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Pharmacist Mate Second Class George Wahlen

Date of Award: October 5, 1945
Conflict: World War II
Branch: U.S. Navy

Pharmacist's Mate Second Class George Wahlen portrait

On February 19, 1945, Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class George Whalen’s division landed on Iwo Jima. Seven days later, Wahlen received a serious wound during a fierce battle against Japanese forces, however he stayed on the battlefield to aid a wounded Marine and carry him back to the battle aid station. When an adjacent platoon suffered heavy casualties, he readily assisted its corpsmen as well. In all, he treated 14 wounded men in an area swept by constant fire before he finally returned to his own platoon.

On March 2, Wahlen was wounded again, but he refused evacuation. Instead he moved out with is company the following day to fight the Japanese forces again. The Japanese were stubborn and well-equipped, and casualties were heavy. Shot for the third time, Wahlen was no longer able to walk, but he resolutely crawled 50 yards to administer aid to a wounded Marine. Only after he saw to his patient did Wahlen finally agree to be evacuated to a battalion aid station.

Citation:

“Stouthearted and indomitable, he persevered in his determined efforts as his unit waged fierce battle and, unable to walk after sustaining a third agonizing wound, resolutely crawled 50 yards to administer first aid to still another fallen fighter.”

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