There are nine Medals awarded for actions on this day. Five during the Civil War, three during WWII, and one during Vietnam.
There is a phrase which often closes WWII citations, especially for the sea services; “He gallantly gave his life for his country.”
You read those citations, and the proper closing should reflect, “He died for his buddies,” as PFC Diamond’s does. Mom, Apple Pie, and Uncle Sam get you *in* the service. When you are in the meadow where the Iron Crosses grow, you fight for each other, and little else. Leave that crap for the GOFOs and politicians.
Civil War – a fairly representative spread of Medal citations for this conflict.
BOX, Thomas J RANK: CAPTAIN UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY D, 27TH INDIANA INFANTRY DATE: MAY 14, 1864 PLACE: RESACA, GEORGIA, USA CITATION: Capture of flag of the 38th Alabama Infantry (C.S.A.).
NEWMAN, Marcellus JRANK: PRIVATE UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY B, 111TH ILLINOIS INFANTRY DATE: MAY 14, 1864 PLACE: RESACA, GEORGIA, USA CITATION:Voluntarily returned, in the face of a severe fire from the enemy, and rescued a wounded comrade who had been left behind as the regiment fell back.
RANNEY, George E RANK: ASSISTANT SURGEON (HIGHEST RANK: SURGEON) UNIT/COMMAND: 2D MICHIGAN CAVALRY DATE: MAY 14, 1864 PLACE: RESACA, GEORGIA, USA CITATION:At great personal risk, went to the aid of a wounded soldier, Pvt. Charles W. Baker, lying under heavy fire between the lines and with the aid of an orderly, carried him to a place of safety.
SLADEN, Joseph A. RANK: PRIVATE (HIGHEST RANK: MAJOR, U.S. ARMY, RET.) UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY A, 33D MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY DATE: MAY 14, 1864 RESACA, GEORGIA, USA CITATION: While detailed as clerk at headquarters, voluntarily engaged in action at a critical moment and personal example inspired the troops to repel the enemy.
TYRRELL, George W RANK: CORPORAL (HIGHEST RANK: FIRST SERGEANT) UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY H, 5TH OHIO INFANTRY
DATE: MAY 14, 1864 RESACA, GEORGIA, USA CITATION: Capture of flag.
World War II. The war in Europe being over, these three fought in the Pacific, all going to glory the same day, but in very different places.
*DIAMOND, James H RANK: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY D, 21ST INFANTRY, 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION DATE: MAY 14, 1945 PLACE: MINTAL, MINDANAO, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
CITATION: As a member of the machine-gun section, he displayed extreme gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. When a Japanese sniper rose from his foxhole to throw a grenade into their midst, this valiant soldier charged and killed the enemy with a burst from his submachine-gun; then, by delivering sustained fire from his personal arm and simultaneously directing the fire of 105-mm and .50-caliber weapons upon the enemy pillboxes, immobilizing this and another machine-gun section, he enabled them to put their guns into action. When two infantry companies established a bridgehead, he voluntarily assisted in evacuating the wounded under heavy fire; and then, securing an abandoned vehicle, transported casualties to the rear through mortar and artillery fire so intense as to render the vehicle inoperative and despite the fact he was suffering from a painful wound. The following day he again volunteered, this time for the hazardous job of repairing a bridge under heavy enemy fire. On 14 May 1945, when leading a patrol to evacuate casualties from his battalion, which was cut off, he ran through a virtual hail of Japanese fire to secure an abandoned machine gun. Though mortally wounded as he reached the gun, he succeeded in drawing sufficient fire upon himself so that the remaining members of the patrol could reach safety. Pfc. Diamond’s indomitable spirit, constant disregard of danger, and eagerness to assist his comrades, will ever remain a symbol of selflessness and heroic sacrifice to those for whom he gave his life.
*COURTNEY JR., Henry A RANK: MAJOR UNIT/COMMAND: 2D BATTALION, 22D MARINES, 6TH MARINE DIVISION DATE: MAY 14 – 15, 1945 PLACE: SUGAR LOAF HILL, OKINAWA SHIMA, RYUKYU ISLANDS
CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as executive officer of the 2d Battalion, 22d Marines, 6th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima, in the Ryukyu Islands, 14 and 15 May 1945. Ordered to hold for the night in static defense behind Sugar Loaf Hill after leading the forward elements of his command in a prolonged firefight, Maj. Courtney weighed the effect of a hostile night counterattack against the tactical value of an immediate marine assault, resolved to initiate the assault, and promptly obtained permission to advance and seize the forward slope of the hill. Quickly explaining the situation to his small remaining force, he declared his personal intention of moving forward and then proceeded on his way, boldly blasting nearby cave positions and neutralizing enemy guns as he went. Inspired by his courage, every man followed him without hesitation, and together the intrepid marines braved a terrific concentration of Japanese gunfire to skirt the hill on the right and reach the reverse slope. Temporarily halting, Maj. Courtney sent guides to the rear for more ammunition and possible replacements. Subsequently reinforced by 26 men and an LVT load of grenades, he determined to storm the crest of the hill and crush any planned counterattack before it could gain sufficient momentum to effect a breakthrough. Leading his men by example rather than by command, he pushed ahead with unrelenting aggressiveness, hurling grenades into cave openings on the slope with devastating effect. Upon reaching the crest and observing large numbers of Japanese forming for action less than 100 yards away, he instantly attacked, waged a furious battle, and succeeded in killing many of the enemy and in forcing the remainder to take cover in the caves. Determined to hold, he ordered his men to dig in and, coolly disregarding the continuous hail of flying enemy shrapnel, to rally his weary troops, tirelessly aided casualties and assigned his men to more advantageous positions. Although instantly killed by a hostile mortar burst while moving among his men, Maj. Courtney, by his astute military acumen, indomitable leadership, and decisive action in the face of overwhelming odds, had contributed essentially to the success of the Okinawa campaign. His great personal valor throughout sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*HAUGE JR., Louis J RANK: CORPORAL UNIT/COMMAND: COMPANY C, 1ST BATTALION, 1ST MARINES, 1ST MARINE DIVISION DATE: MAY 14, 1945 PLACE: OKINAWA SHIMA, RYUKYU ISLANDS
CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as leader of a machine-gun squad serving with Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain on 14 May 1945. Alert and aggressive during a determined assault against a strongly fortified Japanese hill position, Cpl. Hauge boldly took the initiative when his company’s left flank was pinned down under a heavy machine-gun and mortar barrage with resultant severe casualties and, quickly locating the two machine guns which were delivering the uninterrupted stream of enfilade fire, ordered his squad to maintain a covering barrage as he rushed across an exposed area toward the furiously blazing enemy weapons. Although painfully wounded as he charged the first machine gun, he launched a vigorous singlehanded grenade attack, destroyed the entire hostile gun position, and moved relentlessly forward toward the other emplacement despite his wounds and the increasingly heavy Japanese fire. Undaunted by the savage opposition, he again hurled his deadly grenades with unerring aim and succeeded in demolishing the second enemy gun before he fell under the slashing fury of Japanese sniper fire. By his ready grasp of the critical situation and his heroic one-man assault tactics, Cpl. Hauge had eliminated two strategically placed enemy weapons, thereby releasing the besieged troops from an overwhelming volume of hostile fire and enabling his company to advance. His indomitable fighting spirit and decisive valor in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon Cpl. Hauge and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Vietnam. A medic gives his all for his buddies.
*SHEA, Daniel J RANK: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS UNIT/COMMAND: HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, 3D BATTALION, 21ST INFANTRY, 196TH INFANTRY BRIGADE, AMERICAL DIVISION DATE: MAY 14, 1969 PLACE: QUANG TRI PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Shea, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, distinguished himself while serving as a medical aidman with Company C, 3d Battalion, during a combat patrol mission. As the lead platoon of the company was crossing a rice paddy, a large enemy force in ambush positions opened fire with mortars, grenades, and automatic weapons. Under heavy crossfire from three sides, the platoon withdrew to a small island in the paddy to establish a defensive perimeter. Pfc. Shea, seeing that a number of his comrades had fallen in the initial hail of fire, dashed from the defensive position to assist the wounded. With complete disregard for his safety and braving the intense hostile fire sweeping the open rice paddy, Pfc. Shea made four trips to tend wounded soldiers and to carry them to the safety of the platoon position. Seeing a fifth wounded comrade directly in front of one of the enemy strong points, Pfc. Shea ran to his assistance. As he reached the wounded man, Pfc. Shea was grievously wounded. Disregarding his welfare, Pfc. Shea tended his wounded comrade and began to move him back to the safety of the defensive perimeter. As he neared the platoon position, Pfc. Shea was mortally wounded by a burst of enemy fire. By his heroic actions Pfc. Shea saved the lives of several of his fellow soldiers. Pfc. Shea’s gallantry in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
*Asterisk indicates a posthumous award.