Seven months later, he was wounded in action on New Guinea during September 1943 as a member of the 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, and refused to be evacuated and continued on duty. Then, on October 17, 1943, when his unit's position was faced with a Japanese counter-attack from the sea, he remained at his machine gun despite calls from his fellow soldiers to withdraw and the wounds he had already suffered. The gallant Private continued fighting until he had run out of ammunition and taken his final breath.
From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (T-Z):
|Photo from Military Times' Hall of Valor|
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, Shore Battalion, Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. Place and date: Near Finschafen, New Guinea, 17 October 1943. Entered service at: Preston, Idaho. G.O. No.: 17, 26 February 1944
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Finschafen, New Guinea, on 17 October 1943. When wounded late in September, Pvt. Van Noy declined evacuation and continued on duty. On 17 October 1943 he was gunner in charge of a machinegun post only 5 yards from the water's edge when the alarm was given that 3 enemy barges loaded with troops were approaching the beach in the early morning darkness. One landing barge was sunk by Allied fire, but the other 2 beached 10 yards from Pvt. Van Noy's emplacement. Despite his exposed position, he poured a withering hail of fire into the debarking enemy troops. His loader was wounded by a grenade and evacuated. Pvt. Van Noy, also grievously wounded, remained at his post, ignoring calls of nearby soldiers urging him to withdraw, and continued to fire with deadly accuracy. He expended every round and was found, covered with wounds dead beside his gun. In this action Pvt. Van Noy killed at least half of the 39 enemy taking part in the landing. His heroic tenacity at the price of his life not only saved the lives of many of his comrades, but enabled them to annihilate the attacking detachment.
Junior Van Noy's Medal of Honor was presented to his mother in March 1944. The 19 year-old hero was initially buried in a wartime cemetery on New Guinea, but his remains were later repatriated to the United States and he today rests in peace at the Grace Cemetery in Grace, Idaho.