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Richard Norman Olbert

Richard N. Olbert 

Navy CrossPurple HeartPrisoner of War Medal

Rank/Rate Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve)
Service Number 349489
Birth Date September 25, 1919
From Durango, Colorado
Decorations Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal
Command 2nd Raider Battalion, carried aboard USS Argonaut
Loss Date October 16, 1942
Location Kwajalein
Circumstances Captured on Butaritari Island, Makin Atoll, taken to Kwajalein and executed
Remarks Navy Cross Citation, written before the actual circumstances of his death were known:

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Richard N. Olbert (349489), Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous devotion to duty while serving as a member of a volunteer boat crew in Company B, SECOND Marine Raider Battalion, during the Marine Raider Expedition against the Japanese-held island of Makin in the Gilbert Islands on 17 and 18 August 1942. Fully aware of the hazards of an imminent enemy air attack, and with complete disregard for his own life, Private First Class Olbert, with four others, volunteered to take a boat to a point just outside a reef and shoot a line ashore to assist in evacuating those men remaining on the beach. Caught on the sea, he was defeated in his valiant efforts by the violent strafing of his boat by withering enemy machine-gun fire. His great personal valor and loyal spirit of self-sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave up his life in the service of his country.



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