The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Platoon Sergeant

United States Marine Corps Reserve
Joseph Julian




 For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Platoon Sergeant serving with First Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, Fifth 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 break-through 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, Platoon Sergeant 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, Platoon Sergeant 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 United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

President of the United States

Platoon Sergeant Joseph Rudolph Julian was born in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, on 3 April 1918. He graduated from high school in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and in January 1942 enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Following basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he became a Drill Instructor, and, later, was assigned to the 5th Marine Division. He was killed in action on Iwo Jima, 9 March 1945, following a one-man assault on enemy-occupied trenches and fortified positions. The Medal of Honor was awarded him posthumously for heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

The Medal and citation were presented to his parents by the Secretary of the Navy on 15 November 1945. Following the war, Sgt Julian's remains were reinterred at Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, New York, at the request of his parents.

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