Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Joseph Rodolph Julian

Details
  • Rank: Platoon Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Battalion, 27th Marines,
    5th Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 9, 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 a P/Sgt. Serving with the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 9 March 1945. Determined to force a breakthrough when Japanese troops occupying trenches and fortified positions on the left front laid down a terrific machine-gun and mortar barrage in a desperate effort to halt his company's advance, P/Sgt. Julian quickly established his platoon's guns in strategic supporting positions, and then, acting on his own initiative, fearlessly moved forward to execute a one-man assault on the nearest pillbox. Advancing alone, he hurled deadly demolitions and white phosphorus grenades into the emplacement, killing two of the enemy and driving the remaining five out into the adjoining trench system. Seizing a discarded rifle, he jumped into the trench and dispatched the five before they could make an escape. Intent on wiping out all resistance, he obtained more explosives and, accompanied by another marine, again charged the hostile fortifications and knocked out two more cave positions. Immediately thereafter, he launched a bazooka attack unassisted, firing four rounds into the one remaining pillbox and completely destroying it before he fell, mortally wounded by a vicious burst of enemy fire. Stouthearted and indomitable, P/Sgt. Julian consistently disregarded all personal danger and, by his bold decision, daring tactics, and relentless fighting spirit during a critical phase of the battle, contributed materially to the continued advance of his company and to the success of his division's operations in the sustained drive toward the conquest of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His outstanding valor and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice throughout the bitter conflict sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Medal of Honor Recipient Joseph R. Julian
Medal of Honor Recipient Joseph R. Julian
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Massachusetts
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Born: April 3, 1918, Sturbridge, Worcester County, MA, United States
  • Died: March 9, 1945, Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands
  • Buried: Long Island National Cemetery (MH) (DSS-12), Farmingdale, NY, United States
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