John Vincent Power
First Lieutenant, 4th Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps. Awarded for actions at Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands.
February 01, 1944
Born November 20, 1918, in Worcester, MA, he was a multisport athlete at College of the Holy Cross. While there, he was a student of the Rev. Joseph T. O’Callahan, who would also receive the Medal of Honor in World War II.
Power enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on July 7, 1942, and went to Officer Candidate School. He sailed with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, part of the newly formed 4th Marine Division. His unit took part the capture of Roi in the Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, and pursued the enemy to Namur Island. In that battle, Power was killed while charging a Japanese pillbox despite having already suffered a severe stomach wound.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as platoon leader, attached to the 4th Marine Division, during the landing and battle of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944. Severely wounded in the stomach while setting a demolition charge on a Japanese pillbox, 1st Lt. Power was steadfast in his determination to remain in action. Protecting his wound with his left hand and firing with his right, he courageously advanced as another hostile position was taken under attack, fiercely charging the opening made by the explosion and emptying his carbine into the pillbox. While attempting to reload and continue the attack, 1st Lt. Power was shot again in the stomach and head and collapsed in the doorway. His exceptional valor, fortitude and indomitable fighting spirit in the face of withering enemy fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.