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Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Cafferata, Hector A., Jr.

Cafferata, Hector A., Jr.Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company F, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 28 November 1950. Entered service at: Dover, N.J. Born: 4 November 1929, New York, N.Y.

Citation... For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with Company F, in action against enemy aggressor forces. When all the other members of his fire team became casualties, creating a gap in the lines, during the initial phase of a vicious attack launched by a fanatical enemy of regimental strength against his company's hill position, Pvt. Cafferata waged a lone battle with grenades and rifle fire as the attack gained momentum and the enemy threatened penetration through the gap and endangered the integrity of the entire defensive perimeter.

Making a target of himself under the devastating fire from automatic weapons, rifles, grenades, and mortars, he maneuvered up and down the line and delivered accurate and effective fire against the onrushing force, killing 15, wounding many more, and forcing the others to withdraw so that reinforcements could move up and consolidate the position. Again fighting desperately against a renewed onslaught later that same morning when a hostile grenade landed in a shallow entrenchment occupied by wounded marines, Pvt. Cafferata rushed into the gully under heavy fire, seized the deadly missile in his right hand and hurled it free of his comrades before it detonated, severing part of 1 finger and seriously wounding him in the right hand and arm. Courageously ignoring the intense pain, he staunchly fought on until he was struck by a sniper's bullet and forced to submit to evacuation for medical treatment.

Farewell tribute to Medal of Honor Recipient, Pfc. Hector A. Cafferata, who passed away on April 12, 2016 at the age of 86 ... Left - Cafferata after receiving the Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman in 1952 ... Right - Scenes of  Cafferata's funeral at Quantico National Cemetery, Virginia on April 22, 2016 with Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, and Master Gunnery Sgt. Leonard Spain saluting as they and fellow Marines render honors and Marine Body Bearers folding the American Flag after removing it from his casket.  According to Cafferata's Medal of Honor award citation, on Nov. 28, 1950 while serving as a rifleman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, during the Chosin Reservoir Campaign, Cafferata's fortitude, great personal valor, and dauntless perseverance in the face of almost certain death, saved the lives of several of his fellow Marines and contributed essentially to the success achieved by his company in maintaining its defensive position against tremendous odds. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Chi Nguyen and courtesy)Stouthearted and indomitable, Pvt. Cafferata, by his fortitude, great personal valor, and dauntless perseverance in the face of almost certain death, saved the lives of several of his fellow marines and contributed essentially to the success achieved by his company in maintaining its defensive position against tremendous odds. His extraordinary heroism throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

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