The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
*VILLEGAS, YSMAEL R.
Rank and Organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army,
Company F, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division. Place and Date Villa Verde Trail,
Luzon, Philippine Islands, 20 March 1945. Entered Service at: Casa Blanca, Calif. Birth:
March 21, 1924 at Casa Blanca, Calif. G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945.
He was a squad leader when his unit, in a forward position, clashed with an enemy strongly
entrenched in connected caves and foxholes on commanding ground. He moved boldly from man
to man, in the face of bursting grenades and demolition charges, through heavy machinegun
and rifle fire, to bolster the spirit of his comrades. Inspired by his gallantry, his men
pressed forward to the crest of the hill. Numerous enemy riflemen, refusing to flee,
continued firing from their foxholes. S/Sgt. Villegas, with complete disregard for his own
safety and the bullets which kicked up the dirt at his feet, charged an enemy position,
and, firing at point-blank range killed the Japanese in a foxhole. He rushed a second
foxhole while bullets missed him by inches, and killed 1 more of the enemy. In rapid
succession he charged a third, a fourth, a fifth foxhole, each time destroying the enemy
within. The fire against him increased in intensity, but he pressed onward to attack a
sixth position. As he neared his goal, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Through his
heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost of his life,
inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept the enemy from the field.