PFC Ramón Núñez-Juárez
May 25, 1931|
San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
|Died||August 9, 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||2nd Battalion 1st Marines|
Private First Class Ramón Núñez-Juárez[note 1] (May 25, 1931 – August 9, 1952) was a United States Marine who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, second highest military award of the United States of America after the Medal of Honor. He was the only Puerto Rican member of the United States Marine Corps whose remains have never been recovered and who was listed as Missing in Action during the Korean War.
Núñez-Juárez was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico where he received his primary and secondary education. In 1952, Núñez-Juárez was inducted into the Marines in San Juan, the island's capital and reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. After he graduated from his basic training, he was sent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina where he underwent advanced training before being sent to Korea. He was assigned as an automatic rifleman to Company E of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (2/1), 1st Marine Division.
The 1st Marine Division was stationed in the eastern part of Korea when in early spring of 1952 it was ordered to move to defend the western sector. The sector, which was 15 miles (24 km) long and stretched all the way to the Samichon River, was a section of the 8th Army's Main Line of Resistance (MLR) known as the Jamestown Line.
On August 8, 1952, E Company, 2/1, began taking incoming mortar and artillery rounds from the Communist Chinese Army's 63rd and 65th armies. A company-size Chinese Communist Force (CCF) struck Outpost Siberia, which was manned by PFC Ramón Núñez-Juárez and a squad of 15 men. Núñez-Juárez and the other the riflemen fought off the enemy for nearly half an hour before withdrawing from their position.
Núñez-Juárez, manning a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), was able to halt the enemy's advance long enough for the remainder of his squad to escape. Núñez-Juárez was struck by enemy gunfire and died as a result of his wounds. For the next several days the Marines tried to retake Outpost Siberia, but were unable to do so. Núñez-Juárez was listed as Missing in Action and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroic actions.
PFC Ramón Núñez-Juárez's remains have never been recovered and a symbolic burial with full military honors was held on October 25, 1970. There is a headstone with his name inscribed above an empty grave in the Puerto Rico National Cemetery, located in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. 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.
Awards and decorations
Among Ramón Núñez-Juárez's awards and decorations are the following:
|Purple Heart||Navy Unit Commendation||National Defense Service Medal|
|Korean Service Medal with two bronze service stars||United Nations Service Medal||Presidential Unit Citation (Korea)|
- List of famous Puerto Ricans
- List of Puerto Rican military personnel
- Puerto Ricans Missing in Action - Korean War
- Puerto Rican recipients of the Navy Cross
- Hispanics in the United States Marine Corps
- This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Núñez and the second or maternal family name is Juárez.
- THE OUTPOST WAR: US Marines in Korea Vol. 1 1952, By Lee Ballenger, Published 2000 Brassey's, Page 107, ISBN 1-57488-373-9
- Hemingway, " 'King' of the Hill", 2002.
- Ramon Nunez-Juarez Navy Cross citation Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine., Home of Heroes.
- Puerto Rico National Cemetery
- Monumento de la Recordacion Archived 2007-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own"; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 1497421837; ISBN 978-1497421837
- Hemingway, Al (August 2002). "'King' of the Hill". VFW Magazine.
- "Marine Corps Navy Cross citations — Korean War". HomeofHeroes.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29.
- "Puerto Rico National Cemetery, Bayamón, Puerto Rico". Cemetery Transcription Library.