William Robert Caddy MOH

b. 08/08/1925 Quincy, Massachusetts. d. 03/03/1945 Iwo Jima, Japan.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 03/03/1945 Iwo Jima, Japan.

William R Caddy MOH

William Robert Caddy was born on August 8, 1925 in Quincy, Massachusetts and attended the schools of Quincy until high school. During high school he was selected to the schools varsity baseball team but he left school after his second year. He worked as a helper on a milkman’s truck for a while and gave most of his $25 a week pay over to his mother.

Caddy was inducted into the United States Marine Corps through the Selective Service system on October 27, 1943 and was put on inactive duty until November 10, 1943 when he was ordered to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, for recruit training. While attending recruit training Caddy received training on several weapons in use at the time including the Reising sub-machine gun, Browning automatic rifle, M-1 carbine, bayonet and the hand grenade. When it came time to qualify with the service rifle he fired a score of 305 with qualifying him as a sharpshooter.

Following his ten-day recruit furlough, PFC Caddy reported into the Special Weapons Group, Base Artillery Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for instruction in the Twenty millimeter anti-aircraft gun. Upon the successful completion of the course, in which his rating was “good”, Caddy was assigned to a rifle company in the new 5th Marine Division which was then forming. His unit was Company I, 3rd Battalion, 28th Marines. After extensive training in North Carolina the new division shipped overland to San Diego where, on July 22, 1944, PFC Caddy headed overseas to the Pacific theatre on the USS Arthur Middleton (APA-25). He participated in further training at Hilo, Hawaii, where the 5th Division encamped for five months. On January 5, 1945, rifleman Caddy boarded an attack transport, the USS Darke for the island of Iwo Jima.

Landing against fierce opposition, PFC Caddy went through the fighting on Iwo Jima for 12 days. On March 3, 1945 in action against the Japanese on Iwo Jima, he, his platoon leader and his acting platoon sergeant, were advancing against enemy machine gun fire in an isolated sector. Seeking cover from the murderous fire, the three Marines dropped into a shell hole. After several unsuccessful attempts to advance, he and his lieutenant engaged in a hand grenade battle with the defending Japanese. When an enemy missile landed in their hole, he covered it with his body and absorbed the full impact. The Medal of Honor was presented posthumously to his mother on September 8, 1946 on the Montclair School Lawn, Montclair, Massachusetts. He was the 72nd Marine of World War II to receive this great honor.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with Company I, Third Battalion, Twenty-sixth Marines, Fifth Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 3 March 1945. Consistently aggressive, Private First Class Caddy boldly defied shattering Japanese machine-gun and small-arms fire to move forward with his platoon leader and another Marine during a determined advance of his company through an isolated sector and, gaining the comparative safety of a shell hole, took temporary cover with his comrades. Immediately pinned down by deadly sniper fire from a well-concealed position, he made several unsuccessful attempts to again move forward and then, joined by his platoon leader, engaged the enemy in a fierce exchange of hand grenades until a Japanese grenade fell in the shell hole. Fearlessly disregarding all personal danger, Private First Class Caddy instantly threw himself upon the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and protecting the others from serious injury. Stouthearted and indomitable, he unhesitatingly yielded his own life that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless battle against a fanatic enemy. His dauntless courage and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflects the highest credit upon Private First Class Caddy and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.