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First Name: Harold

Last Name: Moon

Birthplace: Albuquerque, NM, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Gardena, CA
Middle Name: Herman

Date of Birth: 15 March 1921

Date of Death: 21 October 1944

Rank: Private

Years Served: 1942 - 1944
Harold Herman Moon, Jr.

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Harold Herman Moon, Jr.

Private, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private Harold Herman Moon, Jr. (15 March 1921 - 21 October 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Battle of Leyte in World War II.

Harold Herman Moon, Jr. was born on 15 March 1921 in Albuquerque, NM. He joined the Army from Gardena, CA, and served as a Private in Company G, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Before the landing on Leyte, Moon was a persistent troublemaker and known as the "G Company screw-up." He had been confined to the stockade, yet was released back to his unit, amidst strong objection, just prior to the battle. On the night of 21 October 1944, during a Japanese counterattack at Pawig, Leyte, in the Philippines, Moon held his position manning a submachine gun despite intense enemy fire and overwhelming odds. He was killed during the battle and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company G, 34th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Pawig, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 21 October 1944.

Citation: He fought with conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity when powerful Japanese counterblows were being struck in a desperate effort to annihilate a newly won beachhead. In a forward position, armed with a submachinegun, he met the brunt of a strong, well-supported night attack which quickly enveloped his platoon's flanks. Many men in nearby positions were killed or injured, and Pvt. Moon was wounded as his foxhole became the immediate object of a concentration of mortar and machinegun fire. Nevertheless, he maintained his stand, poured deadly fire into the enemy, daringly exposed himself to hostile fire time after time to exhort and inspire what American troops were left in the immediate area. A Japanese officer, covered by machinegun fire and hidden by an embankment, attempted to knock out his position with grenades, but Pvt. Moon, after protracted and skillful maneuvering, killed him. When the enemy advanced a light machinegun to within 20 yards of the shattered perimeter and fired with telling effects on the remnants of the platoon, he stood up to locate the gun and remained exposed while calling back range corrections to friendly mortars which knocked out the weapon. A little later he killed 2 Japanese as they charged an aid man. By dawn his position, the focal point of the attack for more than 4 hours, was virtually surrounded. In a fanatical effort to reduce it and kill its defender, an entire platoon charged with fixed bayonets. Firing from a sitting position, Pvt. Moon calmly emptied his magazine into the advancing horde, killing 18 and repulsing the attack. In a final display of bravery, he stood up to throw a grenade at a machinegun which had opened fire on the right flank. He was hit and instantly killed, falling in the position from which he had not been driven by the fiercest enemy action. Nearly 200 dead Japanese were found within 100 yards of his foxhole. The continued tenacity, combat sagacity, and magnificent heroism with which Pvt. Moon fought on against overwhelming odds contributed in a large measure to breaking up a powerful enemy threat and did much to insure our initial successes during a most important operation.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Private Harold Herman Moon, Jr. was killed in action on 21 October 1944. He is buried at Sunset Memorial Park in his birth city of Albuquerque, NM, in Block 9, Section 56, Grave 1.

Honoree ID: 1550   Created by: MHOH




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