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Pena, Michael Castaneda "Mike"

Date of birth:
November 6th, 1924 (Newgulf/Texas, United States)
Date of death:
September 5th, 1950 (Korea)
Nationality:
American (1776 - present, Republic)

Biography

Veteran WW2 and Korea.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1948
Military Merit Medal
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
1948
Philippines Liberation Medal
Period:
Korean War (1950-1953)
Rank:
Master Sergeant
Unit:
Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division "First Team", U.S. Army
Awarded on:
August 6th, 1951
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with Company F, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment (Infantry), 1st Cavalry Division. Master Sergeant Peņa distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Waegwan, Korea, on 4 September 1950. On that date, at approximately 2300 hours, an enemy battalion moved up to within a few yards of Master Sergeant Peņa's platoon under cover of darkness and an obscuring mist. Observing the enemy, Sergeant Peņa and his men immediately opened fire but the sudden, point-blank fire of the hostile forces made it necessary for the friendly troops to withdraw. Rapidly reorganizing his men, Sergeant Peņa led them in a counterattack, regained the lost positions, and attempted to hold back the enemy. Despite the devastating fire laid down by the friendly troops, the enemy continued to hurl themselves at the defenses in overwhelming numbers. Realizing that a scarcity of ammunition would soon make the positions untenable, Sergeant Peņa ordered his men to fall back, manning a machine-gun to cover their withdrawal. Single-handedly, he held back the enemy until the early hours of the following morning when his position was overrun and he was killed."
Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea: General Orders No. 622 (August 6, 1951) as amended by General Orders No. 638 (August 13, 1951) - Posthumously awarded
Upgraded to a Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
"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."
Posthumously awarded
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
1st OLC (WW2)
Purple Heart
Period:
Korean War (1950-1953)
Rank:
Master Sergeant
Unit:
Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division "First Team", U.S. Army
2nd OLC (posthumously awarded)
Purple Heart
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
5 campaign stars & "Bronze Arrow Head"
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

Sources

Photo