Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 28/01/1926 Alameda, California. d. 15/04/1945 Okinawa, Japan.

 

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 15/04/1945 Okinawa, Japan.

 

Gonsalves was born in Alameda, California, on January 28, 1926. He attended school at Alameda and after two and one half years of high school, quit to take a job as a stock clerk with Montgomery Ward in Oakland. In high school he had taken part in football, baseball, track, and swimming, and sang tenor in the school glee club.

 

Gonsalves enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on May 27, 1943 and was called to active duty on June 17, 1943. He went through recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, and then, at his own request, was sent to the Marine Raiders at Camp Pendleton, California. After three weeks, he was transferred to the artillery at the same camp. He was classified as a cannoneer on 75 and 105 millimeter guns before he joined the 30th Replacement Battalion in the fall of 1943.

 

Pfc. Gonsalves landed with the 15th Marines on Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

 

MOH CITATION:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Acting Scout Sergeant of a Forward Observer Team, serving with Battery L, Fourth Battalion, Fifteenth Marines, Sixth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces in Okinawa Shima in the Ryky Chain, 15 April 1945. Undaunted by the powerfully organized opposition encountered on Motobu Peninsula during a fierce assault waged by a Marine infantry battalion against a Japanese strong-hold, Private First Class Gonsalves repeatedly braved the terrific hostile bombardment to aid his Forward Observation Team in directing well-placed artillery fire and, when his commanding officer determined to move into the front lines in order to register a more effective bombardment in the enemy's defensive position, unhesitatingly advanced uphill with the officer and another Marine despite a slashing barrage of enemy mortar and rifle fire. As they reached the front, a Japanese grenade fell close within the group. Instantly Private First Class Gonsalves dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and thereby protecting the others from serious and perhaps fatal wounds.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN BRUNO, CALIFORNIA.

Plot: SECTION B, SITE 61

Harold Gonsalves

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