Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jeep assists Medal of Honor Winner

A Jeep 4x4 was instrumental in the heroic efforts of Private First Class Harold C. Agerholm, U.S. Marine Corps was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts in single-handedly evacuating 45 casualties in an abandoned Jeep ambulance.

Agerholm tirelessly re-entered the fray in his Willys MB under heavy fire for a three hour marathon mission.

This halftone reproduction of a photograph was copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 149.

Official copy reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Fourth Battalion, Tenth Marines, SECOND Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan, Marianas Islands, 7 July 1944.

When the enemy launched a fierce, determined counterattack against our positions and overran a neighboring artillery battalion, Private First Class Agerholm immediately volunteered to assist in the efforts to check the hostile attack and evacuate our wounded.

Locating and appropriating an abandoned ambulance Jeep 4x4, he repeatedly made extremely perilous trips under heavy rifle and mortar fire and single-handledly loaded and evacuted approximately 45 casualities, working tirelessly and with utter disregard for his own safety during a gruelling period of more than 3 hours.

Despite intense, persistent enemy fire, he ran out to aid two men whom he believed to be wounded Marines but was himself mortally wounded by a Japanese sniper while carrying out his hazardous mission.

Private First Class Agerholm's brilliant initiative, great personal valor and self-sacrificing efforts in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

He gallantly gave his life for his country."

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.