Jose F. Valdez


Jose F. Valdez

Infobox Military Person
name= Jose F. Valdez
born= birth date|1925|1|3
died= death date and age|1945|2|17|1925|1|3
placeofbirth= Governador, New Mexico
placeofdeath=Rosenkrantz, France
placeofburial=


caption=PFC Jose F. Valdez, Medal of Honor recipient
nickname=
allegiance= United States of America
branch= United States Army
serviceyears= 1945
rank= Private First Class
commands=
unit=Company B, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division
battles=World War II *Battle of the Siegfried Line
awards= Medal of Honor Purple Heart
laterwork=

Private First Class Jose F. Valdez (January 3, 1925-February 17, 1945) was a United States Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor — the United States' highest military decoration for his actions near Rosenkrantz, France during World War II.

Early years

Valdez was a Mexican-American born in the born in Governador, New Mexico. He lived in Utah in the 1940s and upon the outbreak of World War II joined the United States Army at a recruiting station in the Pleasant Grove. After completing his basic training, he was assigned to the Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

World War II

The 3rd Infantry Division, which was under the command of Major General John W. O'Daniel, was stationed in North Africa. Gen. O'Daniel led the division in battles in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France. On January 23, 1945, the 3rd Infantry Division began its second offensive against Siegfried Line positions south of Zweibrucken. The Siegfried Line was a defense system stretching more than 630 km (392 miles) with more than 18,000 bunkers, tunnels and tank traps. It went from Kleve on the border with the Netherlands, along the western border of the old German Empire as far as the town of Weil am Rhein on the border to Switzerland. [ [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/3id.htm 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) "Rock Of The Marne!"] ]

On January 25, 1945, Valdez was on patrol with 5 of his fellow soldiers in the vicinity of Rosenkrantz, France, when unexpectedly they confronted an enemy counterattack. An enemy tank was headed towards the patrol and Valdez, upon his own initiative, opened fire against the tank with his automatic rifle, action which made the tank withdraw. After Valdez killed 3 enemy soldiers in a firefight, the Germans ordered a full attack and sent in two companies of infantrymen.

Valdez offered to cover the members of his patrol when the platoon leader ordered a withdrawal. He fired upon the approaching enemy and his patrol members were able to reach American lines. Valdez was wounded and was able to drag himself back to American lines, however, he soon died from his wounds.

Medal of Honor citation


Jose F. Valdez
"
Rank and organization:"Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.
"
Place and date:" Near Rosenkrantz, France, January 25, 1945.
"
Entered service at:"Pleasant Grove, Utah.
"
Born:"Governador, New Mexico
"
G.O. No.: 16, February 8, 1946.
"
Citation:
":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 [ [http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_1940_wwii/valdez.htmlMedal of Honor citation] ]

Honors

Valdez was buried with full military honors in the Santa Fe National Cemetery located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The government honored the memory of Valdez by naming a technical research ship the USNS Pvt Jose F Valdez (T-AG-169). The local government of New Mexico also honored his memory by designating a section of U.S. Hwy. 64 in San Juan County as PFC Jose F. Valdez Memorial Highway. [ [http://www.sjcounty.net/dpt/Commission/Agenda/Archives/2004/FAR3102004.htm Final Agenda] ]

Awards and recognitions

Among Jose F. Valdez' decorations and medals were the following:

*
*
* French Croix de Guerre
*
*
*
Fourragere cord, granted by France to the Third Infantry Division

Notes

ee also

*List of Medal of Honor recipients
*List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II
*Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients

External links

* [http://www.medalofhonor.com/JoseValdez.htm Medal of Honor]
* [http://www.neta.com/~1stbooks/m-zf.htm Jose F. Valdez]

Persondata
NAME= Valdez, Jose F.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= United States Army Medal of Honor recipient
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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