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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Marine Corps

Emilio Albert de la Garza Jr.

Details
  • Rank: Lance Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines,
    1st Marine Division (Rein) FMF
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: April 11, 1970
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam
Citation
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a machine gunner with Company E. Returning with his squad from a night ambush operation, L/Cpl. De La Garza joined his platoon commander and another marine in searching for two enemy soldiers who had been observed fleeing for cover toward a small pond. Moments later, he located one of the enemy soldiers hiding among the reeds and brush. As the three marines attempted to remove the resisting soldier from the pond, L/Cpl. De La Garza observed him pull the pin on a grenade. Shouting a warning, L/Cpl. De La Garza placed himself between the other two marines and the ensuing blast from the grenade, thereby saving the lives of his comrades at the sacrifice of his life. By his prompt and decisive action and his great personal valor in the face of almost certain death, L/Cpl. De La Garza upheld and further enhanced the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.
Medal of Honor Recipient Emilio A. de la Garza Jr.
Medal of Honor Recipient Emilio A. de la Garza Jr.
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: September 9, 1971
    The White House, presented by Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew to his family
  • Born: June 23, 1949, East Chicago, Lake County, IN, United States
  • Died: April 11, 1970, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: Saint John's Cemetery (MH) (K-70-1-2), Hammond, IN, United States
 

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