Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Robert H. Dunlap

Details
  • Rank: Captain (Highest Rank: Major)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines,
    5th Marine Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: February 20 - 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 as commanding officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands on 20 and 21 February, 1945. Defying uninterrupted blasts of Japanese artillery, mortar, rifle, and machine-gun fire, Capt. Dunlap led his troops in a determined advance from low ground uphill toward the steep cliffs from which the enemy poured a devastating rain of shrapnel and bullets, steadily inching forward until the tremendous volume of enemy fire from the caves located high to his front temporarily halted his progress. Determined not to yield, he crawled alone approximately 200 yards forward of his front lines, took observation at the base of the cliff 50 yards from Japanese lines, located the enemy gun positions, and returned to his own lines where he relayed the vital information to supporting artillery and naval gunfire units. Persistently disregarding his own personal safety, he then placed himself in an exposed vantage point to direct more accurately the supporting fire and, working without respite for two days and two nights under constant enemy fire, skillfully directed a smashing bombardment against the almost impregnable Japanese positions despite numerous obstacles and heavy marine casualties. A brilliant leader, Capt. Dunlap inspired his men to heroic efforts during this critical phase of the battle and by his cool decision, indomitable fighting spirit, and daring tactics in the face of fanatic opposition greatly accelerated the final decisive defeat of Japanese countermeasures in his sector and materially furthered the continued advance of his company. His great personal valor and gallant spirit of self-sacrifice throughout the bitter hostilities reflect the highest credit upon Capt. Dunlap and the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert H. Dunlap
Medal of Honor Recipient Robert H. Dunlap
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 18, 1945
    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman
  • Born: October 19, 1920, Abingdon, Knox County, IL, United States
  • Died: March 24, 2000, Monmouth, IL, United States
  • Buried: Warren County Memorial Park (MH) (28-3) , Monmouth, IL, United States
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