The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*VALDEZ, JOSE F.
Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3d
Infantry Division. Place and Date: Near Rosenkrantz, France, 25 January 1945. Entered
Service at: Pleasant Grove, Utah. Birth: Governador, N. Mex. G. O. No.:
16, 8 February 1946.
He was on outpost duty with 5 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 3 Germans stealthily approaching through the woods.
Scorning cover as the enemy soldiers opened up with heavy automatic weapons fire from a
range of 30 yards, he engaged in a fire fight with the attackers until he had killed all
3. The enemy quickly launched an attack with 2 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 1 by 1 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 counter attack, 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.