- Korean War (1950-1953)
- Master Sergeant
- 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