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Cpl John P Fardy

CORPORAL
JOHN PETER FARDY, USMC
(DECEASED)

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Medal of Honor Citation

John Peter Fardy was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 15 August 1922. Educated in the schools of Chicago, he graduated from high school there in 1940. He took a course in typing at the Fox Secretarial College the same year and entered the Illinois Institute of Technology the following year. He majored in mechanical engineering but left after the first year. He had been doing time study work previously, so he went to work at the Cornell Forge Company as a time study man and draftsman.


Inducted into the Marine Corps on 8 May 1943, he went through recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, upon completion of which he was assigned to the Japanese Language School at his own request. He was promoted to private first class in July, about two weeks before the start of school. After one-months attendance at the language school at Camp Elliott, San Diego, PFC Fardy was transferred to the Infantry Battalion where he was trained as an automatic rifleman.

Private First Class Fardy joined the 29th Replacement Battalion shortly before the unit left the United States on 28 October. He journeyed to Noumea, New Caledonia, and was reassigned to the 27th Replacement Battalion, which was leaving to join the 1st Marine Division.

Attached to Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines upon his arrival at Goodenough Island, D'Entrecasteaux Islands, early in December, PFC Fardy left with that unit about a week later for Nascing, Alatu, New Guinea. The stay there was a short one also, for the 1st Marines left Finschaffen on Christmas Day 1943, for their 26 December landing on enemy-held Cape Gloucester, New Britain. Within two months of the time he left his home shores, the former draftsman was involved in a battle for an enemy airdrome on an island rarely heard of before.

Following the Cape Gloucester operation, and the return of the 1st Marine Division to the Russell Islands for over three months training, the division left for Peleliu. After practice landings at Guadalcanal, the division landed on the coral-studded, shadeless Peleliu. PFC Fardy participated in the capture of the airport and the attack on the coral hills overlooking it before returning to the Russell Islands with his regiment in early October.

Promoted to corporal on 21 December 1944, the blue eyed, blond veteran of two campaigns became a squad leader as the reorganized division started training for the next operation. The training ashore ended in February and the Marines embarked aboard the ships that took them for practice landings at Baniki (Russell Islands), Guadalcanal, and Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands. The landing on Okinawa occurred on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945 and the division's sweep across the island up to the northern tip was accomplished with comparative ease. Later, Marines were moved south to help hard-pressed Army troops.

It was on 6 May when Company C was advancing against a strongly fortified, fanatically defended Japanese position that Cpl Fardy's squad was suddenly brought under heavy small-arms fire. Cpl Fardy temporarily deployed his men along a convenient drainage ditch. Shortly afterwards, an enemy hand grenade landed in the ditch, falling among the pinned-down Marines. Instantly, the 21-year-old corporal flung himself upon the grenade and absorbed the exploding charge with his own body. Taken to a field hospital, Cpl Fardy died the next day.

The Medal of Honor was presented to Corporal Fardy's parents at ceremonies conducted by the Marine Corps League in Chicago, 15 September 1946.

Reinterment services for Cpl Fardy, with military honors by the Chicago Detachment of the Marine Corps League, were held on 7 April 1949, at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.