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First Name: Fernando

Last Name: Garcia

Birthplace: Utuado, PR, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Luis

Date of Birth: 14 October 1929

Date of Death: 05 September 1952

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1951-1952
Fernando Luis Garcia

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Fernando Luis Garcia
Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Early years

Fernando Luis Garcia was born on 14 October 1929 in Utuado, PR. He also received his primary and secondary education there. He moved to San Juan where he started to work for the Texas Company as a file clerk.

On 19 September 1951, Garcia was inducted into the Marines; he received his basic training at Parris Island, SC. After he graduated from basic training he was sent to Camp Lejeune, NC, where he underwent advanced training before being sent to Korea.

Korean War

Garcia was a Private First Class when he arrived in Korea. He was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, of the 1st Marine division. On the night of his death, he was posted about one mile from the enemy lines. The Korean enemies were attacking with grenades, bombs and other types of artillery. Garcia was critically wounded, but he led his team to a supply point to get hand-grenades.

An enemy grenade landed nearby and Garcia covered it with his body, sacrificing himself to save the lives of his fellow Marines. Garcia died instantly. For this heroic action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. On 25 October 1953, PFC Garcia's parents were presented his Medal of Honor at a ceremony held in the Utuado City Hall. Fernando Luis Garcia was the first Puerto Rican, from a total of five, to be awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Medal of Honor

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on September 5, 1952. While participating in the defense of a combat outpost located more than one mile forward of the main line of resistance during a savage night attack by a fanatical enemy force employing grenades, mortars and artillery, Private First Class Garcia, although suffering painful wounds, moved through the intense hall of hostile fire to a supply point to secure more hand grenades. Quick to act when a hostile grenade landed nearby, endangering the life of another Marine, as well as his own, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and immediately threw his body upon the deadly missile, receiving the full impact of the explosion. His great personal valor and cool decision in the face of almost certain death sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


Other Medals and Awards

In addition to the Medal of Honor, PFC Garcia also received the following:

Purple Heart
Navy Unit Commendation
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
United Nations Service Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea)


• PFC Fernando Luis Garcia's remains were never recovered. There is a headstone with Garcia's name in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery in the city of Bayamón, PR.

• On 5 February 1959 the United States Marines Corps named a military camp in Vieques, PR, "Camp Garcia" in his honor.

• The United States Navy named the Garcia class of ships in his honor, with the lead ship in the class (USS Garcia) bearing his name, as well.

• His name is inscribed in "El Monumento de la Recordacion" (Monument of Remembrance), dedicated to Puerto Rico's fallen soldiers and situated in front of the Capitol Building in San Juan, PR.

• His name is also inscribed in the "Wall of the Missing" located in the National Memorial of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI, which honors the Medal of Honor recipients whose bodies have never been recovered. A monument commemorating his actions stands in his hometown of Utuado, PR.

• On 11 November 2008, the Government of Puerto Rico unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda the oil portrait of PFC Fernando Luis Garcia.

Honoree ID: 1159   Created by: MHOH




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