b. 28/04/1918 Tiffin, Ohio. d. 31/07/1943 Solomon Islands.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 31/07/1943 Solomon Islands.
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Army during World War II as a Private in the 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division (the "Ohio Buckeyes"). He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery on New Georgia, Solomon Islands, on July 31, 1943. His Medal was posthumously awarded to his family on January 17, 1944. Later in 1944 songwriter Frank Loesser, a PFC in the United States Army ordered to compose a song honoring not officers, but the fighting infantryman, turned the story of his bravery into the song "The Ballad of Rodger Young", which became an instant hit and one of the most popular songs during World War II. Young was also immortalized by author Robert A. Heinlein in his novel "Starship Troopers", as the namesake of the starship on which the protagonist, Juan Rico, served throughout most of the book.
On 31 July 1943, the infantry company of which Pvt. Young was a member, was ordered to make a limited withdrawal from the battle line in order to adjust the battalion's position for the night. At this time, Pvt. Young's platoon was engaged with the enemy in a dense jungle where observation was very limited. The platoon suddenly was pinned down by intense fire from a Japanese machinegun concealed on higher ground only 75 yards away. The initial burst wounded Pvt. Young. As the platoon started to obey the order to withdraw, Pvt. Young called out that he could see the enemy emplacement, whereupon he started creeping toward it. Another burst from the machinegun wounded him the second time. Despite the wounds, he continued his heroic advance, attracting enemy fire and answering with rifle fire. When he was close enough to his objective, he began throwing handgrenades, and while doing so was hit again and killed. Pvt. Young's bold action in closing with this Japanese pillbox and thus diverting its fire, permitted his platoon to disengage itself, without loss, and was responsible for several enemy casualties.
BURIAL LOCATION: MCPHERSON CEMETERY, CLYDE, OHIO.
Section 3N, Lot 0541, Space 4
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