Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Joe Gandara

Details
  • Rank: Private
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company D, 2d Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
    17th Airborne Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: June 9, 1944
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Amfreville, France
Citation

Private Joe Gandara distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company D, 2d Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Amfreville, France on June 9, 1944. On that day, Private Gandara’s detachment came under devastating enemy fire from a strong German force, pinning the men to the ground for a period of four hours. Private Gandara voluntarily advanced alone toward the enemy position. Firing his machinegun from his hip as he moved forward, he destroyed three hostile machineguns before he was fatally wounded. Private Gandara’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 18, 2014

    The White House presented to his niece by President Barack Obama

  • Born: April 25, 1924, Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, CA, United States
  • Died: June 9, 1944, Amfreville, France
  • Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica, CA, United States
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