List of Puerto Ricans missing in action in the Korean War

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Puerto Ricans Missing in Action in the Korean War
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The United States Department of Defense has estimated that approximately 61,000 Puerto Ricans served in the military during the Korean War, most of them volunteers.[1] A total of 122 Puerto Rican soldiers were among the 8,200 people listed as missing in action (MIA). This total does not include people of Puerto Rican descent who were born in the mainland of the United States.[2]

Spain officially ceded Puerto Rico to the United States under the terms of the 1898 Treaty of Paris which concluded the Spanish–American War. It is a United States territory and upon the outbreak of World War I, the Congress enacted the Jones–Shafroth Act, which gave Puerto Ricans American citizenship with certain limitations (for example, Puerto Ricans are not allowed to vote in presidential elections).[3]

Thousands of Puerto Ricans participated in these conflicts.[1] Many lived and returned to their homeland, others either died or have been listed as missing in action.[1] The term "MIA" dates from 1946 and refers to a member of the armed services who is reported missing following a combat mission and whose status as to injury, capture, or death is unknown. The missing combatant must not have been otherwise accounted for as either killed in action or a prisoner of war.[4] The Korean War was one of two major conflicts which accounted for the most Puerto Ricans missing in action, the other being the Vietnam War.[5]

Korean War[edit]

1992 painting depicting the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment's bayonet charge against a Chinese division during the Korean War.
PFC Ramón Núñez-Juárez

According to the online archive "All POW-MIA Korean War Casualties," the total number of Puerto Rican casualties in the Korean War was 732. Out of the more than 700 casualties suffered in the war, a total of 122 Puerto Rican men were listed as Missing in Action.[6]

It was during the Korean War that Puerto Ricans suffered the most casualties as members of an all-Hispanic volunteer unit: the 65th Infantry Regiment. One of the problems the unit faced was the language difference; the common foot soldier spoke only Spanish, while the commanding officers were mostly English-speaking.[7] In September 1952, the 65th Infantry was holding onto a hill known as "Outpost Kelly" until the People's Volunteer Army which had joined the North Koreans, overran the position. This became known as the Battle for Outpost Kelly. Twice, the 65th Regiment was overwhelmed by Chinese artillery and driven off. The Battle of Outpost Kelly accounted for 73 of the men missing in action from the total of 122.[8] Out of the 73 MIAs suffered by the regiment in the month of September, 50 of them occurred on the same day: September 18.[9]

During the Korean War, two Puerto Ricans who were members of the United States Marine Corps were awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest medal after the Medal of Honor that can be awarded by the Department of the Navy. One of the recipients was Ramón Núñez-Juárez, who was listed as MIA and was posthumously awarded the medal. Núñez-Juárez's remains have never been recovered and a symbolic burial with full military honors was held on October 25, 1970.[10] There is a headstone with his name inscribed above an empty grave in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery, located in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.[11] His name is inscribed in El Monumento de la Recordación, a monument dedicated to the Puerto Ricans who have fallen in combat, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[12][13]

Puerto Ricans Missing in Action[edit]

The following is a list with the names, ranks and the date in which 122 Puerto Ricans were listed as missing in action in the Korean War. All of these men served within the ranks of the United States Army with the sole exception of Ramón Núñez-Juárez, who served in the Marines.[6]

Name Rank MIA date
Acevedo, IsaacIsaac Acevedo E4Corporal 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Alfaro Alfaro, HectorHéctor Alfaro Alfaro E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Alvarez, HugoHugo Álvarez E4Corporal 1951-06-05June 5, 1951
Amaro Garcia, LuisLuis Amaro García E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Andino Fonseca, LopusLopus Andino Fonseca E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Berrios Santiago, JorgeJorge Berríos Santiago E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Bonilla Vega, JulioJulio Bonilla Vega E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Burset Melendez, JoseJosé Burset Meléndez E1Private 1952-09-24 September 24, 1952
Caballero Moreno, AA Caballero Moreno E3Private First Class 1954-04-01April, 1953
Calderon Osorio, JuanJuan Calderón Osorio E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Calimano Texidor, AA Calimano Texidor E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Caraballo, BenignoBenigno Caraballo E1Private 1951-12-11December 11, 1951
Caramot Ortiz, JuanJuan Caramot Ortiz E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Cartagena Colon, MiguelMiguel Cartagena Colón E1Private UnknownUnknown
Colón Aponte, ManuelManuel Colon Aponte E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Colon, ConcepcionConcepción Colón E1Private 1952-07-31July 31, 1952
Colon Negron, LuisLuis Colón Negrón E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Concepcion Lopez, JoseJosé Concepción López E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Connor, James W.James W. Connor O3Captain 1950-12-01December 1, 1950
Cordero Cajigas, ZenonZenon Cordero Cajigas E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Cortes Ostolaza, AngelÁngel Cortés Ostolaza E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Cosme Baez, FranciscoFrancisco Cosme Báez E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Cruz Beltran, JesusJesús Cruz Beltrán E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Cruz Carrero, JoseJosé Cruz Carrero E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Cruz Espinoza, RobertoRoberto Cruz Espinoza E1Private 1951-06-04June 4, 1951
Cruz Perez, NicolasNicolás Cruz Pérez E4Corporal 1953-06-10June 10, 1953
Cruz Ramos, JesusJesús Cruz Ramos E3Private First Class 1953-06-09June 9, 1953
Cruz Rosas, PabloPablo Cruz Rosas E3Private First Class 1952-11-25November 25, 1952
Cruz Sanchez, AngelÁngel Cruz Sánchez E3Private First Class 1952-09-10September 10, 1952
Davila Rivera, CarlosCarlos Dávila Rivera E1Private 1952-09-14September 14, 1952
Delgado Ubiles, WenceslaoWenceslao Delgado Ubiles E1Private 1952-10-19October 19, 1952
Diaz Acevedo, LuisLuis Díaz Acevedo E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Diaz Algarin, DemetrioDemetrio Díaz Algarín E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Diaz Colon, FernandoFernando Díaz Colón E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Diaz Coto, RafaelRafael Díaz Coto E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Droz Cartagena, SaulSaúl Droz Cartagena E3Private First Class 1952-12-15December 15, 1952
Feliciano, Carlos D.Carlos D. Feliciano E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Feliciano Nieves, JulioJulio Feliciano Nieves E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Feliciano Otero, BienvenidoBienvenido Feliciano Otero E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Figueroa Barbosa, LuisLuis Figueroa Barbosa E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Flores Navarro, JulioJulio Flores Navarro E1Private 1952-10-15October 15, 1952
Garcia Clara, IsmaelIsmael García Clara E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Garcia Rosado, CandidoCándido García Rosado E3Private First Class 1952-09-25September 25, 1952
Gonzalez Bernard, ManuelManuel González Bernard E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Gonzalez Nazario, IsraelIsrael González Nazario E1Private 1952-07-17July 17, 1952
Gonzalez Ortiz, Juan E.Juan E. González Ortiz E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Gonzalez Renta, PorfirioPorfirio González Renta E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Gonzalez Rosario, AngelÁngel González Rosario E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Gonzalez Saez, IsraelIsrael González Saez E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Gonzalez, SantosSantos González E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Hernandez Dones, IsidroIsidro Hernández Dones E4Corporal 1952-09-21September 21, 1952
Hernandez Rodriguez, LuisLuis Hernández Rodríguez E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Hernandez Torres, BenjaminBenjamín Hernández Torres E3Private First Class 1952-08-12August 12, 1952
Irizarry Gerena, O.O. Irizarry Gerena E1Private 1951-12-16December 16, 1951
Jimenez Olivencia, A.A. Jiménez Olivencia E4Corporal 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Jimenez Tosado, MiguelMiguel Jiménez Tosado E3Private First Class 1953-07-09July 9, 1953
Lacsamana, MaximianMaximian Lacsamana E4Corporal 1950-12-03December 3, 1950
Laugier, JaimeJaime Laugier E4Corporal 1952-02-16February 16, 1952
Lopez Cronoz, LuisLuis López Cronoz E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Malaret Juarbe, IsraelIsrael Malaret Juarbe E7Sergeant First Class 1952-12-10December 10, 1952
Marquez De Leon, RamonRamón Marquez De León E3Private First Class 1952-10-27October 27, 1952
Martinez Hernandez, LuisLuis Martínez Hernández E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Martinez Landron, RamonRamon Martínez Landrón E1Private 1952-09-21September 21, 1952
Martinez, LuisLuis Martínez E1Private 1952-11-06November 6, 1952
Martinez Otero, PedroPedro Martínez Otero E4Corporal 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Matos Gonzalez, FranciscoFrancisco Matos González E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Melendez Melendez, AlbertoAlberto Meléndez Meléndez E3Private First Class 1952-10-23October 23, 1952
Melendez Negron, MarcialMarcial Meléndez Negrón E4Corporal 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Mendez Hernandez, LuisLuis Méndez Hernández E4Corporal 1952-07-19July 19, 1952
Mercado Hernandez, SalomeSalomé Mercado Hernández E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Miranda Cotto, CarlosCarlos Miranda Cotto E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Molina Garcia, RobertoRoberto Molina García E3Private First Class 1952-09-21September 21, 1952
Molina Gerena, MaximinoMaximino Molina Gerena E4Corporal 1952-02-06February 6, 1952
Montanez Franco, SixtoSixto Montañez Franco E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Morales Reyes, AlfredoAlfredo Morales Reyes E4Corporal 1952-08-14August 14, 1952
Moreno Rosa, NelsonNelson Moreno Rosa E4Corporal 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Murga Amador, RamonRamón Murga Amador E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Napoleon Escudero, Jose A.José A. Napoleón Escudero E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Negron Martinez, JorgeJorge Negrón Martínez E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Negron Ortiz, JoseJosé Negrón Ortiz E4Corporal 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Nieves Larry, ArcadioArcadio Nieves Larry E4Corporal 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Nunez-Juarez, RamónRamón Núñez-Juárez E3Private First Class 1952-09-08September 8, 1952
Pacheco, BartolomeBartolomé Pacheco E1Private 1952-01-08January 8, 1952
Pena Andujar, JuanJuan Peña Andújar E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Perez, MiguelMiguel Pérez E3Private First Class 1952-01-08January 8, 1952
Perez Perez, PedroPedro Pérez Pérez E3Private First Class 1952-08-12August 12, 1952
Perez Rodriguez, EfrainEfraín Pérez Rodríguez E4Corporal 1952-07-20July 20, 1952
Perez Villegas, LuisLuis Pérez Villegas E1Private 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Pizarro Matos, NicolasNicolás Pizarro Matos E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Pomales Pomales, PedroPedro Pomales Pomales E1Private 1952-09-21September 21, 1952
Quinones Velez, Pedro AngelPedro Angel Quiñones Velez E4Corporal 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Quirindongo, MarinoMarino Quirindongo E1Private 1951-12-16December 16, 1951
Reyes Rodriguez, MarcosMarcos Reyes Rodríguez E1Private 1952-10-27October 27, 1952
Reyes, WilliamWilliam Reyes E1Private 1951-06-05June 5, 1951
Rivera Carrillo, JuanJuan Rivera Carrillo E3Private First Class 1952-10-28October 28, 1952
Rivera Claudio, RobertoRoberto Rivera Claudio E1Private 1952-10-01October, 1952
Rivera Cruz, GilbertoGilberto Rivera Cruz E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Rivera Galarza, IsraelIsrael Rivera Galarza E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Rivera, Luis P.Luis P. Rivera E3Private First Class 1952-09-26September 26, 1952
Rivera Rodriguez, RaulRaul Rivera Rodríguez E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Rivera, RubenRubén Rivera E1Private 1952-09-24September 24, 1952
Rodriguez, EnriqueEnrique Rodríguez E1Private 1953-07-08July 8, 1953
Rodriguez Lozada, AlbertoAlberto Rodríguez Lozada E7Sergeant First Class 1951-06-04June 4, 1951
Rodriguez, Pedro A.Pedro A. Rodríguez E3Private First Class 1952-01-11January 11, 1952
Rojas Reyes, JuanJuan Rojas Reyes E3Private First Class 1952-09-20September 20, 1952
Roque Pena, RamonRamón Roque Peña E3Private First Class 1952-10-16October 16, 1952
Rosado Bravo, JoseJosé Rosado Bravo E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Rosario Melendez, FranciscoFrancisco Rosario Meléndez E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Salgado Torres, AngelÁngel Salgado Torres E1Private 1952-01-08January 8, 1952
Sanabria, Angel S.Ángel S. Sanabria E3Private First Class 1952-01-28January 28, 1952
Sanchez Lopez, RafaelRafael Sánchez López E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Santiago, Angel L.Angel L. Santiago E1Private 1951-06-03June 3, 1951
Santiago Ortiz, JoseJosé Santiago Ortiz E3Private First Class 1952-10-14October 14, 1952
Santiago Rosario, RamonRamón Santiago Rosario E5Sergeant 1952-02-06February 6, 1952
Santos Rivero, NorbertoNorberto Santos Rivero E4Corporal 1951-06-04June 4, 1951
Santos Rosario, NicolasNicolás Santos Rosario E3Private First Class 1951-12-11December 11, 1951
Torres Caban, JoseJosé Torres Cabán O2First Lieutenant 1950-09-29September 29, 1950
Torres Green, JorgeJorge Torres Green E1Private 1952-07-19July 19, 1952
Torres Rodriguez, SamuelSamuel Torres Rodríguez E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Vazquez, Jorge L.Jorge L. Vázquez E5Sergeant 1952-02-06February 6, 1952
Velez Montes, LuisLuis Vélez Montes E3Private First Class 1952-09-18September 18, 1952
Velez Santiago, MiguelMiguel Vélez Santiago E1Private 1951-12-23December 23, 1951
Zayas, Miguel A.Miguel A. Zayas E3Private First Class 1952-02-06February 6, 1952

Their names are inscribed in El Monumento de la Recordación (The Wall of Remembrance) located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.[13]

El Monumento de la Recordación

Further reading[edit]

  • "Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own"; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 978-1497421837
  • "Historia militar de Puerto Rico"; by: Hector Andres Negroni; publisher=Sociedad Estatal Quinto Centenario (1992); ISBN 84-7844-138-7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Historic Review on the 65 Infantry Regiment" (PDF). Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Korean War-Cold War". Advocacy & Intelligence Index For POWs-MIAs Archives. Archived from the original on 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-09-07.  line feed character in |publisher= at position 34 (help)
  3. ^ "Jones-Shafroth Act". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  4. ^ "Definition of MIA". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  5. ^ CNN
  6. ^ a b "All POW-MIA Korean War Casualties: Puerto Rico". Advocacy & Intelligence Index For POWs-MIAs Archives. Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  7. ^ "History of the 65th infantry regiment - Korean War". Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  8. ^ "Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story", by Jack R. Siewert, Publisher: Fire Ant Books, ISBN 978-0-8173-5341-4
  9. ^ "The 65th Infantry Regiment on Kelly in September 1952". Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  10. ^ THE OUTPOST WAR: US Marines in Korea Vol. 1 1952, By Lee Ballenger, Published 2000 Brassey's, Page 107, ISBN 1-57488-373-9
  11. ^ Image of Núñez-Juárez's headstone
  12. ^ "Puerto Rico National Cemetery". Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  13. ^ a b "Monumento de la Recordación". Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-09-07.