Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

  • Filter Recipient Database here
    • Service Branch
    • Conflict / Era
    • Additional Filters

World War II - U.S. Army

Alejandro Renteria Ruiz

  • Rank: Private First Class (Highest Rank: Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 165th Infantry,
    27th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 28, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands

When his unit was stopped by a skillfully camouflaged enemy pillbox, he displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. His squad, suddenly brought under a hail of machine-gun fire and a vicious grenade attack, was pinned down. Jumping to his feet, Pfc. Ruiz seized an automatic rifle and lunged through the flying grenades and rifle and automatic fire for the top of the emplacement. When an enemy soldier charged him, his rifle jammed. Undaunted, Pfc. Ruiz whirled on his assailant and clubbed him down. Then he ran back through bullets and grenades, seized more ammunition and another automatic rifle, and again made for the pillbox. Enemy fire now was concentrated on him, but he charged on, miraculously reaching the position, and in plain view he climbed to the top. Leaping from one opening to another, he sent burst after burst into the pillbox, killing 12 of the enemy and completely destroying the position. Pfc. Ruiz's heroic conduct, in the face of overwhelming odds, saved the lives of many comrades and eliminated an obstacle that long would have checked his unit's advance

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Carlsbad, Eddy County, New Mexico
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: June 14, 1946

    The White House, presented by Pres. Harry S. Truman

  • Born: April 26, 1924, Loving, Eddy County, NM, United States
  • Died: November 20, 2009, Yountville, CA, United States
  • Buried: Veterans Home of California Cemetery, Yountville, CA, United States

Questions? For More Information Contact Us!