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First Name: John

Last Name: Parle

Birthplace: Omaha, NE, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Joseph

Date of Birth: 26 May 1920

Date of Death: 10 July 1943

Rank or Rate: Ensign

Years Served: 1942 - 1943
John Joseph Parle

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


John Joseph Parle

Ensign, U.S. Navy

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Ensign John Joseph Parle (26 May 1920 - 10 July 1943) was a U.S. Naval Reserve officer who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in World War II.

John Joseph Parle was born on 26 May 1920 in Omaha, NE. On 9 July 1943, Parle was serving as an Ensign and was involved in the preparations for the Allied invasion of Sicily. On that day, he noticed a fire aboard a small boat loaded with explosives and ammunition. Knowing that an explosion would alert the defenders on Sicily of the impending invasion, he rushed to put out the fire. Although successful in dousing the flames, he later died of smoke inhalation. For his actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Ensign, U.S. Naval Reserve.

Citation: For valor and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of Small Boats in the U.S.S. LST 375 during the amphibious assault on the island of Sicily, 9-10 July 1943. Realizing that a detonation of explosives would prematurely disclose to the enemy the assault about to be carried out, and with full knowledge of the peril involved, Ens. Parle unhesitatingly risked his life to extinguish a smoke pot accidentally ignited in a boat carrying charges of high explosives, detonating fuses and ammunition. Undaunted by fire and blinding smoke, he entered the craft, quickly snuffed out a burning fuse, and after failing in his desperate efforts to extinguish the fire pot, finally seized it with both hands and threw it over the side. Although he succumbed a week later from smoke and fumes inhaled, Ens. Parle's heroic self-sacrifice prevented grave damage to the ship and personnel and insured the security of a vital mission. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Death and Burial

Ensign John Joseph Parle died on 10 July 1943 of injuries sustained in action. He is buried at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in his birth city of Omaha, NE.

Honoree ID: 1587   Created by: MHOH




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