Private First Class
                      United States Marine Corps


                      PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JOHN D. NEW
                         UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Peleliu Island, Palau Group, 25 September 1944. When a Japanese soldier emerged from a cave in a cliff directly below an observation post and suddenly hurled a grenade into the position from which two of our men were directing mortar fire against enemy emplacements, Private First Class New instantly perceived the dire peril to the other Marines and, with utter disregard for his own safety, unhesitatingly flung himself upon the grenade and absorbed the full impact of the explosion, thus saving the lives of the two observers. Private First Class New's great personal valor and selfless conduct in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

President of the United States

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 12 August 1924, Mobile, Ala. Accredited To: Alabama.  

On 12 August 2001 the City of Mobile, Alabama changed the name of Cottage Hill Park to Pfc. John D. New Memorial Park. Pfc. New was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Roosevelt 25 September 1944 when he threw himself on a hand grenade a Japanese soldier had thrown from a cave during the battle of Peleliu and saved the lives of two of his comrades. 12 August was John`s birthday. He was twenty years old and joined the Marine Corps 8 December 1941 just a day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Special Interests 
Marine Corps
Heritage Center /

World War II 1941-1945
Medal of Honor Recipient

Private First Class John Dury New, 19, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at the cost of his life on Peleliu, September 25, 1944.

PFC New was born August 12, 1924 in Mobile, Alabama, and attended St. Joseph's Parochial School and the public schools of that city. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 8, 1941, the first Mobile man to enlist after Pearl Harbor. On December 12, he joined the 4th Recruit Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, and following recruit training served at Quantico, Virginia.

In September 1942, Private New joined the 4th Replacement Battalion, FMF, Training Center, at San Diego, California. He sailed for duty overseas the following month, and took part in the Guadalcanal campaign as a member of 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He shared in the Presidential Unit Citation awarded the Division on Guadalcanal. He later took part in the seizure and occupation of Cape Gloucester, New Britain, and in the defense of the airfield in the vicinity of Cape Gloucester.

Promoted to private first class in April 1944, he moved from Cape Gloucester, to Pavuvu, Russell Islands, to Guadalcanal, and on September 15, 1944 sailed for Peleliu in the Palau Islands. Nine days later, he was killed in action on Peleliu when he flung himself on an enemy hand grenade to save the lives of two comrades.

The Medal of Honor, awarded PFC New posthumously, was presented to his father, Jesse J. New, of Mobile. In addition to his father, PFC New was survived by two sisters, Miss Mary Louise New and Mrs. Barbara Julien; and a brother, Private James E. New, U.S. Army, all of Mobile. PFC New's sister, Barbara, is the widow of Marine Master Sergeant Leon Julien, a pilot who was killed on Guadalcanal.

Initially buried in the U.S. Armed Forces Cemetery on Peleliu, PFC New's remains were reinterred in the Mobile National Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama, in 1948.

Note: On Sept  27, 2006 I had the pleasure of meeting Marguerite N. (Rita) and Carl Taylor. Rita is the cousin of the John New Family and had done some research and found these old newspaper articles from when the New was commissioned. Carl was on the USS Hector a repair ship and was stationed in the Pacific in the fifties. They were in Hagerstown Maryland for a Hector reunion and I met them at the local Cracker Barrel for lunch and we had a great chat. She handed me this folder with some pictures I hadn't seen. New's first CO and XO are pictured below with John New's sisters. The  brand new New is behind them painted in the measure 22 of 1945 for the Pacific campaign. The war ended as New was being readied for sea so she never made it into battle.
   These pictures were copied from an ols yellowed newspaper, Mobile Press Register.
Below are three picture's two I sure wish I could get a copy of in original. Admiral Pawnell of Pensacola NAS is presenting the medal to Father of John New, Jessie J. New of Mobile, Alabama.
Below that is a most precious photo. One that deserves a special place of honor. It is the buriel place of John New on Peleliu Island in the Pacific. John New was later removed to a cemetery in Mobile.