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First Name: Anthony

Last Name: Damato

Birthplace: Shenandoah, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Peter

Date of Birth: 22 March 1922

Date of Death: 20 February 1944

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1942-1944
Anthony Peter Damato

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Anthony Peter Damato
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Corporal Anthony Peter Damato (22 March 1922 - 20 February 1944) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Anthony Peter Damato was born on 28 March 1922 in Shenandoah, PA. He was educated in the elementary and high schools of Shenandoah. His last employment before his enlistment in the Marine Corps was as a truck driver.

Damato enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 8 January 1942. He went to Derry, Northern Ireland, in May of that year. He distinguished himself during the first year of his enlistment, volunteering for special duty with a select invasion party that took part in the North African landings. He was advanced in rate for especially meritorious conduct in action while serving aboard ship at Arzeau, Algeria, on 8 November 1942. He landed with an assault wave entering the port from seaward and assisted in boarding and seizing vessels in the harbor, as well as seizing the port. He returned to the U.S. in March 1943, and three months later sailed for Pacific duty.

On the night of 19-20 February 1944, he was serving with an assault company of the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marines, 5th Amphibious Corps, on Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands. While in a foxhole with two companions, an enemy grenade was thrown into the foxhole and Damato threw himself upon it, absorbing the explosion with his body. He was killed instantly. For his valor and self-sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps.

Place and date: Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, 19-20 February 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with an assault company in action against enemy Japanese forces on Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, on the night of 19-20 February 1944. Highly vulnerable to sudden attack by small, fanatical groups of Japanese still at large despite the efficient and determined efforts of our forces to clear the area, Cpl. Damato lay with 2 comrades in a large foxhole in his company's defense perimeter which had been dangerously thinned by the forced withdrawal of nearly half of the available men. When 1 of the enemy approached the foxhole undetected and threw in a hand grenade, Cpl. Damato desperately groped for it in the darkness. Realizing the imminent peril to all 3 and fully aware of the consequences of his act, he unhesitatingly flung himself on the grenade and, although instantly killed as his body absorbed the explosion, saved the lives of his 2 companions. Cpl. Damato's splendid initiative, fearless conduct and valiant sacrifice reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his comrades.

On 9 April 1945, the tiny mining community of Shenandoah, PA, turned out en masse to pay homage to Corporal Damato at the presentation ceremonies for the Medal of Honor. The presentation to Damato's mother, Frances, was made by Marine Corps Brigadier General M. C. Gregory at the Cooper High School where Damato had been a student.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart


The USSĀ Damato, a Gearing-class destroyer of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Corporal Damato.

Death and Burial

Corporal Anthony Peter Damato was killed in action on 20 February 1944. He was initially buried in the Temporary American Cemetery on Kiririan Island in the Marshall Islands. Later, his remains were re-interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI, in Section A, Grave 334.

Honoree ID: 1356   Created by: MHOH




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