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Korean War - U.S. Army

Victor H Espinoza

Details
  • Rank: Corporal
  • Conflict/Era: Korean War
  • Unit/Command:
    Company A, 23d Infantry Regiment,
    2d Infantry Division
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: August 1, 1952
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Chorwon, Korea
Citation

Corporal Victor H. Espinoza distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Acting Rifleman in Company A, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Chorwon, Korea on August 1, 1952. On that day, Corporal Espinoza and his unit were responsible for securing and holding a vital enemy hill. As the friendly unit neared its objective, it was subjected to a devastating volume of enemy fire, slowing its progress. Corporal Espinoza, unhesitatingly and being fully aware of the hazards involved, left his place of comparative safety and made a deliberate one man assault on the enemy with his rifle and grenades, destroying a machinegun and killing its crew. Corporal Espinoza continued across the fire-swept terrain to an exposed vantage point where he attacked an enemy mortar position and two bunkers with grenades and rifle fire, knocking out the enemy mortar position and destroying both bunkers and killing their occupants. Upon reaching the crest, and after running out of rifle ammunition, he called for more grenades. A comrade who was behind him threw some Chinese grenades to him. Immediately upon catching them, he pulled the pins and hurled them into the occupied trenches, killing and wounding more of the enemy with their own weapons. Continuing on through a tunnel, Corporal Espinoza made a daring charge, inflicting at least seven more casualties upon the enemy who were fast retreating into the tunnel. Corporal Espinoza was quickly in pursuit, but the hostile fire from the opening prevented him from overtaking the retreating enemy. As a result, Corporal Espinoza destroyed the tunnel with TNT, called for more grenades from his company, and hurled them at the enemy troops until they were out of reach. Corporal Espinoza’s incredible display of valor secured the vital strong point and took a heavy toll on the enemy, resulting in at least fourteen dead and eleven wounded. Corporal Espinoza’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness 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.

Medal of Honor Recipient Victor H. Espinoza
Medal of Honor Recipient Victor H. Espinoza
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Texas
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: March 18, 2014

    The White House to his nephew by President Barack Obama

  • Born: July 15, 1929, El Paso, El Paso County, TX, United States
  • Died: April 17, 1986, El Paso, TX, United States
  • Buried: Fort Bliss National Cemetery, Fort Bliss, TX, United States
 

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