The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom
FERNANDO L. GARCIA
Private First Class
For conspicuous and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 5 September 1952. While participating in the defense of a combat outpost located more tha one mile forward of the main line of resistance during a savage night attack ba a fanatical enemy force employing grenades, mortars and artillery. Private First Class Garcia, although suffering painful wounds, moved through the intense hail of hostile fire to a supply point to secure more hand grenades. Quick to act when a hostile grenade landed nearby, endangering the life of another Marine, as well as his own, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and immediately threw his body upon the deadly missile, receiving the full impact of the explosion. His great personal valor and cool decision in the face of almost certain death sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
President of the United States
On September 5, 1952, Private first class Garcia was named the recipient of this prestigious award for his service in the Korean War -- the first of four Puerto Ricans to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In addition to that distinction, Camp Garcia, on the island of Vieques, was named after him.
Fernando Luis Garcia was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico, on October 14, 1929, and joined the United States Marines in San Juan. Garcia was involved in several hostile conflicts during his service as a Marine. He earned his Medal of Honor when he chose without hesitation to sacrifice himself by throwing his body on a grenande that had landed near his colleagues. His Congressional Medal of Honor Citation tells the story of a young marine in the Korean War whose valor was not limited to this single act of bravery. As a Puerto Rican, he didn't question his place among "American" soldiers. This "American" simply lived in such a way that his death would be honored by the country for which he so bravely gave his life