PRIVATE FIRST CLASS
HAROLD GLENN EPPERSON, USMCR
Click here for a higher resolution photo.
Medal of Honor Citation
The Medal of Honor--America's highest military award--awarded posthumously to Private First Class Harold Glenn Epperson, was presented to his mother at rites Wednesday, 4 July 1945 in Tiger Stadium, Massillon, Ohio. PFC Epperson lost his life in action against the Japanese on Saipan on 25 June 1944 when he threw himself upon an enemy grenade in order to save the lives of his fellow Marines.
The setting of the presentation was appropriate--the stadium, the Massillon High School Band and 8,500 of the townspeople among whom the 20-year-old hero spent his childhood and youth before entering military service.
The Medal of Honor was presented to PFC Epperson's mother by Col Norman E. True, district Marine officer of the 9th Naval District and commanding officer of the Marine Barracks at Great Lakes, Illinois. PFC Epperson's parents, who moved to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, following their son's death, elected to return to Massillon for the ceremonies because they felt their son "would have liked it that way." The citation signed by President Harry S. Truman and a letter from Gen Alexander A. Vandegrift, Commandant of the Marine Corps, were read by Col True during the ceremony.
Private First Class Epperson graduated from Washington High School in 1943 and was employed at Goodyear Aircraft in Akron, Ohio, before entering the service.
The USS Epperson, a destroyer bearing the hero's name, was launched 23 December 1945, in Port Newark, New Jersey.
Initially buried in the 2d Marine Division Cemetery on Saipan, Marianas Islands, PFC Epperson's remains were reinterred in Winchester Cemetery, Winchester, Kentucky, in 1948.