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First Name: John

Last Name: New

Birthplace: Mobile, AL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Dury

Date of Birth: 12 August 1924

Date of Death: 25 September 1944

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1941 - 1944
John Dury New

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John Dury New

Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class John Dury New (12 August 1924 - 25 September 1944) was a U.S. Marine who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

John Dury New was born on 12 August 1924 in Mobile, AL, and attended St. Joseph's Parochial School and the public schools of that city. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on 8 December 1941, the first man from Mobile to enlist after Pearl Harbor. On 12 December 1941, he joined the 4th Recruit Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, and, following recruit training, served at Quantico, VA.

In September 1942, Private New joined the 4th Replacement Battalion, Fleet Marine Force Training Center, at San Diego, CA. He sailed for duty overseas the following month, and took part in the Guadalcanal campaign as a member of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the Division on Guadalcanal. He later took part in the seizure and occupation of Cape Gloucester, New Britain, and in the defense of the airfield in the vicinity of Cape Gloucester.

Promoted to Private First Class in April 1944, he moved from Cape Gloucester to Pavuvu, Russell Islands, to Guadalcanal, and on 15 September 1944 sailed for Peleliu in the Palau Islands. Nine days later he was killed in action on Peleliu when he flung himself on an enemy hand grenade to save the lives of two comrades. For his heroic self-sacrifice he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Private First Class, 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 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group, 25 September 1944. When a Japanese soldier emerged from a cave in a cliff directly below an observation post and suddenly hurled a grenade into the position from which 2 of our men were directing mortar fire against enemy emplacements, Pfc. New instantly perceived the dire peril to the other marines and, with utter disregard for his own safety, unhesitatingly flung himself upon the grenade and absorbed the full impact of the explosion, thus saving the lives of the 2 observers. Pfc. New's great personal valor and selfless conduct in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Private First Class John Dury New was killed in action on 25 September 1944. Initially buried in the U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery on Peleliu, in 1948 PFC New's remains were returned to the U.S. and re-interred at the Mobile National Cemetery in Mobile, AL. His grave can be found in Section 7-2147.

Honoree ID: 1566   Created by: MHOH




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