The Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Medal of Honor Foundation regret to announce the passing of Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura.

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Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Donald Jack Ruhl

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company E, 2d Battalion, 28th Marines,
    5th Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 19 - 21, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman in an assault platoon of Company E, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands from 19-21 February 1945. Quick to press the advantage after eight Japanese had been driven from a blockhouse on D-day, Pfc. Ruhl singlehandedly attacked the group, killing one of the enemy with his bayonet and another by rifle fire in his determined attempt to annihilate the escaping troops. Cool and undaunted as the fury of hostile resistance steadily increased throughout the night, he voluntarily left the shelter of his tank trap early in the morning of D-day plus one and moved out under a tremendous volume of mortar and machine-gun fire to rescue a wounded marine lying in an exposed position approximately 40 yards forward of the line. Half pulling and half carrying the wounded man, he removed him to a defiladed position, called for an assistant and a stretcher and, again running the gauntlet of hostile fire, carried the casualty to an aid station some 300 yards distant on the beach. Returning to his platoon, he continued his valiant efforts, volunteering to investigate an apparently abandoned Japanese gun emplacement 75 yards forward of the right flank during consolidation of the front lines, and subsequently occupying the position through the night to prevent the enemy from repossessing the valuable weapon. Pushing forward in the assault against the vast network of fortifications surrounding Mt. Suribachi the following morning, he crawled with his platoon guide to the top of a Japanese bunker to bring fire to bear on enemy troops located on the far side of the bunker. Suddenly a hostile grenade landed between the two marines. Instantly Pfc. Ruhl called a warning to his fellow marine and dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the full impact of the shattering explosion in his own body and protecting all within range from the danger of flying fragments although he might easily have dropped from his position on the edge of the bunker to the ground below. An indomitable fighter, Pfc. Ruhl rendered heroic service toward the defeat of a ruthless enemy, and his valor, initiative, and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Donald J. Ruhl
Medal of Honor Recipient Donald J. Ruhl
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Montana
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: July 2, 1923, Columbus, Stillwater County, MT, United States
  • Died: February 21, 1945, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands
  • Buried: Hillside Cemetery (MH) (VFW Sec.), Greybull, WY, United States
 

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