Fernando Luis García
|Fernando Luis García|
PFC Fernando Luis Garcia
First Puerto Rican Medal of Honor recipient
October 14, 1929|
Utuado, Puerto Rico
|Died||September 5, 1952
KIA in Korea
|Place of burial||Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamón, Puerto Rico|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1951-1952|
Private First Class
|Unit||3rd Battalion, 5th Marines|
|Awards|| Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Fernando Luis García (October 14, 1929 – September 5, 1952), was a United States Marine Corps private first class who was killed in action during the Korean War and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty on September 5, 1952. He was the first of nine Puerto Rican servicemen to be awarded the Medal of Honor and is the only Marine to be awarded the medal.
García (birth name: Fernando Luis García Ledesma [note 1]) was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico where he received his primary and secondary education. He moved to San Juan where he was hired by the Texas Company as a file clerk.
U.S. Marine Corps
On September 19, 1951, García joined the United States Marines Corps and received his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After he graduated from "boot camp", he was promoted to private first class in December and was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for more training before being sent to Korea in March 1952.
García was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On the night of his death, he and his company were posted about one mile from the enemy lines at "Outpost Bruce" in the "Bunker Hill" area. Chinese soldiers were attacking with artillery, mortars, and grenades. García was wounded and getting hand grenades from his acting platoon sergeant when an enemy grenade landed near them. García covered the grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to save the life of his fellow Marine who was wounded by the blast. García died instantly. For this heroic action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
García's remains were never recovered.
Medal of Honor citation
On October 25, 1953, PFC García's parents were presented his Medal of Honor at a ceremony held in the Utuado City Hall.
García's decorations and awards include:
|Medal of Honor|
|Purple Heart Medal||Navy Unit Commendation||National Defense Service Medal|
|Korean Service Medal with two 3⁄16" bronze campaign stars||Republic of Korea Presidential Citation||United Nations Service Medal|
- There is a headstone with García's name in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery in the city of Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
- On February 5, 1959 the United States Marines Corps named a military camp in Vieques, Puerto Rico, "Camp García" in his honor.
- The United States Navy named the García 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 Recordación" (Monument of Remembrance), dedicated to Puerto Rico's fallen soldiers and situated in front of the Capitol Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- His name is also inscribed in the "Wall of the Missing" located in the National Memorial of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, which honors the Medal of Honor recipients whose bodies have never been recovered. A monument commemorating his actions stands in his hometown of Utuado, Puerto Rico.
- On November 11, 2008, the Government of Puerto Rico unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda the oil portrait of PFC Fernando Luis García.
- The American Legion Post 42 in Utuado, Puerto Rico was named American Legion Auxiliary, 42 Pfc Fernando Luis Garcia and a low income housing project, the Caserío Fernando Luis García in Utuado, is also named after García.
- List of Puerto Rican military personnel
- List of Medal of Honor recipients
- List of Korean War Medal of Honor recipients
- Puerto Rican recipients of the Medal of Honor
- Hispanics in the United States Marine Corps
- This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is García and the second or maternal family name is Ledesma.
- "Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor: Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own"; by Greg Boudonck (Author); ASIN: B00J12MXUS
- Marine Corps History Division
- Marine Corps History and Museum Division, Korean War Commemorative Series, 2001, Dept. of Defense-50th Anniversary of Korean War- "Stalemate, U.S. Marines from Bunker Hill to Hook" by Bernard Nalty
- Marine Corps History Division http://www.mcu.usmc.mil/historydivision/Pages/Who's%20Who/G-I/Garcia_FL.aspx
- Decorations information was obtained from "Who's Who in Marine Corps History"; History Division, United States Marine Corps.
- Puerto Rico National Cemetery
- Camp Garcia Closes; AFWTF, VC-8 to Disestablish
- USS Garcia
- "National Memorial of the Pacific". Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- 5th Marine Regiment - 3rd Battalion
- American Legion Auxiliary 42 Pfc Fernando Luis Garcia.
- Caserio Fernando Luis Garcia
- "Private First Class Fernando Luis García, USMC". Who's Who in Marine Corps History. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2006-09-02. Retrieved 2006-05-08.
- "PFC Fernando L. García, Medal of Honor, 1952, 3/5/1, Korea". Marines Awarded the Medal of Honor. United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2006-05-08.