Portal:Puerto Rico/Selected biography/1

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MOH Versace.jpg

Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace (July 2, 1937–September 26, 1965) was a United States Army officer of Puerto Rican-Italian descent who was awarded the United States' highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War.

While acting as intelligence advisor to South Vietnamese fighters, their unit was ambushed by opposing forces, and Versace provided sufficient covering fire for his unit to evacuate. However, he was wounded and taken prisoner deep in the jungle along with two other Americans. He tried to escape a total of four times, all unsuccessful. Versace insulted the Viet Cong and cited the Geneva Convention treaty during the indoctrination sessions, and was last seen singing "God Bless America" as he was taken away for execution. He was the first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity. (more...)