Robert McTureous was born March 26, 1924, in Altoona. He died June 11, 1945, four days after receiving fatal wounds in the action on Okinawa that resulted in being awarded the Medal of Honor.
Ironically, McTureous was rejected twice while trying to enlist because of hernias. After both refusals, he got jobs so he could pay for operations to repair the hernias. His third attempt was successful and his draft status changed to A-1 in August 1944.
The citation accompanying his Medal of Honor began: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with the 3d Battalion, 29th Marines, 6th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 June 1945.
“Pvt. McTureous was quick to observe the plight of company stretcher bearers who were suddenly assailed by slashing machine gun fire as they attempted to evacuate wounded at the rear of the newly won position. Determined to prevent further casualties, he quickly filled his jacket with hand grenades and charged the enemy-occupied caves from which the concentrated barrage was emanating.
“Coolly disregarding all personal danger as he waged his furious 1-man assault, he smashed grenades into the cave entrances, thereby diverting the heaviest fire from the stretcher bearers to his own person and, resolutely returning to his own lines under a blanketing hail of rifle and machine gun fire to replenish his supply of grenades.”
It was during the second charge he was fatally wounded.