Memorial Day Remembrance: William Bordelon

Memorial Day.

A time to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who died while in US military service.

Sadly, many of the names are mostly forgotten--like that of Staff Sgt. William James Bordelon, USMC.



Sgt. Bordelon was killed in action during World War II, at the battle for Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands. For his bravery, he posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Here is an excerpt from Bordelon's citation:
...Landing in the assault waves under withering enemy fire which killed all but 4 of the men in his tractor, S/Sgt. Bordelon hurriedly made demolition charges and personally put 2 pillboxes out of action. Hit by enemy machinegun fire just as a charge exploded in his hand while assaulting a third position, he courageously remained in action,...provided himself with a rifle and furnished fire coverage for a group of men scaling the seawall.

Disregarding his own serious condition, he unhesitatingly went to the aid of one of his demolition men, wounded and calling for help in the water, rescuing this man and another who had been hit by enemy fire while attempting to make the rescue.

Still refusing first aid for himself, he again made up demolition charges and single-handedly assaulted a fourth Japanese machinegun position but was instantly killed when caught in a final burst of fire...

Bordelon was one of three graduates of his high school (Central Catholic Marianist High School in San Antonio) to die that day at the Tarawa Atoll.

To read a little about what life was like for those that Bordelon left behind, go here.

I always hope that we Americans don't forget why Monday is a holiday.

6 comments:

Bijoux said...

Thank you for reminding us to remember.

Pat Hatt said...

One brave man indeed. The true meaning of the day should always be remembered

Stephanie Faris said...

It inspires me to read stories like this...it shows me there are still really good people out there.

messymimi said...

There were so many brave men and women, we will never know every story. Thank you for highlighting this one.

While i don't know most of their names, i do thank them all for their sacrifice.

Gloria Baker said...

A really brave man!

Momma Fargo said...

great post. That was certainly a man of steel. Good grief. RIP, fine sir.