Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Junior van Noy

  • Also Known As: Van Noy Jr., Nathan K.
  • Rank: Private
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Headquarters Company, Shore Battalion,
    532d Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: October 17, 1943
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Finschafen, New Guinea

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Finschafen, New Guinea, on 17 October 1943. When wounded late in September, Pvt. Van Noy declined evacuation and continued on duty. On 17 October 1943 he was gunner in charge of a machine-gun post only five yards from the water's edge when the alarm was given that three enemy barges loaded with troops were approaching the beach in the early morning darkness. One landing barge was sunk by Allied fire, but the other two beached 10 yards from Pvt. Van Noy's emplacement. Despite his exposed position, he poured a withering hail of fire onto the debarking enemy troops. His loader was wounded by a grenade and evacuated. Pvt. Van Noy, also grievously wounded, remained at his post, ignoring calls of nearby soldiers urging him to withdraw, and continued to fire with deadly accuracy. He expended every round and was found, covered with wounds, dead beside his gun. In this action Pvt. Van Noy killed at least half of the 39 enemy taking part in the landing. His heroic tenacity at the price of his life not only saved the lives of many of his comrades, but enabled them to annihilate the attacking detachment.

Medal of Honor Recipient Junior van Noy
Medal of Honor Recipient Junior van Noy
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Preston, Franklin County, Idaho
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 17, 1944

    Preston, Idaho, presented by Col. A.E. Merrill to his Mother

  • Born: August 9, 1924, Grace, Caribou County, ID, United States
  • Died: October 17, 1943, New Guinea
  • Buried: Grace Cemetery (MH) (80-2-5), Grace, ID, United States
  • Location of Medal: Fort Douglas Military Museum, Fort Douglas, UT

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