Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Jose F Valdez

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    Company B, 7th Infantry,
    3d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 25, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Rosenkrantz, France

He was on outpost duty with five others when the enemy counterattacked with overwhelming strength. From his position near some woods 500 yards beyond the American lines he observed a hostile tank about 75 yards away, and raked it with automatic rifle fire until it withdrew. Soon afterward he saw three Germans stealthily approaching through the woods. Scorning cover as the enemy soldiers opened up with heavy automatic-weapon fire from a range of 30 yards, he engaged in a firefight with the attackers until he had killed all three. The enemy quickly launched an attack with two full companies of infantrymen, blasting the patrol with murderous concentrations of automatic and rifle fire and beginning an encircling movement which forced the patrol leader to order a withdrawal. Despite the terrible odds, Pfc. Valdez immediately volunteered to cover the maneuver, and as the patrol one by one plunged through a hail of bullets toward the American lines, he fired burst after burst into the swarming enemy. Three of his companions were wounded in their dash for safety and he was struck by a bullet that entered his stomach and, passing through his body, emerged from his back. Overcoming agonizing pain, he regained control of himself and resumed his firing position, delivering a protective screen of bullets until all others of the patrol were safe. By field telephone he called for artillery and mortar fire on the Germans and corrected the range until he had shells falling within 50 yards of his position. For 15 minutes he refused to be dislodged by more than 200 of the enemy; then, seeing that the barrage had broken the counterattack, he dragged himself back to his own lines. He died later as a result of his wounds. Through his valiant, intrepid stand and at the cost of his own life, Pfc. Valdez made it possible for his comrades to escape, and was directly responsible for repulsing an attack by vastly superior enemy forces.

Medal of Honor Recipient Jose F. Valdez
Medal of Honor Recipient Jose F. Valdez
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Pleasant Grove, Utah County, Utah
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: 1946

    Presented to his mother, Mrs. Julianita Valdez.

  • Born: January 3, 1925, Governador (Gobernador), Rio Arriba County, NM, United States
  • Died: February 17, 1945, France
  • Buried: Santa Fe National Cemetery (MH) (O-29), Santa Fe, NM, United States

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