1st Battalion, 18th Marines

Born December 25, 1920 in San Antonio, Texas
Awarded Posthumously for heroic action at Tarawa in 1943
Killed in Action on November 20, 1943 at age 22


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 2nd Marine Division, in action against the Japanese-held atoll of Tarawa

Landing in the assault waves under withering enemy fire which killed all but four of the men in his tractor, Staff Sgt. Bordelon hurriedly made demolition charges and personally put two pillboxes out of action.  Hit by enemy machine-gun 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 sea wall.  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 the 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 machine-gun position but was instantly killed when caught in a final burst of fire from the enemy.  Staff 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 three days of violent battle reflects the highest credit upon the U.S. Naval Service.  He gallantly gave his life for his country.