SERGEANT JOSEPH RUDOLPH JULIAN UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Platoon Sergeant Joseph Rudolph Julian (April 3, 1918 – March 9, 1945) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the United States’ highest military honor — the Medal of Honor — for his heroism and sacrifice of life in 1945 in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Determined to force a breakthrough when Japanese troops occupying trenches and fortified positions on the left front laid down a terrific machine gun and mortar barrage in a desperate effort to halt his company’s advance, P/Sgt. Julian quickly established his platoon’s guns in strategic supporting positions, and then, acting on his own initiative, fearlessly moved forward to execute a 1-man assault on the nearest pillbox. Advancing alone, he hurled deadly demolition and white phosphorus grenades into the emplacement, killing 2 of the enemy and driving the remaining 5 out into the adjoining trench system. Seizing a discarded rifle, he jumped into the trench and dispatched the 5 before they could make an escape. Intent on wiping out all resistance, he obtained more explosives and, accompanied by another Marine, again charged the hostile fortifications and knocked out 2 more cave positions. Immediately thereafter, he launched a bazooka attack unassisted, firing 4 rounds into the 1 remaining pillbox and completely destroying it before he fell, mortally wounded by a vicious burst of enemy fire. Stouthearted and indomitable, P/Sgt. Julian consistently disregarded all personal danger and, by his bold decision, daring tactics, and relentless fighting spirit during a critical phase of the battle, contributed materially to the continued advance of his company and to the success of his division’s operations in the sustained drive toward the conquest of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His outstanding valor and unfaltering spirit of self-sacrifice throughout the bitter conflict sustained and enhanced the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
/S/ HARRY S. TRUMAN