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First Name: John

Last Name: Meagher

Birthplace: Jersey City, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Jersey City, NJ
Middle Name: William

Date of Birth: 05 December 1917

Date of Death: 14 April 1996

Rank: Technical Sergeant

Years Served:
John William Meagher

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John William Meagher

Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Technical Sergeant John William Meagher (5 December 1917 - 14 April 1996) was a U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

John William Meagher was born on 5 December 1917 in of Jersey City, NJ; he also joined the Army from that city. On 19 June 1945, he was serving as a Technical Sergeant in Company E, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. Near Ōzato, Okinawa, that day, he prevented the tank he was riding on from being disabled by an enemy soldier and then single-handedly destroyed two enemy positions. For his actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 305th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Ozato, Okinawa, 19 June 1945.

Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. In the heat of the fight, he mounted an assault tank, and, with bullets splattering about him, designated targets to the gunner. Seeing an enemy soldier carrying an explosive charge dash for the tank treads, he shouted fire orders to the gunner, leaped from the tank, and bayoneted the charging soldier. Knocked unconscious and his rifle destroyed, he regained consciousness, secured a machinegun from the tank, and began a furious 1-man assault on the enemy. Firing from his hip, moving through vicious crossfire that ripped through his clothing, he charged the nearest pillbox, killing 6. Going on amid the hail of bullets and grenades, he dashed for a second enemy gun, running out of ammunition just as he reached the position. He grasped his empty gun by the barrel and in a violent onslaught killed the crew. By his fearless assaults T/Sgt. Meagher single-handedly broke the enemy resistance, enabling his platoon to take its objective and continue the advance.

Meagher left the Army while still a Technical Sergeant.

Death and Burial

Technical Sergeant John William Meagher died on 14 April 1996 at age 78. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 64, Lot 1701. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. His eldest son, John W. Meagher, died in 2008.

Honoree ID: 1537   Created by: MHOH




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