|Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena|
Master Sgt. Mike C. Pena will receive the Medal of
Honor posthumously for his courageous actions while serving as a member
of Company F, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat
operations against an armed enemy in Waegwan, Korea, on September 4,
Michael C. Pena was born in Newgulf, Texas, November 1924.
He joined the U. S. Army as an infantryman in 1941, when he was 16-years-old. He fought in both World War II and the Korean War.
The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of
the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the
Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Master Sergeant Mike C.
Pena (ASN: RA-18009659), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism
in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the
United Nations while serving with Company F, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry
Regiment (Infantry), 1st Cavalry Division. Master Sergeant Pena
distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy
aggressor forces in the vicinity of Waegwan, Korea, on 4 September 1950.
On that date, at approximately 2300 hours, an enemy battalion moved up
to within a few yards of Master Sergeant Pena’s platoon under cover of
darkness and an obscuring mist. Observing the enemy, Sergeant Pena and
his men immediately opened fire but the sudden, point-blank fire of the
hostile forces made it necessary for the friendly troops to withdraw.
Rapidly reorganizing his men, Sergeant Pena led them in a counterattack,
regained the lost positions, and attempted to hold back the enemy.
Despite the devastating fire laid down by the friendly troops, the enemy
continued to hurl themselves at the defenses in overwhelming numbers.
Realizing that a scarcity of ammunition would soon make the positions
untenable, Sergeant Pena ordered his men to fall back, manning a
machine-gun to cover their withdrawal. Single-handedly, he held back the
enemy until the early hours of the following morning when his position
was overrun and he was killed.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Pena received the Distinguished
service Cross (this award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor on Mar. 18), Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster,
Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and two Loops, American
Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four Bronze Service
Stars and Bronze Arrowhead Device, World War II Victory Medal, Army of
Occupation Medal with Japan Clasp, National Defense Service Medal,
Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, Presidential Unit
Citation, Combat Infantryman Badge (2nd Award), Honorable Service Lapel
Button- World War II, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Philippine
Independence Ribbon, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of
Korea-Korean War Service Medal, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation,
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Gold Bravery Medal of
Greece Unit Citation.