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Stories of American Heroes - Brought to you from the "Home of Heroes" - Pueblo, Colorado

Above & Beyond

These pages are the results of a Medal of Honor research project by Eighth Graders at Sacred Heart Elementary School in Ville Platte, Louisiana.  Each student in the class adopted a Medal of Honor recipient from our Nation's history, researched his life, and then wrote the story you see here.

 Korean War

Charles G. Abrell


Charles G. Abrell was born August 12, 1931, in Terre Haute, Indiana. At the age of 20 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and later became a Corporal. On June 10, 1951, he went to battle in the Korean War with his army. Corporal Abrell spontaneously rushed forward, through the invading enemy squad, and he proceeded to carry out a bold, single-handed attack against the enemy bunker. Earlier he was wounded by a hand grenade. He sustained two additional wounds as he stormed the bunker. He pulled the pin from a grenade and held it in his hand while he jumped into the bunker.  Fatally wounded in the explosion, the entire enemy gun crew was killed. His courage and heroic energy to serve his country ended his life. 

I chose Charles G. Abrell for my recipient, because I thought about what he did and I don’t think I could be brave enough to kill myself like he did.  I chose Charles G. Abrell for his bravery and strength to go above and beyond his call of duty.

 

Fernando Garcia


Fernando Garcia was a First Class Private who served as a U.S. Marine in the Korean War. He was awarded the medal for his unlimited bravery and selfless act. Garcia was gallantly defending a combat outpost more than one mile ahead of the mainline of resistance. His outpost was under a ferocious night attack. Executing this attack was an enemy force employing grenades, mortars, and artillery. Already suffering from strenuous wounds, Garcia moved through the hellish enemy fire to a supply point in order to secure more hand grenades. When suddenly a grenade landed nearby, jeopardizing his own life, as well as the life of another marine, Garcia was quick to act. He unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and instantaneously threw his body upon the fatal missile, absorbing the full impact of the explosion.  

I am inspired by any man who gave his life for his country and friends knowing that he would not come out alive. I feel that all people should totally admire and revere anyone who fought for not only their own freedom, but also the freedom of everyone that would come after them.  Pfc. Fernando Luis Garcia is the perfect example of a true American hero.  The colors of red, white, and blue flowed through his veins and will flow through the minds of people everywhere that truly come to understand his miraculous and unselfish act as a United States soldier and Medal of Honor recipient.

 

Hiroshi H. Miyamura


Hiroshi H. Miyamura served in the United States Army in the Korean War. On the night of April the twenty-fourth, Company H was occupying a defensive position when the enemy keenly attacked, threatening to break and overrun the defensive position. Miyamura, without hesitating, jumped from his defensive position and killed approximately ten of the enemy soldiers with his bayonet.  After killing the enemy soldiers, Miyamura quickly returned to his defensive position.  Miyamura administered first aid to the wounded and directed them to their evacuation. 

Another assault came his way.  But this time he manned his machine gun and was rapidly firing until he was out of ammunition.  Miyamura ordered the squad to withdraw while he stayed back and submitted bullets into his machine gun.  Miyamura then bayoneted his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers until he reached a second gun emplacement and assisted in its operation by pulling the trigger.  When the climax of the attack was coming, Miyamura told his men to stay back while he would kill over fifty men with his machine gun.  But in the process of this achievement of killing over fifty soldiers, Miyamura was severely wounded.  Even though Miyamura was badly wounded, he continued to fend off the enemy soldiers until his position was overrun. 

Miyamura’s spirited heroism and devotion to duty reflect extreme glory on himself and sustain the memorable traditions of military service. I admire Hiroshi H. Miyamura because he risked his life by telling his squad to stay back while he would protect them and kill enemy soldiers one by one.

 

Herbert K. Pililaau


Herbert K. Pililaau is a Medal of Honor Recipient.  He was born in Hawaii and served in the United States Army in the Korean War.  He is ranked as a Private First Class. 

It was on September 1951 at Pia-ri, Korea when his actions so valiantly earned him the Medal of Honor. The enemy had been sending wave after wave of fanatical troops against his platoon which held a key terrain feature on ”Heartbreak Ridge.” Valiantly defending its position, the unit defended each attack until ammunition became practically exhausted and it was ordered to withdraw to a new position.  Volunteering to remain behind to cover the withdrawal, Private First Class Pililaau fired his automatic weapon into the ranks of the assailants, threw all his grenades and, with ammunition exhausted, closed with hand-to-hand combat, courageously fighting with his trench knife and bare fists.  He was finally overcome and was mortally wounded. When the position was subsequently retaken, more than 40 enemy dead were counted in the area he had so valiantly defended. His heroic devotion to duty, indomitable fighting spirit, and gallant self-sacrifice earned him the Medal of Honor. On March 3, 1983, the President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, awarded, in the name of the Congress the Medal of Honor posthumously to: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS HERBERT K. PILILAAU, United States Army.

 

Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr.


Mitchell Red Cloud was born July 2, 1924, in Hatfield, Wisconsin.  On November 5, 1950, he was serving in the U.S. Army, Company E, 19th Infantry Regiment in Chonghyon, Korea.  Corporal Red Cloud was positioned on the point of a ridge immediately in front of his company’s command post.  As Chinese Communist forces approached, he was the first to detect their presence and give the alarm as the enemy charged from the brush less than l00 feet from him.  Red Cloud immediately delivered devastating automatic rifle fire into the enemy.  His quick action briefly stopped the assault thus gaining time for his company to regroup. Severely wounded by enemy fire, he maintained his firing position.  Continuing with utter fearlessness, he pulled himself to his feet, wrapped his arm around a tree, and continued his deadly fire until he was fatally wounded.  Red Cloud’s heroic act stopped the enemy from overrunning his company’s position and gained time for his company to reorganize and evacuate the wounded.  Cpl. Red Cloud’s dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and upholds the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.  

Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud did not live to receive his Congressional Medal of Honor. It was presented posthumously to his family.  His courageous acts undoubtedly saved many lives allowing his fellow soldiers to continue to fight for our country.  

I think that Mitchell Red Cloud is a real hero.  He did not think of his safety when he risked his life to protect his company.  Learning about the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients has changed the way I think about our veterans.  Many of them risked everything for our country.  They are really heroes.

 

 


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