May 31, 1951 – Rodolfo Pérez “Rudy” Hernández Medal of Honor recipient (April 14, 1931 – December 21, 2013) was a United States Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor — America’s highest military decoration — for his actions on May 31, 1951, during the UN May–June 1951 counteroffensive in the Korean War. Despite his wounds, Hernández took actions during an enemy counterattack near Wonton-ni that allowed his platoon to retake their defensive position.
Corporal Hernández’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Cpl. HERNANDEZ, a member of Company G, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. His platoon, in defensive positions on Hill 420, came under ruthless attack by a numerically superior and fanatical hostile force, accompanied by heavy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire which inflicted numerous casualties on the platoon. His comrades were forced to withdraw due to lack of ammunition but Cpl. HERNANDEZ, although wounded in an exchange of grenades, continued to deliver deadly fire into the ranks of the onrushing assailants until a ruptured cartridge rendered his rifle inoperative. Immediately leaving his position, Cpl. HERNANDEZ rushed the enemy armed only with rifle and bayonet. Fearlessly engaging the foe, he killed 6 of the enemy before falling unconscious from grenade, bayonet, and bullet wounds but his heroic action momentarily halted the enemy advance and enabled his unit to counterattack and retake the lost ground. The indomitable fighting spirit, outstanding courage, and tenacious devotion to duty clearly demonstrated by Cpl. HERNANDEZ reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army.