Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

or
  • Filter Recipient Database here
    • Service Branch
    • Conflict / Era
    • Additional Filters
      -  
    or

World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

John Harold Leims

Details
  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines,
    3d Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 7, 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 as commanding officer of Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 7 March 1945. Launching a surprise attack against the rock-imbedded fortifications of a dominating Japanese hill position, 2d Lt. Leims spurred his company forward with indomitable determination and, skillfully directing his assault platoons against the cave-emplaced enemy troops and heavily fortified pillboxes, succeeded in capturing the objective in the late afternoon. When it became apparent that his assault platoon were cut off in this newly won position, approximately 400 yards forward of adjacent units, and lacked all communication with the command post, he personally advanced and laid telephone lines across the isolating expanse of open, fire-swept terrain. Ordered to withdraw his command after he had joined his forward platoons he immediately complied, adroitly effecting the withdrawal of his troops without incident. Upon arriving at the rear, he was informed that several casualties had been left at the abandoned ridge position beyond the front lines. Although suffering acutely from the strain and exhaustion of battle, he instantly went forward despite darkness and the slashing fury of hostile machine-gun fire, located and carried to safety one seriously wounded marine, and then, running the gauntlet of enemy fire for the third time that night, again made his tortuous way into the bullet-riddled death trap and rescued another of his wounded men. A dauntless leader, concerned at all times for the welfare of his men, 2d Lt. Leims soundly maintained the coordinated strength of his battle-wearied company under extremely difficult conditions and, by his bold tactics, sustained aggressiveness, and heroic disregard of all personal danger, contributed essentially to the success of his division's operations against this vital Japanese base. His valiant conduct in the face of fanatic opposition sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient John H. Leims
Medal of Honor Recipient John H. Leims
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 14, 1946
    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman
  • Born: June 8, 1921, Chicago, Cook County, IL, United States
  • Died: June 28, 1985, Conroe, TX, United States
  • Buried: Arlington National Cemetery (MH) (2-1132-2), Arlington, VA, United States
Share

Questions? For More Information Contact Us!