FOSTER, WILLIAM ADELBERT (17 Feb. 1915-2 May 1945) was a private in the U.S. Marine Corps during WORLD WAR II who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on the Island of Okinawa. William, one of 6 children, was born in Cleveland, to Charles J. and Alma Messzik Foster. After graduation from Garfield Heights High School in 1933, he worked at various jobs including one at Cleveland Automatic Screw Machine Co. and was a member of the National Guard. As the sole support of his family during the war, he was exempt from service but chose to enlist in the Marine Corps. in 1944. On 1 May 1945, while on active combat duty with Co. K, 3d Battalion, 1st U.S. Marine Div., on Okinawa, Foster dove onto a live Japanese hand grenade that landed in a foxhole he shared with another Marine, and it exploded. Mortally wounded, but having saved the life of his fellow Marine, Foster gave up his 2 remaining hand grenades to his fellow comrades-in-arms to continue the fight against infiltrating Japanese soldiers. The Medal of Honor was presented to Foster's parents by U.S. Marine Commandant Gen. Alexander Vandegrif in a ceremony at Cleveland City Hall on 20 Aug. 1946. Foster's remains were returned to Cleveland for reinterment at Calvary Cemetery 5 March 1949. An elementary school in his hometown of GARFIELD HEIGHTS was named in his honor in 1957. Also, a Marine Camp on Okinawa was named Camp Foster in his honor. On 5 May 1990, a special headstone for recipients of the Medal of Honor was placed on his gravesite at Calvary Cemetery. Foster never married.

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