Korean War: Five Hispanic Marines posthumously awarded Medal of Honor

Hispanic Heritage Month
Korean War: Five Hispanic Marines posthumously awarded Medal of Honor
Posted on 9/21/2000

Five Marines of Hispanic descent were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in the Korean War. All five were members of the 1st Marine Division: PFC Fernando Luis Garcia, PFC Edward Gomez, Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen, First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, and PFC Eugene Arnold Obregon. Each of these Marines is a hero; their stories of valor should never be forgotten. Please read and share their stories.

PFC Fernando Luis Garcia, SEPTEMBER 5, 1952, KOREA:
Pfc. Despite suffering painful wounds, Garcia moved through the intense hail of hostile fire to a supply point to secure more hand grenades. Quick to act when a hostile grenade landed nearby, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and threw his body upon the deadly missile, receiving the full impact of the explosion.

PFC Edward Gomez, SEPTEMBER 14, 1951, HILL 749, KOREA:
When a hostile grenade landed between himself and his weapon, he shouted a warning to those around him as he grasped the activated charge in his hand. Determined to save his comrades, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, diving into the ditch with the deadly missile, absorbed the shattering violence of the explosion in his body.

Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen, JULY 25, 1953, SONGUCH-ON, KOREA:
With his unit pinned down when the outpost was attacked under cover of darkness by an estimated force of two enemy battalions supported by mortar and artillery fire. He deliberately exposed himself to the heavy barrage and attacks to direct his men in defending their positions and personally supervise the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. Inspired by his leadership, the platoon quickly rallied and engaged the enemy in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Although critically wounded during the battle, S/Sgt. Guillen refused medical aid and continued to direct his men throughout the remainder of the engagement until the enemy was defeated and thrown into a disorderly retreat.

First Lieutenant Baldomero Lopez, SEPTEMBER 15, 1950, INCHON, KOREA:
Baldomero was hit by enemy fire in the shoulder and arm while launching a grenade. He dropped the grenade, endangering his men. Unable to grasp the hand grenade firmly enough to hurl it, he chose to sacrifice himself rather than endanger the lives of his men and, with a sweeping motion of his wounded right arm, cradled the grenade under him and absorbed the full impact of the explosion.

PFC Eugene Arnold Obregon, SEPTEMBER 26, 1950, SEOUL, KOREA:
While saving a wounded comrade and being armed with only a pistol, Obregon seized the wounded Marine's carbine. He then placed his own body as a shield in front of him and lay there firing accurately and effectively into the enemy until he was fatally wounded by enemy machine-gun fire.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15 through October 15. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The number of Marines of Hispanic descent who infuse the Marine Corps with the unique customs and traditions of their culture continues to grow. The young Hispanic men and women who join the Marine Corps today are born of a proud culture. They choose to adopt the ethos of the Marine Corps, and ultimately strengthen our Corps and Nation.

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