When Staff Sgt. William J. Bordelon landed on Tarawa on Nov. 20, 1943, he was one of only four men to make it from his tracked landing vehicle to shelter behind a 4-foot-high seawall. He assaulted three pillboxes before being hit. Refusing medical attention, he was wounded again while retrieving two wounded Marines and then attacked a fourth pillbox before being fatally struck. Bordelon was the only enlisted Marine on Tarawa to receive a posthumous Medal of Honor.