Former Marine saved by Medal of Honor recipient from Sequim dies

Harry A. Pearce Jr., a World War II Marine whose life was saved by Sequim High School graduate and Medal of Honor recipient Richard B. Anderson, died Dec. 26 at his home in Hanover, Kan., of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 87.

A decorated war veteran, Pearce was the remaining surviving soldier among three Anderson saved on the island of Roi Namur on Feb. 1, 1944.

Anderson died after tucking a live grenade to his stomach on his first day of combat while all four Marines were hunkered down in a shell crater.

The federal building in Port Angeles was named the Richard B. Anderson Federal Building in 2008 in Anderson’s honor.

Peninsula Daily News interviewed Pearce annually for the newspaper’s Veteran’s Day Commentary page column honoring the North Olympic Peninsula’s four Medal of Honor recipients.

Give thanks every day

“I take time out every day to give thanks for what Richard did on my behalf,” he told the PDN on Nov. 11.

“I call it my second chance.”

Pearce, a demolition specialist, received three Purple Hearts for wounds in action, as well as the Silver Star, Legion of Merit Medal and a Presidential Citation with two stars.

He later wrote a book about his World War II experiences, Star Shells, Condoms & Ka-bars, became an petroleum geologist, started a consultant company, founded a berry farm — and with his late wife, June, raised four daughters.

One daughter, Pat Mueller of Hanover, said Friday that her father would often remind those around him of Anderson’s sacrifice.

“He often would say, ‘Why did I make it through all these experiences, and so many others didn’t?'” Mueller said.

“Life meant a lot to him.”


Staff writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-417-3536 or at paul.

More in News

Sequim Council vote against neighborhood commercial development

After nearly a month of consideration, the Sequim City Council… Continue reading

Draft plan reviewed for proposed Brinnon resort

The Jefferson County commissioners and planning commissioners took a… Continue reading

Clallam Public Defender contract approved: Charging procedures changed

A one-year $1.25 million public defender contract covering indigent… Continue reading

Peninsula man to be sentenced for tree poaching

A Clallam County man will be sentenced in federal court… Continue reading

Port Townsend native to tell of plans for Pacific trek

Eliza Dawson is a scientist who is passionate about… Continue reading

OMC appoints new commissioner

Olympic Medical Center commissioners have selected a recently-retired registered… Continue reading

NEWS BRIEFS: Unity speaker slated for Sunday in PA … and other items

Unity in the Olympics’ 10:30 a.m. Sunday service speaker… Continue reading

Fair positions open in Port Angeles

The Clallam County Fair announced that it is accepting… Continue reading

Most Read