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 William George Harrell

William George Harrell

Rio Grande City, Starr County, Texas, USA
Death 9 Aug 1964 (aged 42)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Burial San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Plot Section W Grave 3247
Memorial ID 18136 · View Source
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World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served as a Platoon Sergeant in Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, US Marine Corps. During the Iwo Jima campaign on March 3, 1945, Sergeant Harrell with a comrade dug in at a foxhole on a ridge 20 yards forward of where their company command post was established. Because of their nearness to the enemy, the two men took turns standing watches during the night when the Japanese attacked. The first attack by the Japanese was repulsed, but the other Marine's weapon jammed and he returned to the command post to obtain another. While he was gone, the enemy managed to get a grenade in the foxhole which exploded, blowing off Sergeant Harrell's left hand. The second Marine returned just as the Japanese were swarming the foxhole and together they drove them off with Sergeant Harrell's partner being wounded. Sergeant Harrell ordered his companion to retire to safety, but he said he would return with more back-up support. During his absence, more Japanese charged the foxhole, setting off another grenade which blew off Sergeant Harrell's right hand. When relief support arrived, they found Sergeant Harrell still manning his post with many dead enemy around him. For gallantry in the face of the enemy, he was awarded the awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and Medal of Honor presented by President Harry S. Truman at the White House on October 5, 1945.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith

Family Members


Medal of Honor
Pl Sgt
US Marine Corps
World War II




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 27 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18136
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William George Harrell (26 Jun 1922–9 Aug 1964), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18136, citing Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .