John Peter “Whitey” Fardy MOH

b. 15/08/1922 Chicago, Illinois. d. 07/05/1945 Okinawa, Japan.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 07/05/1945 Okinawa, Japan.

John P Fardy MOH

John Peter Fardy was born in Chicago Illinois, on August 15, 1922. Educated in the schools of Chicago, he graduated from high school in 1940. He took a course in typing at the Fox Secretarial College the same year and entered the Illinois Institute of Technology the following year. He majored in mechanical engineering but left after the first year. He had been doing time study work previously, so he went to work at the Cornell Forge Company as a time study man and draftsman.

Inducted into the Marine Corps on May 8, 1943, he went through recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, upon completion of which he was assigned to the Japanese Language School at his own request. He was promoted to private first class in July, about two weeks before the start of school. After one month of attendance at the language school at Camp Elliott, San Diego, PFC Fardy was transferred to the Infantry Battalion where he was trained as an automatic rifleman.

Promoted to Corporal on December 21, 1944, the veteran of two campaigns became a squad leader as the reorganized division started training for the next operation. The training ashore ended in February and the Marines embarked aboard the ships that took them for practice landings at Baniki (Russell Islands), Guadalcanal, and Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands. The landing on Okinawa occurred on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945 and the division’s sweep across the island up to the northern tip was accomplished with comparative ease. Later, Marines were moved south to help hard-pressed Army troops.

It was on May 6, 1945, when Company C was advancing against a strongly fortified, fanatically defended Japanese position that Cpl. Fardy’s squad was suddenly brought under heavy small-arms fire. Cpl. Fardy temporarily deployed his men along a convenient drainage ditch. Shortly afterwards, an enemy hand grenade landed in the ditch, falling among the pinned-down Marines. Instantly, the 22-year-old Corporal flung himself upon the grenade and absorbed the exploding charge with his own body. Taken to a field hospital, Cpl. Fardy died the next day.

The Medal of Honor was presented to Corporal Fardy’s parents at ceremonies conducted by the Marine Corps League in Chicago, September 15, 1946.

Reinterment services for Cpl. Fardy, with military honors by the Chicago Detachment of the Marine Corps League, were held on April 7, 1949, at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Squad Leader, serving with Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Islands, 7 May 1945. When his squad was suddenly assailed by extremely heavy small-arms fire from the front during a determined advance against strongly fortified, fiercely defended Japanese positions, Corporal Fardy temporarily deployed his men along a near-by drainage ditch. Shortly thereafter, an enemy grenade fell among the Marines in the ditch. Instantly throwing himself upon the deadly missile, Corporal Fardy absorbed the exploding blast in his own body, thereby protecting his comrades from certain and perhaps fatal injuries. Concerned solely for the welfare of his men, he willingly relinquished his own hope of survival that his fellow Marines might live to carry on the fight against a fanatic enemy. A stouthearted leader and indomitable fighter, Corporal Fardy, by his prompt decision and resolute spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death, had rendered valiant service, and his conduct throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.