RAIDERS Warner, Gordon

John Robertson

Staff member
  • UNIT
2 Raider Bn (HQ)
  • RANK
Navy Cross
Bougainville 1943
born 24.10.1913, Pasadena, California, USA
resided Long Beach, California
1936 graduated University of Southern California, bachelor's degree in social science
1936 joined Marine Corps as second lieutenant
1937 travelled to Tokyo to study Japanese martial arts
1939-1941 teacher and swim coach Punahou Academy, Honolulu, Hawaii
1939 set world record for 200 yard breaststroke (time 2:51.5)
1941 combat instructor Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia
1943 first American to raise flag Bougainville Island
1943 lost leg
retired as lieutenant colonel
1944/1950 masters degrees from University of Southern California
1950-1954 studied education University of California, Berkeley
1955-1964 assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach
18.03.1961 married wife Izumi M. Warner (1926-2012)
1964 retired from faculty position to become director of the Education Department on Okinawa Island
1970s historian and curator of the US Armed Forces Museum on Okinawa (closed 1976)
7th dan in Kendo
6th dan in Iaido
2001- emperor of Japan awarded him the Order of the Sacred Treasure, 3rd class, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for accomplishments in martial arts.
2 children (son Ion Musashi Warner, daughter Irene Tomoe Cooper)
author of books on kendo, culture of Japan and history of the Ryukyu Islands
died 04.03.2010 (Aged 96), Okinawa, Japan
buried Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA. Section 28, Site 3713


Navy Cross : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Gordon Warner (MCSN: 0-5437), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service while serving as Battalion Liaison Officer and later as Commanding Officer of Company B, First Battalion, Third Marines, THIRD Marine Division (Reinforced), during action against enemy Japanese forces on Bougainville Island, Solomon Islands, on 1 and 7 November 1943. Landing at Cape Torokina on the heavily defended enemy beach, Captain Warner unhesitatingly rushed ashore, planted an American Flag on the beach and, taunting the Japanese in their own language to come out and get it, so aroused the enemy forces that they opened fire and threw grenades at him, thus revealing their carefully camouflaged positions. Personally accounting for several enemy dead in the ensuing action, Captain Warner then charged through the hostile positions and, organizing a small group of Marines at the rear, led them in successful attacks on the Japanese bunkers. During the battle at the Koromokina River on 7 November he directed his company in fierce combat with counterattacking enemy forces and, while guiding a tank to the concealed hostile machine-gun emplacements he had discovered by repeating his heroic challenging tactics, was suddenly fired upon at extremely close range by the only remaining gun. As he collapsed to the ground, the tank proceeded on and crushed the enemy weapon. Captain Warner's gallant leadership and valiant conduct were an inspiration to the men of his command and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.


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