Okinawa

As the enemy, carrying knee mortars and machine guns, advanced down
the draw into the American lines on the northwest slopes of Kakazu Ridge, a
mortar squad of the 1st Battalion of the 381st, led by S/Sgt. Beauford T. Anderson, holed up in a tomb where it commanded the draw. Ordering his men to stay under cover, Anderson went out into the dark to face the enemy alone. He grenaded the enemy column until his supply of grenades was exhausted, but the Japanese kept advancing. In desperation Anderson turned to his squad’s mortar ammunition. He tore a mortar shell from its casing, pulled the safety pin, banged the projectile against the wall to release the set-back pin, and threw it football-fashion into the midst of the enemy. Its explosion was followed by screams, Anderson threw fourteen more shells and the enemy advance in this area came to a halt. In the morning twenty-five dead Japanese were found here, weighted down with ammunition and explosives. For this feat Anderson was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

From the WWII History of the United States Army- The Pacific War- Okinawa- The Last Battle

S/Sgt Anderson (later, 2LT, USAR) survived and went on to live a productive life in Wisconsin, and later California, passing in 1996.

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