Cpl. RICHARD E. BUSH
1st Bn, 4th Marines, 6th Marine Division
Mount Yaetake. Okinawa, Japan
16 April 1945.
As a squad leader during the final assault against Mount Yaetake Okinawa. Cpl Bush rallied his men to attack. Cpl. Bush defied concentrated Japanese artillery and machinegun fire to lead his squad up the face of the rocky precipice to drive the defending troops from heavily fortified positions.
Bush’s unit was the first to break through to the inner defense of Mount Yaetake where he fought relentlessly. Seriously wounded he was evacuated with others to a position of cover under protecting rocks.
Although prostrate, bleeding and in extreme pain, Cpl. Bush’s courage was as evident under medical care as under enemy fire.
When a Japanese hand grenade landed in the midst of the wounded – Cpl. Bush unhesitatingly pulled the explosive to himself putting it under his own body. He absorbed the entire load of shrapnel with his body saving his fellow Marines from severe injury or death.
He made a conscious decision to give his life for his brothers… but an enemy grenade was no match you’re the young Marine’s metal. He survived and after the war served as a counselor at the Local Veterans Administration until 1972 when he retired.
Bush passed peacefully in June of 2004, at the age of 79.
The last line of Cpl. Bush’s Medal of Honor certificate reads as follows:
“By his valiant leadership and aggressive tactics in the face of savage opposition, Cpl. Bush contributed materially to the success of the sustained drive toward the conquest of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His constant concern for the welfare of his men, his resolute spirit of self-sacrifice, and his unwavering devotion to duty throughout the bitter conflict enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.”