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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps

Anthony Peter Damato

  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    2d Battalion, 22d Marines,
    5th Marine Amphibious Corps
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 19 - 20, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with an assault company in action against enemy Japanese forces on Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, on the night of 19[-20 February 1944. Highly vulnerable to sudden attack by small, fanatical groups of Japanese still at large despite the efficient and determined efforts of our forces to clear the area, Cpl. Damato lay with two comrades in a large foxhole in his company's defense perimeter which had been dangerously thinned by the forced withdrawal of nearly half of the available men. When one of the enemy approached the foxhole undetected and threw in a hand grenade, Cpl. Damato desperately groped for it in the darkness. Realizing the imminent peril to all three and fully aware of the consequences of his act, he unhesitatingly flung himself on the grenade and, although instantly killed as his body absorbed the explosion, saved the lives of his two companions. Cpl. Damato's splendid initiative, fearless conduct, and valiant sacrifice reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.
Medal of Honor Recipient Anthony P. Damato
Medal of Honor Recipient Anthony P. Damato
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Pennsylvania
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 9, 1945
    Lincoln School, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, presented to his Mother
  • Born: March 28, 1922, Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, PA, United States
  • Died: February 20, 1944, Eniwetok Atoll, Engebi Island, Marshall Islands
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (MH) (A-334), Honolulu, HI, United States

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