b. 04/10/1926 Tacoma, Washington. d. 08/10/2005 Olympia, Washington.
DATE OF MOH ACTION; 02/05/1945 Okinawa Jima, Japan.
Born in Tacoma, Washington to Carl and Estelle Bush, Bush joined the Navy Hospital Corps in 1944. He participated in the invasion of Okinawa and was wounded during an attack on a rifle company that he was on patrol with on May 2, 1945.
At 18 years of age, for his gallantry at Okinawa, Bush was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman in a White House ceremony on October 5, 1945.
After the war, he returned to marry his high school sweetheart, Wanda Spooner of South Bend, Washington. He later studied business administration at the University of Washington. He founded the Bayview Lumber Company at South Bend, Washington in 1951 and Bayview Redi-Mix at Elma, WA, building both into multi-million dollar businesses. Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw wrote a chapter about Bush in his World War II book The Greatest Generation (1998).
As well as his business affairs, Bush was active in championing veterans' causes, and served for a time as President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He attended the inaugurations of every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, excepting that of Lyndon B. Johnson, who didn't invite Medal of Honor recipients. He is not related to either President Bush.
Robert and Wanda Bush were the parents of three sons and a daughter. He died from cancer on November 8, 2005, in Olympia, Washington, aged 79.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Medical Corpsman with a rifle company, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Jima, Ryukyu Islands, 2 May 1945. Fearlessly braving the fury of artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire from strongly entrenched hostile positions, Bush constantly and unhesitatingly moved from one casualty to another to attend the wounded falling under the enemy's murderous barrages. As the attack passed over a ridge top, Bush was advancing to administer blood plasma to a marine officer lying wounded on the skyline when the Japanese launched a savage counterattack. In this perilously exposed position, he resolutely maintained the flow of life-giving plasma. With the bottle held high in one hand, Bush drew his pistol with the other and fired into the enemy's ranks until his ammunition was expended. Quickly seizing a discarded carbine, he trained his fire on the Japanese charging pointblank over the hill, accounting for six of the enemy despite his own serious wounds and the loss of one eye suffered during his desperate battle in defense of the helpless man. With the hostile force finally routed, he calmly disregarded his own critical condition to complete his mission, valiantly refusing medical treatment for himself until his officer patient had been evacuated, and collapsing only after attempting to walk to the battle aid station.
BURIAL LOCATION; FERN HILL CEMETERY, MENLO, WASHINGTON.
6th Edition, Block 1, Lot 24, South half of the Southwest Corner