Decorations & Medals

The Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest award for military valor, is given only to those who have acted with supreme courage, with total disregard for their own safety in the face of the most hazardous conditions.

It is an award that only a comparative handful of men in the world are entitled to wear. It is bestowed by Act of Congress and reflects the nation's gratitude to those who, in moments of uncommon risk, offered everything they had in her defense, including life itself.

The medal itself is but a humble token, a gesture of recognition for sacrifices which cannot be repaid in worldly goods.

Of the twelve men who were awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry" while serving with the Fourth Marine Division, seven did not live to have the honor bestowed on them personally. Six of these men died in the actions for which they are cited. To them, "above and beyond the call of duty" were not mere words but a challenge which involved their skill, determination, and self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death. Their reward was the knowledge that they were acting in the tradition of the highest ideals of the Naval Service and of the Nation it represents.

Those who lived to wear the Medal of Honor did so proudly and yet with the spirit of humility befitting true heroes. They shared the highest glory of which it is a symbol, yet held it in solemn trust for comrades less fortunate. Whether they lived or whether they died, our Nation is richer for their actions.

Individual Citations

Click here for photos and details on each of the individual citations

  • ANDERSON, Richard Beatty
  • CHAMBERS, Justice M.
  • COLE, Darrell Samuel
  • DYESS, Aquilla James
  • GRAY, Ross Franklin
  • JACOBSON, Douglas Thomas
  • McCARD, Robert Howard
  • McCARTHY, Joseph Jeremiah
  • OZBOURN, Joseph William
  • PIERCE, Francis Junior
  • POWER, John Vincent
  • SORENSON, Richard Keith
Group Medals
Medal or Decoration Location # Awarded

Medal of Honor

Roi-Namur 4
Saipan-Tinian 2
Iwo Jima 6


Navy Cross

Roi-Namur 17
Saipan-Tinian 38
Iwo Jima 56


Distinguished Service Medal

Roi-Namur 1
Saipan-Tinian 2
Iwo Jima 1


Silver Star

Roi-Namur 60
Saipan-Tinian 288
Iwo Jima 298


Legion of Merit

Roi-Namur 12
Saipan-Tinian 33
Iwo Jima 8


Distinguished Flying

Roi-Namur 0
Saipan-Tinian 7
Iwo Jima 29


Navy-Marine Corps

Roi-Namur 5
Saipan-Tinian 47
Iwo Jima 5


Bronze Star

Roi-Namur 45
Saipan-Tinian 1,110
Iwo Jima 1,362


Air Medal

Roi-Namur 4
Saipan-Tinian 15
Iwo Jima 84


Purple Heart

Roi-Namur 611
Saipan-Tinian 6,262
Iwo Jima 7,863


Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon
Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon