Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Korean War - U.S. Army

Benito Martinez

  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment,
    25th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: September 6, 1952
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Satae-ri, Korea
Cpl. Martinez, a machine gunner with Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While manning a listening post forward of the main line of resistance, his position was attacked by a hostile force of reinforced company strength. In the bitter fighting which ensued, the enemy infiltrated the defense perimeter and, realizing that encirclement was imminent, Cpl. Martinez elected to remain at his post in an attempt to stem the onslaught. In a daring defense, he raked the attacking troops with crippling fire, inflicting numerous casualties. Although contacted by sound power phone several times, he insisted that no attempt be made to rescue him because of the danger involved. Soon thereafter, the hostile forces rushed the emplacement, forcing him to make a limited withdrawal with only an automatic rifle and pistol to defend himself. After a courageous six-hour stand and shortly before dawn, he called in for the last time, stating that the enemy was converging on his position. His magnificent stand enabled friendly elements to reorganize, attack, and regain the key terrain. Cpl. Martinez' incredible valor and supreme sacrifice reflect lasting glory upon himself and are in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Benito Martinez
Medal of Honor Recipient Benito Martinez
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Fort Hancock, Hudspeth County, Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: December 16, 1952
    The Pentagon, presented by Sec. of the Army Robert T. Stevens to his mother, Mrs. Francisca Martinez in Washington, D.C.
  • Born: April 21, 1932, Fort Hancock, Hudspeth County, TX, United States
  • Died: September 6, 1952, Korea
  • Buried: Fort Bliss National Cemetery (MH) (B-366A), Fort Bliss, TX, United States

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