CPL. RODOLFO P. HERNANDEZ
G Co. 187th Airborne
31 May 1951
When Cpl. Hernandez’s platoon came under attack by a numerically superior and fanatical hostile force employing heavy artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire they were forced to withdraw.
Although severely wounded, buy a grenade, Hernandez stayed behind, and as his fellow paratroopers repositioned, Hernandez continued to deliver deadly covering fire on the enemy until his weapon was rendered inoperative. Armed with only his affixed bayonet, Cpl. Hernandez Charged the enemy.
Cpl. Rodolfo Hernandez not only provided the cover his brothers needed to move, he killed 6 of the enemy with his bayonet before they got him.
Hernández’s body was discovered with grenade, bayonet, and bullet wounds. He appeared dead to the first medic who reached him, Keith Oates. Doc Oates saw Hernandez move his fingers. He jumped into action, administered medical aid, and had Hernandez evacuated to a field hospital.
Hernandez woke up a month later in a military hospital, unable to move his arms or legs or to talk. After many surgeries and physical therapy over five years, Hernández regained limited use of his right arm and learned to write with his left hand.
The last lines of Cpl. Hernandez’s Medal of Honor citation read as follows:
“… 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”