RAIDERS Mears, Dwayne Eugene

John Robertson

Staff member
Dwayne Eugene
  • UNIT
3 Raider Bn (Company L)
  • RANK
Navy Cross
Iwo Jima 1945
KIA - see Roll of Honour



Navy Cross : The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Dwayne E. Mears (0-9733), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of an Assault Company attached to the First Battalion, Twenty-Eighth Marines, FIFTH Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima, in the Volcano Islands, on 19 February 1945. Confronted by the enemy's solid, coordinated system of defenses shortly after hitting the beach in the initial landing wave, Captain Mears boldly led his units forward despite intense small-arms fire from the front and left flank to crash through an area covered by concentrated mortar and artillery fire for an early gain of 300 yards. Disregarding serious wounds received during the subsequent bombardment from a series of almost impregnable blockhouses which halted his advance at this point, he rallied his two assault platoons and, armed only with a pistol, fearlessly charged the enemy fortifications, destroying the four stubborn installations with indomitable aggressiveness. In the forefront of the action at all times, he fought on without respite, driving his broadening wedge through the fanatic Japanese resistance for more than 700 yards to cut sharply across the narrow neck of the island and secure a line from the east to the west coast within ninety minutes of landing. Struck by enemy fire for the second time during the last phase of the break-through to the west beach, he resolutely refused medical aid or evacuation, directing the movements of his men by arm and hand signals when his mortal wounds deprived him of speech and, otherwise persisting in his valiant efforts until, with the strong enemy garrison on Mount Suribachi isolated and his company's objective won, he was ordered to the rear by his battalion commander. Although he succumbed on the following day, Captain Mears, by his dauntless valor, relentless fighting spirit and decisive tactics in the face of savage opposition, had contributed materially to the success of his division's operations against this important outpost of the Japanese Empire and his inspiring leadership throughout the bitter hostilities upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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