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First Name: Robert

Last Name: McTureous

Birthplace: Altoona, FL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Miller

Date of Birth: 26 March 1924

Date of Death: 11 June 1945

Rank: Private

Years Served: 1944-1945
Robert Miller McTureous, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Robert Miller McTureous, Jr.

Private, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private Robert Miller McTureous, Jr. (26 March 1924 - 11 June 1945) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest honor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions on Okinawa during World War II.

Robert Miller McTureous, Jr., was born on 26 March 1924 in Altoona, FL. He attended the primary schools of Altoona and graduated from high school at Umatilla, FL, in 1941. He attended Brewton-Parker Institute at Mount Vernon, GA, for one year majoring in mathematics and was on the football and baseball teams. He also participated in softball, tennis and boxing. In addition, while at Brewton-Parker he played the trombone, sang with the Glee Club and with the Double Quartet. His hobby was building model airplanes and, in 1942, he served as a Sunday School Superintendent.

Returning to Altoona, he went to work as a night watchman in an orange-packing house at Umatila for three months. Classified as 4F by his local Draft Board, he looked for a better job so he could raise enough money to have surgery to correct his disability. Two operations were necessary and the young man underwent them always with the view of getting into the service when he was able. For the last eight months that he was a civilian, he worked as a rodman on a surveying team, engaged in road construction for the Florida State Highway Department. Examined again in August 1944, he was found fit and his induction into the U.S. Marine Corps took place on 31 August 1944.

McTureous was sent to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, for his recruit training where he qualified as a sharpshooter with the M1 Garand and the Browning Automatic Rifle, by virtue of his 291 and 112 scores, respectively. In his General Classification Test, Pvt McTureous recorded a neat 132 while his Mechanical Aptitude Test was accomplished with a score of 131.

After a ten-day furlough (his only one), the new Marine reported to the 4th Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune, NC, in November. One month later, he was assigned to the 46th Replacement Draft there, and in March 1945 that unit moved to Camp Pendleton, CA. Pvt McTureous left the U.S. on 11 March 1945. Enroute to their destination, the Marines got a look at some of the places that had been making headlines since 7 December 1941. The first stop was Pearl Harbor and the next Eniwetok. They arrived and disembarked at Guam on 31 March 1945 and went into rigid combat training.

The island of Okinawa was invaded by U.S. Marines on 1 April 1945. When the need for replacements became apparent, Pvt McTureous' draft was sent. They arrived at Okinawa on 15 May 1945 and plunged into the fighting as a unit. On 31 May, McTureous became attached to a permanent organization - rifle Company H, 3rd Battalion, 29th Marines (H/3/29) of the 6th Marine Division.

Seven days after joining H/3/29, Pvt McTureous took part in the capture of an important hill on Oroku Peninsula. The company suffered several casualties during the assault and enemy fire remained so heavy that the wounded Marines could not be evacuated. His platoon was temporarily pinned down. Realizing that the wounded must be removed to the rear and the hill must be taken, Pvt McTureous, on his own initiative, filled his pockets with grenades, jammed more of the explosives inside his jacket, and charged up the hill and into the enemy position where he knew the accurate rifle and machine-gun fire was coming from.

Running among the caves, he tossed grenades into the Japanese positions as Marine stretcher-bearers came forward to remove the wounded during the temporary lull caused by his furious one-man assault. His supply of hand grenades exhausted, he returned to his own lines, took on another load and returned to the caves, smashing his deadly charges into the enemy positions. Passing one cave, he was badly wounded in the stomach but instead of calling for help and risking other men being hit in attempts to rescue him, he stoically crawled 200 yards to a sheltered place within the Marine lines before asking for aid. His actions completely silenced the Japanese, killing six of them and so badly disorganizing the remainder of the garrison, that his own company was enabled to occupy the hill and complete its mission. The earlier wounded were also evacuated to safety due to his self-sacrifice.

Pvt McTureous was evacuated to a hospital ship, the USSĀ Relief, and given large quantities of blood in an attempt to save his life, but all efforts failed and on the morning of 1 June 1945, he died at sea. For his heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

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

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with the 3d Battalion, 29th Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 June 1945. Alert and ready for any hostile counteraction following his company's seizure of an important hill objective, Pvt. McTureous was quick to observe the plight of company stretcher bearers who were suddenly assailed by slashing machinegun fire as they attempted to evacuate wounded at the rear of the newly won position. Determined to prevent further casualties, he quickly filled his jacket with hand grenades and charged the enemy-occupied caves from which the concentrated barrage was emanating. Coolly disregarding all personal danger as he waged his furious 1-man assault, he smashed grenades into the cave entrances, thereby diverting the heaviest fire from the stretcher bearers to his own person and, resolutely returning to his own lines under a blanketing hail of rifle and machinegun fire to replenish his supply of grenades, dauntlessly continued his systematic reduction of Japanese strength until he himself sustained serious wounds after silencing a large number of the hostile guns. Aware of his own critical condition and unwilling to further endanger the lives of his comrades, he stoically crawled a distance of 200 yards to a sheltered position within friendly lines before calling for aid. By his fearless initiative and bold tactics, Pvt. McTureous had succeeded in neutralizing the enemy fire, killing 6 Japanese troops and effectively disorganizing the remainder of the savagely defending garrison. His outstanding valor and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice during a critical stage of operations reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service.

Private McTureous' Medal of Honor was presented to his parents at a ceremony in Altoona on 7 August 1946. The presentation was made by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander A. Vandegrift, Jr., USMC, Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL, the son of the Marine Corps' Commandant, General Alexander Vandegrift.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart


In recognition of Pvt McTureous' heroic actions on Okinawa, a Marine Corps' base on Okinawa, Camp McTureous, is named in his honor.

His boyhood home has been turned into a museum named for him in Altoona, FL.

Death and Burial

Private Robert Miller McTureous, Jr. died of his wounds received in action, on 11 June 1945. His remains were initially buried in the 2nd Marine Division Cemetery on Saipan. In 1949, his remains were returned to the U.S. and re-interred at Glendale Cemetery in Umatilla, FL.

Honoree ID: 1534   Created by: MHOH




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