Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps.
Birth: 25 December
1920, San Antonio, Tex.
Accredited to: Texas.
Citation: For valorous and
gallant conduct above and beyond the call of duty as a member of an assault
engineer platoon of the 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, tactically attached
to the 2d Marine Division, in action against the Japanese-held atoll of
Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands on 20 November 1943. Landing in the assault
waves under withering enemy fire which killed all but 4 of the men in his
tractor, S/Sgt. Bordelon hurriedly made demolition charges and personally
put 2 pillboxes out of action. Hit by enemy machinegun fire just as a charge
exploded in his hand while assaulting a third position, he courageously
remained in action and, although out of demolition, provided himself with
a rifle and furnished fire coverage for a group of men scaling the seawall.
Disregarding his own serious condition, he unhesitatingly went to the aid
of one of his demolition men, wounded and calling for help in the water,
rescuing this man and another who had been hit by enemy fire while attempting
to make the rescue. Still refusing first aid for himself, he again made
up demolition charges and single-handedly assaulted a fourth Japanese machinegun
position but was instantly killed when caught in a final burst of fire
from the enemy. S/Sgt. Bordelon's great personal valor during a critical
phase of securing the limited beachhead was a contributing factor in the
ultimate occupation of the island, and his heroic determination throughout
3 days of violent battle reflects the highest credit upon the U.S. Naval
Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)