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Hospital Apprentice First Class Robert Bush

Date of Award: October 2, 1945
Conflict: World War II
Branch: U.S. Navy

Hospital Apprentice First Class Robert Bush portraitIn April, 1944, a patrol of the 1st Marine Division attempted to seize a low seaside hill in Okinawa, Japan. The Japanese sent a hailstorm of small arms and mortar rounds onto the Marines, killing or wounding the majority. Spotting a seriously wounded patrol leader lying in a shell hole, Bush ran to him and immediately administered serum albumin. The treatment revived the officer, who suddenly sprang from the hole and ran for the American lines.

Now alone in the shell hole, Bush had the officer’s carbine and 45 rounds of ammunition as his best resources in a battle of survival. For a few terrifying minutes the hospital apprentice kept the Japanese at bay. Then the enemy began throwing grenades. The first shattered his left arm, puncturing a lung and blinding him in the right eye, and others wounded him in the stomach and back. Bush moved around the hill firing the carbine, then emptying his .45 caliber pistol at the enemy before throwing it away. He took down four more Japanese with a fallen comrade’s carbine, before finally securing his escape route.

Citation: “In this perilously exposed position, he resolutely maintained the flow of life-giving plasma. With the bottle held high in one hand, Petty Officer Bush drew his pistol with the other and fired into the enemy's ranks until his ammunition was expended.”

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