About Harold Christ Agerholm
Private First Class Harold Christ Agerholm, USMCR (January 29, 1925 – July 7, 1944) served as a Marine during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while engaged with Japanese forces on Saipan in the Marianas Islands.
Agerholm was born January 29, 1925 in Racine, Wisconsin and attended the Racine public schools. After working for five months as a multigaph operator for the Rench Manufacturing Company, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve on July 16, 1942.
Agerholm received his recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Upon completion of his training he was assigned to Headquarters and Service Battery, 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. He embarked for overseas duty on November 3, 1942 and went to New Zealand, where he trained with his battalion in Wellington for eleven months.
He was promoted to private first class in January 1943, and became the battery store room keeper. He took part in the fighting on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, in November 1943. From Tarawa he went to the Hawaiian Islands with the 2nd Marine Division where they trained for their forthcoming operation on Saipan.
Agerholm landed on Saipan three days after D-Day. With the battle for the island raging for three weeks, the enemy launched a vigorous counter-attack on July 7, 1944 and a neighboring battalion was overrun. PFC Agerholm volunteered to help evacuate casualties. For nearly three hours, he single-handedly evacuated 45 casualties while under intense rifle and mortar fire before being mortally wounded by a Japanese sniper. For this action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal (posthumously), the Presidential Unit Citation, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars and the World War II Victory Medal.
Agerholm's mother was presented his Medal of Honor on June 25, 1945 by the Commandant of the Ninth Naval District, because of her request — she "didn't want any public presentation."
Initially buried in the 2nd Marine Division cemetery on Saipan, PFC Agerholm's remains were reinterred in Mound Cemetery, Racine, Wisconsin, in 1947.