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First Name: Ambrosio

Last Name: Guillen

Birthplace: LaJunta, CO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Date of Birth: 07 December 1929

Date of Death: 25 July 1953

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 1947-1953
Ambrosio Guillen

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Ambrosio Guillen
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Ambrosio Guillen was born on 7 December 1929 in La Junta, CO. He came from a Mexican American family and grew up in El Paso, TX. Guillen enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 18. He completed recruit training at San Diego, CA, and was assigned to the 6th Marines. Later he was chosen for Sea School, and after graduation, served on the USS Curtiss. Following his tour of sea duty, he was appointed a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.

As a drill instructor, he trained two honor platoons and was given a Letter of Appreciation by his Commanding General. In that letter, Major General John T. Walker observed that "your success in training these two platoons has demonstrated your outstanding ability as a leader."

That ability was proved in combat soon after SSgt Guillen arrived in Korea. On 25 July 1953, while defending a forward outpost, near Songuch-on, against hostile fire, he and his platoon were able to put the enemy in retreat. During the fighting, Guillen was mortally wounded. For his heroic leadership and sacrifice of life, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

His Medal of Honor was presented to his parents by Secretary of the Navy Charles S. Thomas at ceremonies in his office on 18 August 1954.

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 service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a platoon Sergeant of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on July 25, 1953. Participating in the defense of an outpost forward of the main line of resistance, Staff Sergeant Guillen maneuvered his platoon over unfamiliar terrain in the face of hostile fire and placed his men in fighting positions. With his unit pinned down when the outpost was attacked under cover of darkness by an estimated force of two enemy battalions supported by mortar and artillery fire, he deliberately exposed himself to the heavy barrage and attacks to direct his men in defending their positions and personally supervise the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. Inspired by his leadership, the platoon quickly rallied and engaged the enemy force in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Although critically wounded during the course of the battle, Staff Sergeant Guillen refused medical aid and continued to direct his men throughout the remainder of the engagement until the enemy was defeated and thrown into disorderly retreat. Succumbing to his wounds within a few hours, Staff Sergeant Guillen, by his outstanding courage and indomitable fighting spirit, was directly responsible for the success of his platoon in repelling a numerically superior enemy force. His personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.



Guillen Middle School in the El Paso Independent School District is named in his honor.

Death and Burial

On 25 July 1953, Staff Sergeant Ambrosio Guillen was killed in action while defending a forward outpost, near Songuch-on. After the truce, Ambrosio Guillen's body was escorted to the United States by his brother, who had been serving in the Far East with the Army. SSgt Guillen was buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso, TX, on 20 October 1953.

Honoree ID: 30   Created by: MHOH




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