Robert Eugene Bush
|Robert Eugene Bush|
Robert Eugene Bush
October 4, 1926|
|Died||November 8, 2005
|Place of burial||Fern Hill Cemetery, Menlo, Washington|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1944 - 1945|
|Rank||Hospital Apprentice First Class|
|Unit||2nd Battalion 5th Marines|
|Battles/wars||World War II
*Battle of Okinawa
|Awards||Medal of Honor
Robert Eugene Bush (October 4, 1926 – November 8, 2005) was a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman during World War II, who received the Medal of Honor, the United States highest award for gallantry, during the Battle of Okinawa.
Born in Tacoma, Washington to Carl and Estelle Bush, Bush joined the Navy Hospital Corps in 1944. He participated in the invasion of Okinawa and was wounded during an attack on a rifle company that he was on patrol with on May 2, 1945.
After the war, he returned to marry his high school sweetheart, Wanda Spooner of South Bend, Washington. He later studied business administration at the University of Washington. He founded the Bayview Lumber Company at South Bend, Washington in 1951 and Bayview Redi-Mix at Elma, WA, building both into multi-million dollar businesses. Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw wrote a chapter about Bush in his World War II book The Greatest Generation (1998).
As well as his business affairs, Bush was active in championing veterans' causes, and served for a time as President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. He attended the inaugurations of every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, excepting that of Lyndon B. Johnson, who didn't invite Medal of Honor recipients. He is not related to either President Bush.
Robert and Wanda Bush were the parents of three sons and a daughter. He died from cancer on November 8, 2005, in Olympia, Washington, aged 79. His wife predeceased him in 1999, and a son, Larry, died in 1986. At the time of his death he was survived by three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was buried in Fern Hill Cemetery, Menlo, Washington.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Naval Reserve, serving as Medical Corpsman with a rifle company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division.
Place and date: Okinawa Jima, Ryukyu Islands, May 2, 1945.
Entered service at: Washington.
Born: October 4, 1926, Tacoma, Wash.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Medical Corpsman with a rifle company, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Jima, Ryukyu Islands, 2 May 1945. Fearlessly braving the fury of artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire from strongly entrenched hostile positions, Bush constantly and unhesitatingly moved from one casualty to another to attend the wounded falling under the enemy's murderous barrages. As the attack passed over a ridge top, Bush was advancing to administer blood plasma to a marine officer lying wounded on the skyline when the Japanese launched a savage counterattack. In this perilously exposed position, he resolutely maintained the flow of life-giving plasma. With the bottle held high in one hand, Bush drew his pistol with the other and fired into the enemy's ranks until his ammunition was expended. Quickly seizing a discarded carbine, he trained his fire on the Japanese charging pointblank over the hill, accounting for six of the enemy despite his own serious wounds and the loss of one eye suffered during his desperate battle in defense of the helpless man. With the hostile force finally routed, he calmly disregarded his own critical condition to complete his mission, valiantly refusing medical treatment for himself until his officer patient had been evacuated, and collapsing only after attempting to walk to the battle aid station. His daring initiative, great personal valor, and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in service of others reflect great credit upon Bush and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
The Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital in Twentynine Palms, California was named in his honor, as was the Bush Health Care Clinic, located at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan. In 1998, a monument depicting his actions on Okinawa was erected in a park named for him in his hometown of South Bend, Washington, which named a street after him as well.
A Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to Bush for Veterans Day in 1999, recognizing him as one of five Medal of Honor recipients from the Southern California desert area.
- LCpl. Brian A. Tuthill (Nov 16, 2005). "Naval hospital mourns loss of namesake, MOH recipient, friend". Marine Corps News (United States Marine Corps). Retrieved Nov 3, 2011.
- "Official Website of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society". CMOHS.org. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- "Invalid Entry". Cmohs.org. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- "Palm Springs Walk of Stars: By Date Dedicated" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Alexander, Colonel Joseph H., USMC (Ret) (1995). The Final Campaign: Marines in the Victory on Okinawa. Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. Washington, D.C.: History and Museums Division, United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 2007-11-03.
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