Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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World War II - U.S. Army

Silvestre S. Herrera

Details
  • Rank: Private First Class (Highest Rank: Sergeant)
  • Conflict/Era: World War II
  • Unit/Command:
    1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Company E, 2d Battalion, 142d Infantry,
    36th Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: March 15, 1945
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Merzwiller, France
Citation

He advanced with a platoon along a wooded road until stopped by heavy enemy machine-gun fire. As the rest of the unit took cover, he made a one-man frontal assault on a strongpoint and captured eight enemy soldiers. When the platoon resumed its advance and was subjected to fire from a second emplacement beyond an extensive minefield, Pvt. Herrera again moved forward, disregarding the danger of exploding mines, to attack the position. He stepped on a mine and had both feet severed; but, despite intense pain and unchecked loss of blood, he pinned down the enemy with accurate rifle fire while a friendly squad captured the enemy gun by skirting the minefield and rushing in from the flank. The magnificent courage, extraordinary heroism, and willing self-sacrifice displayed by Pvt. Herrera resulted in the capture of two enemy strongpoints and the taking of eight prisoners.

USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
USED WITH PERMISSION, COPYRIGHT NICK DELCALZO
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Presentation Date & Details: August 23, 1945

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

  • Born: December 31, 1916, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Died: November 26, 2007, Glendale, AZ, United States
  • Buried: Resthaven Park Cemetery, Glendale, AZ, United States
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