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Henry Alexius Courtney, Jr.



Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky,
    Gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh,    
    Falls the night.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, From the hills,
    From the sky.
All is well, safel
y rest,
    God is nigh.

Then good night, Peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn
    Shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear,
  Friend, good night.

Calvary Cemetery

courtney_henry_mn3.jpg (77643 bytes)

Born:  January 06, 1916 at Duluth, MN

Entered Service in the US Marine Corps from Minnesota

Earned The Medal of Honor During World War II For heroism May 14 & 15, 1945 at Sugar Loaf Hill, Okinawa Shima, Ryukyu Islands

Died:  May 15, 1945 at the age of 29

Ordered to hold for the night in defense behind Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa, Major Courtney weighed the effect of a hostile night counterattack against the tactical value of an immediate marine assault, resolved to initiate the assault, and promptly obtained permission to advance and seize the forward slope of the hill. He then proceeded on his way, boldly blasting nearby cave positions and neutralizing enemy guns. Inspired by his courage, every man followed without hesitation, and together the intrepid marines braved enemy fire to skirt the hill on the right and reach the reverse slope. Reinforced by 26 men and a load of grenades, Major Courtney determined to storm the hill and crush any planned counterattack. He pushed ahead hurling grenades into cave openings with devastating effect. Upon reaching the crest and observing large numbers of Japanese forming for action less than 100 yards away, he instantly attacked, waged a furious battle and succeeded in killing many of the enemy and in forcing the remainder to take cover in the caves. Determined to hold, he ordered his men to dig in and, coolly disregarding the continuous hail of flying enemy shrapnel to rally his weary troops, tirelessly aided casualties and assigned his men to more advantageous positions until he was himself killed.



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