Fardy, John Peter.

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John Peter Fardy, born on 15-08-1922 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Martin and Mary, born Kilker, Fardy, immigrants from Ireland. John enlisted in the US Marine Corps on 08-05-1943 and went to boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. He was promoted to Private First Class and remained in the area to attend the Japanese Language School at Camp Elliott. Later that summer he was reassigned to the base Infantry Battalion and was trained as a Browning Automatic Rifleman before joining the Twenty Ninth Replacement Battalion.

PFC Fardy departed for combat duty in October and arrived in New Caledonia where he was assigned to the Twenty Seventh Replacement Battalion. The Twenty Seventh was in the process of joining the First Marine Division at Goodenough Island, D’Entrecasteaux Islands, under command of Major General Alexander Archer Vandegrift, commander of I Marine Amphibious Corps and later served as 18th Commandant of the Marine Corps, first U.S. Marine to hold the rank of four-star general while on active duty. ; Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Attached to Company C, First Battalion, First Marine Division, John left with that unit in early December for New Guinea. On Christmas Day 1943 his unit departed for their December 26th landing on enemy held Cape Gloucester, New Britain. Within two months of leaving his home shores he saw his first combat action.

The main objective of the American and Australian allies was to capture the Japanese airfield. A secondary goal was to ensure free Allied sea passage through the straits separating New Britain from New Guinea. Allied forces suffered 310 killed in action and 1,083 wounded.

PFC Fardy next saw action in the battle for Peleliu Island from September to November 1943. The main objective was again to capture an enemy airfield which was thought to be a risk to General Douglas MacArthur‘s strategy of re-taking the Philippines. American forces suffered 1,508 killed in action, 6,635 wounded and 36 missing.

Promoted to Corporal on 21-12-1944, the veteran of two island campaigns became a squad leader as the reorganized division started training for their next operation, the battle for Okinawa. The last stepping stone to Japan.

On Easter Sunday, 01-04-1945 two Marine Divisions went ashore, the First and the Sixth. The eighty two day battle resulted in the highest numbers of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Victory at Okinawa cost more than 49,000 American casualties, including about 12,000 deaths. Among the dead was the Tenth Army’s commander, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., killed on June 18 by a sniper during the final offensive.

Death and burial ground of Fardy, John Peter.

On 06-05-1945 Company C was advancing against a strongly fortified, fanatically defended Japanese position when Corporal Fardy’s squad was suddenly brought under intense small arms fire. Fardy deployed his men in a drainage ditch which offered cover from the bullets. Shortly afterwards, an enemy grenade landed in the ditch among the pinned down Marines. Corporal Fardy instantly threw himself upon the grenade and absorbed the explosion with his body. Taken to a field hospital, he died the next day. He was twenty two years old. In Holland during Operation Market Garden another American soldier did  the same to protect his comrades and received the Medal of Honor,. Joe Eugen Mann a 101 Airbone Divison para from Spokane. The casualties of the 101st Airborne Division during their campaign in Europe; In Normandy, killed/died of wounds 868, wounded in action 2.303, missing/captured 665. In Holland killed 752, wounded 2.151 and missing 398. In the battle of the Bulge in Belgium, killed 482, wounded 2.449 and missing 527, in total killed 2.043, wounded 2.782 and missed 1590.

Another soldier who standing on offer for his comrades was Anton L. Krotiak He served in the United States Army in Company I, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.  under command of Major General. Robert Sparque Beightler Anton was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 08-05-1945 at Balete Pass, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads in part “A grenade thrown from above landed in the center of the group. Instantly pushing his comrades aside and jamming the grenade into the earth with his rifle butt, he threw himself over it, making a shield of his body to protect the men. The grenade exploded under him, and he died a few minutes later.”

The losses of the 37th Divison during their campaign were: Casualties. Total casualities 5.960, kileed in action 1.094, wounded in action 4.861, missing in action 4. and prisoner of war 1, in days of combat 592. Their awards: Medals of Honor 7, Distinquished Service Cross 116, Distinquished Service Medals 4, Silver Stars 1008, Legions of Merit 71, Soldier’s Medals 101, Bronze Stars 6807 and Air Medals 84.

The Congressional Medal of Honor was presented to Corporal Fardy’s parents in Chicago on 15-09-1946. Reinterment services, with full military honors, were held on 07-04-1949 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.

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