b. 06/11/1924 Corpus Christi, Texas. d. 05/09/1950 Waegwan, South Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 04/09/1950 Waegwan, South Korea.
Korean War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He was KIA near Waegwan, Korea. He served in the U.S. Army as a Master Sergeant in the 1st Cavalry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on September 5, 1950 near Waegwan, Korea. His son Michael David Pena was presented the Medal of Honor in behalf of his father by President Barack Obama at the White House on March 18, 2014.
Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty 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, 1950.
That evening, under cover of darkness and a dreary mist, an enemy battalion moved to within a few yards of Master Sergeant Pena’s platoon. Recognizing the enemy’s approach, Master Sergeant Pena and his men opened fire, but the enemy’s sudden emergence and accurate, point blank fire forced the friendly troops to withdraw. Master Sergeant Pena rapidly reorganized his men and led them in a counterattack which succeeded in regaining the positions they had just lost. He and his men quickly established a defensive perimeter and laid down devastating fire, but enemy troops continued to hurl themselves at the defenses in overwhelming numbers. Realizing that their scarce supply of ammunition would soon make their positions untenable, Master Sergeant Pena ordered his men to fall back and manned a machinegun to cover their withdrawal. He singlehandedly held back the enemy until the early hours of the following morning when his position was overrun and he was killed.
Master Sergeant Pena’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 military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: CEDARVALE BAY CITY CEMETERY, BAY CITY, TEXAS.
Section 8, Row 15
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