with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division, Sergeant Timmerman took part in the D-Day landings on Saipan, Mariana Islands, and the subsequent fight to capture that strategic island. On 8 July, when his tank was halted by enemy defenses, he blocked an incoming grenade with his body. Holding it to his chest and absorbing the blast, Timmerman sacrificed his life to save his comrades. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Grant F. Timmerman is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

USS Timmerman (DD-828, later EAG-152), 1952-1959, was named in honor of Sergeant Grant F. Timmerman.

This page features the only image we have concerning Grant F. Timmerman.

Photo #: NH 102456

Sergeant Grant F. Timmerman, USMC

Halftone reproduction of a photograph, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 269.
Grant F. Timmerman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" while serving as Tank Commander with Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division in action against the Japanese on Saipan, Marianas Islands, 8 July 1944.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 55KB; 580 x 765 pixels


Medal of Honor citation of Sergeant Grant Frederick Timmerman, USMC, (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 269):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Tank Commander serving with the Second Battalion, Sixth Marines, SECOND Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 8 July 1944. Advancing with his tank a few yards ahead of the infantry in support of a vigorous attack on hostile positions, Sergeant Timmerman maintained steady fire from his antiaircraft sky mount machine gun until progress was impeded by a series of enemy trenches and pillboxes. Observing a target of opportunity, he immediately ordered the tank stopped and, mindful of the danger from the muzzle blast as he prepared to open fire with the 75-mm., fearlessly stood up in the exposed turret and ordered the infantry to hit the deck. Quick to act as a grenade, hurled by the Japanese, was about to drop into the open turret hatch, Sergeant Timmerman unhesitatingly blocked the opening with his body holding the grenade against his chest and taking the brunt of the explosion. His exceptional valor and loyalty in saving his men at the cost of his own life reflect the highest credit upon Sergeant Timmerman and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

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