b. 03/05/1932 Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. d. 21/09/1952 Chorwon, Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 21/09/1952 Chorwon, Korea.
Vera was born in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico and joined the U.S. Army when he was 17 years old. The bestowal of the Medal of Honor recognized Vera for his actions at Chorwon, North Korea, on September 21, 1952. While Vera's unit attempted to retake the right sector of "Old Baldy", it came under heavy fire at close range and was forced back. Vera selflessly chose to stay and cover the troops' withdrawal, and lost his life during this action.
Vera was posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor by President Obama in a March 18, 2014 White House ceremony.
The bestowal of the Medal of Honor was in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act which called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.
After Vera was killed in action in the Korean War, his body was transferred to Puerto Rico where he was buried with full military honors in the Utuado Municipal Cemetery, Utuado, Puerto Rico. Years later, in November 2014, Vera was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Private Miguel A. Vera distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division in Chorwon, Korea, on September 21, 1952.
That morning, despite suffering from wounds inflicted in a previous battle, Private Vera voluntarily left the aid station to join his comrades in an attack against well-fortified enemy positions on a hill of great importance. When the assaulting elements had moved within twenty yards of the enemy positions, they were suddenly trapped by a heavy volume of mortar, artillery and small-arms fire. The company prepared to make a limited withdrawal, but Private Vera volunteered to remain behind to provide covering fire. As his companions moved to safety, Private Vera remained steadfast in his position, directing accurate fire against the hostile positions despite the intense volume of fire which the enemy was concentrating upon him. Later in the morning, when the friendly force returned, they discovered Private Vera in the same position, facing the enemy. Private Vera's noble intrepidity and self-sacrifice saved many of his comrades' lives.
Private Vera's extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.
Section 71, Grave 258
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