About Nathan K. Van Noy, Jr.
The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Private Nathan K. Van Noy, Jr., United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Headquarters Company, Shore Battalion, 532d Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment, in action with the enemy near Finschafen, New Guinea, on 17 October 1943. When wounded late in September, Private Van Noy declined evacuation and continued on duty. On 17 October 1943 he was gunner in charge of a machinegun post only five yards from the water's edge when the alarm was given that three enemy barges loaded with troops were approaching the beach in the early morning darkness. One landing barge was sunk by Allied fire, but the other two beached ten yards from Private Van Noy's emplacement. Despite his exposed position, he poured a withering hail of fire into the debarking enemy troops. His loader was wounded by a grenade and evacuated. Private Van Noy, also grievously wounded, remained at his post, ignoring calls of nearby soldiers urging him to withdraw, and continued to fire with deadly accuracy. He expended every round and was found, covered with wounds, dead beside his gun. In this action Private Van Noy killed at least half of the 39 enemy taking part in the landing. His heroic tenacity at the price of his life not only saved the lives of many of his comrades, but enabled them to annihilate the attacking detachment.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 17 (February 26, 1944)
Action Date: October 17, 1943
Company: Headquarters Company
Battalion: Shore Battalion
Regiment: 532d Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment