Private First Class Harold Glenn Epperson
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member PersonsMD
N 37° 59.911 W 084° 11.328
16S E 746845 N 4209380
Quick Description: The final resting place of a true American and hero Private First Class Harold Glenn Epperson. Resting in city of Winchester, Kentucky cemetery.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 8/29/2009 2:14:41 PM
Waymark Code: WM73YV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 3

Long Description:
Harold Glenn Epperson Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

The Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on the Island of Saipan in the Marianas, on 25 June 1944. With his machinegun emplacement bearing the full brunt of a fanatic assault initiated by the Japanese under cover of predawn darkness, Pfc. Epperson manned his weapon with determined aggressiveness, fighting furiously in the defense of his battalion's position and maintaining a steady stream of devastating fire against rapidly infiltrating hostile troops to aid materially in annihilating several of the enemy and in breaking the abortive attack. Suddenly a Japanese soldier, assumed to be dead, sprang up and hurled a powerful hand grenade into the emplacement. Determined to save his comrades, Pfc. Epperson unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, diving upon the deadly missile, absorbed the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his own body. Stouthearted and indomitable in the face of certain death, Pfc. Epperson fearlessly yielded his own life that his able comrades might carry on the relentless battle against a ruthless enemy. His superb valor and unfaltering devotion to duty throughout reflect the highest credit upon himself and upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Harold Glenn Epperson, born 14 July 1923 in Akron, Ohio, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve 12 December 1942. Private Epperson served with distinction in the assaults on Tarawa and Saipan, sharing in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded his organization for its service at Tarawa. He was killed in action on Saipan 25 June 1944, and received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his great courage and self-sacrifice.

As a member of the 1st Battalion 6th Marines, Private First Class (PFC) Harold Glenn Epperson shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded his organization for its service at the Battle of Tarawa during World War II.

Epperson's Medal of Honor was presented to his mother at rites on Wednesday, 4 July 1945 in Tiger Stadium, Massillon, Ohio.
The setting of the presentation was appropriate - the stadium, the Massillon High School Band and 8,500 of the townspeople among whom the 20-year-old hero spent his childhood and youth before entering military service. Born in Akron, Ohio, Epperson grew up in Massillon and graduated from Washington High School there in 1941. He was employed at Goodyear Aircraft in Akron before enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve on 12 December 1942.

The Medal of Honor was presented to PFC Epperson's mother by Col. Norman E. True, Marine Corps officer of the 9th Naval District and commanding officer of the Marine Barracks at Great Lakes, Illinois. PFC Epperson's parents, who moved to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, following their son's death, elected to return to Massillon for the ceremonies because they felt their son "would have liked it that way." The citation signed by President Harry S. Truman and a letter from Gen. Alexander A. Vandegrift, Commandant of the Marine Corps, were read by Col. True during the ceremony.

Initially buried in the 2nd Marine Division Cemetery on Saipan, Marianas Islands, PFC Epperson's remains were re-interred in Winchester Cemetery, Winchester, Kentucky, in 1948 at the specific request of his parents.

The USS EPPERSON (DD-719) a destroyer was named in honor of Harold Glenn Epperson, a U.S. Marine Corps private killed on Saipan. The ship was launched on 22 December 1945, but the navy halted construction until 28 January 1948 when she was redesignated DDE-719. She was then completed by the Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine, and was commissioned 19 March 1949.

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Armed Service: Marines

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