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While serving as a hospital corpsman with a Marine Rifle Battalion of the FOURTH Marine Division on Iwo Jima, on February 24, 1945, Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Merlin Achor attempted to reach a Marine who had been wounded by enemy machine gun fire. He abandoned his sheltered position and with utter disregard for his personal safety ran directly into the line of enemy fire. After advancing five yards he was hit by the enemy machine gun fire. Despite agonizing pain, he persisted in his attempt to reach the wounded man once again and was himself wounded, this time seriously. Weak from loss of blood and exhausted by his efforts to maintain his footing in the loose volcano sand, Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Achor finally reached the wounded Marine and then still under intense fire, administered life-saving first aid. Although he himself required immediate medical attention, Pharmacist's Mate Second Class Achor refused to leave the front lines until he had dragged his patient to safety and directed his evacuation to the battalion aid station. Achor was one of 14 hospital corpsmen awarded the Navy Cross for actions on Iwo Jima.

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