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Master Sergeant Pedro Rodriguez (January 3, 1912 – October 19, 1999), earned two Silver Stars within a seven day period during the Korean War.

Early years

Rodriguez was born Lajas, Puerto Ricomarker into a poor family. Rodriguez did not have a formal education. His father owned an ox cart and earned a living by delivering goods to the town's merchants. Rodriguez rose early in the morning to help his father. Together they went to the railroad station, where they loaded the goods onto their ox cart and then delivered them. When he was 14 years old, his father died and he had to take over the ox cart and the financial responsibility of his family. The economic situation became so bad that in 1937, when he was 25 years old, he joined the U.S. Army. He made $21 (dollars) a month with 3 meals a day.

World War II

Rodriguez was assigned to the 65th Infantry, the all Puerto Rican Regiment and was stationed in Panamamarker. When World War II broke out, the 65th Infantry was sent to North Africa. On September 1944, his company landed in Marseillesmarker, Francemarker and marched north into Germanymarker without any major incident.

Korean War

After the war, the 65th Infantry was stationed in Puerto Rico. The 65th was deployed to Koreamarker, upon the outbreak of the Korean War on August 26, 1950. By the time the "Borinqueneers", as the 65th was known, reached Korea, Rodriguez had been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

First Silver Star:
Sgt. Rodriguez was a member of Company F and on March 24, 1951, he led his unit to secure Hill 476. A camouflaged enemy machine gun opened fire on them and Sgt. Rodriguez led a squad with fixed bayonets on an assault on the area from which the gunfire came from. The enemy fled leaving their supplies behind. For his actions, Sgt. Rodriguez was awarded his first Silver Star Medal.

2nd Silver Star Medal:
A week later on March 31, his company was attacking Hill 398, near Choksong-Myon, when they came under an enemy mortar barrage. The enemy pinned down and inflicted heavy casualties on the lead platoon. Sgt. Rodriguez was ordered to assist the stalled unit and led his platoon in an assault that routed the enemy. Sgt. Rodriguez was awarded a second Silver Star Medal.

Silver Star citations

Rodriguez, Pedro
Organization:HEADQUARTERS 3D INFANTRY DIVISION
G.O.
# 196 - 17 June 1951
1st Citation:


Rodriguez, Pedro
Organization:HEADQUARTERS 3D INFANTRY DIVISION
G.O.
# 261 - 8 July 1951
2nd Citation:


Later years

Pedro Rodriguez C.1979
Sgt. Rodriguez retired from the Army with the rank of Master Sergeant and went to work as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Puerto Rico. In 1979, Rodriguez went to live at the Soldier's and Airmen's Retirement Home in Washington, D.C.marker He suffered a stroke and lost his left leg in 1997. Arlington National Cemetery

Master Sergeant Pedro Rodriguez died on October 19, 1999, at the age of 88, from a heart attack. He was buried with full military honors at the Arlington National Cemeterymarker. He was married to Asuncion Toro with whom he had five children. Arlington National Cemetery

Military awards and decorations

Among Rodriguez's decorations were the following:

Badges: Foreign decoration
  • Chryssoun Aristion Andrias (Bravery Gold Medal of Greece)

See also



Notes

  1. Puerto Rico Herald
  2. Korean War Double Hero Reflects on Life
  3. Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry


External links




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