Thought for the Day November 24, 2014: Roger Young CMH Winner

Roger Young

Roger Young

When I was in High School in ROTC we had a special presentation on the Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Roger Young. A record was played with a song written about Roger Young.

The Ballad of Rodger Young is an American war song by Frank Loesser, written and first performed during World War II in March 1945.

Citation (Place / Date: On New Georgia, Solomon Islands, 31 July 1943):

On 31 July 1943, the infantry company of which Pvt. Young was a member, was ordered to make a limited withdrawal from the battle line in order to adjust the battalion’s position for the night.

At this time, Pvt. Young’s platoon was engaged with the enemy in a dense jungle where observation was very limited. The platoon suddenly was pinned down by intense fire from a Japanese machine gun concealed on higher ground only 75 yards away.

The initial burst wounded Pvt. Young. As the platoon started to obey the order to withdraw, Pvt. Young called out that he could see the enemy emplacement, whereupon he started creeping toward it.

Another burst from the machine gun wounded him the second time. Despite the wounds, he continued his heroic advance, attracting enemy fire and answering with rifle fire.

When he was close enough to his objective, he began throwing hand grenades, and while doing so was hit again and killed. Pvt. Young’s bold action in closing with this Japanese pillbox and thus diverting its fire, permitted his platoon to disengage itself, without loss, and was responsible for several enemy casualties.

Here is the song (thanks to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ballad_of_Rodger_Young) :

The lyrics are reproduced here in the form they were first published in Life, with minor changes in capitalization and punctuation.[17]

1. Oh, they’ve got no time for glory in the Infantry.
Oh, they’ve got no use for praises loudly sung,
But in every soldier’s heart in all the Infantry
Shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young.
Shines the name — Rodger Young,
Fought and died for the men he marched among.
To the everlasting glory of the Infantry
Lives the story of Private Rodger Young.
2. Caught in ambush lay a company of riflemen —
Just grenades against machine guns in the gloom —
Caught in ambush till this one of twenty riflemen
Volunteered, volunteered to meet his doom.
Volunteered — Rodger Young,
Fought and died for the men he marched among.
In the everlasting annals of the Infantry
Glows the last deed of Private Rodger Young.
3. It was he who drew the fire of the enemy
That a company of men might live to fight;
And before the deadly fire of the enemy
Stood the man, stood the man we hail tonight.
Stood the man — Rodger Young,
Fought and died for the men he marched among.
Like the everlasting courage of the Infantry
Was the last deed of Private Rodger Young.
4. On the island of New Georgia in the Solomons,
Stands a simple wooden cross alone to tell
That beneath the silent coral of the Solomons,
Sleeps a man, sleeps a man remembered well.
 
Sleeps a man — Rodger Young,
Fought and died for the men he marched among.
In the everlasting spirit of the Infantry
Breathes the spirit of Private Rodger Young.

5. No, they’ve got no time for glory in the Infantry,

No, they’ve got no use for praises loudly sung,
But in every soldier’s heart in all the Infantry
Shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young.
 
Shines the name — Rodger Young,
Fought and died for the men he marched among.
To the everlasting glory of the Infantry
Lives the story of Private Rodger Young.

John

Korea, 1951

Korea, 1951

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