The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*OZBOURN, JOSEPH WILLIAM
Rank and Organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps.
Born: 24 October 1919, Herrin, Ill. Accredited To: Illinois.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty as a Browning Automatic Rifleman serving with the 1st Battalion, 23d Marines,
4th Marine Division, during the battle for enemy Japanese-held Tinian Island, Marianas
Islands, 30 July 1944. As a member of a platoon assigned the mission of clearing the
remaining Japanese troops from dugouts and pillboxes along a tree line, Pvt. Ozbourn,
flanked by 2 men on either side, was moving forward to throw an armed handgrenade into a
dugout when a terrific blast from the entrance severely wounded the 4 men and himself.
Unable to throw the grenade into the dugout and with no place to hurl it without
endangering the other men, Pvt. Ozbourn unhesitatingly grasped it close to his body and
fell upon it, sacrificing his own life to absorb the full impact of the explosion, but
saving his comrades. His great personal valor and unwavering loyalty reflect the highest
credit upon Pvt. Ozbourn and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his