Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hospital Apprentice First Class Robert Eugene Bush

Robert Eugene Bush was born on 4 October 1926 in Tacoma, WA. At the time of action he was a Hospital Apprentice First Class, USN. His citation reads, “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Medical Corpsman with a rifle company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Jima, Ryukyu Islands, 2 May 1945. Fearlessly braving the fury of artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire from strongly entrenched hostile positions, Bush constantly and unhesitatingly moved from one casualty to another to attend the wounded falling under the enemy’s murderous barrages. As the attack passed over a ridge top, Bush was advancing to administer blood plasma to a marine officer lying wounded on the
skyline when the Japanese launched a savage counterattack. In this perilously exposed position, he resolutely maintained the flow of life giving plasma. With the bottle held high in one hand, Bush drew his pistol with the other and fired into the enemy’s ranks until his ammunition was expended. Quickly seizing a discarded carbine, he trained his fire on the Japanese charging pointblank over the hill, accounting for six of the enemy despite his own serious wounds and the
loss of one eye suffered during his desperate battle in defense of the helpless man. With the hostile forces finally routed, he calmly disregarded his own critical condition to complete his mission, valiantly refusing medical treatment for him self until his officer patient had been evacuated, and collapsing only after attempting to walk to the battle aid station. His daring sacrifice in service of others reflect great credit upon Bush and enhance the finest traditions of the United States naval service.”

After the war, Robert Bush returned to school and became a successful businessman and President of the Medal of Honor Society.

The Naval Hospital at 29 Palms, CA, and the Health Care Clinic in Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan were named in his honor. In the town of South Bend, WA, there is a statue which depicts Robert Bush’s heroics on Okinawa.

Mr. Bush died on 8 November 2005.

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