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Salvador J. Lara


Dec 16, 2021

Salvador J. Lara (July 11, 1920 – September 1, 1945) was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and recipient of the Medal of Honor.[1] He was of Mexican-American descent.[2]

United States Army Medal of Honor recipient
Salvador J. Lara
Born July 11, 1920
Riverside, California
Died September 1, 1945(1945-09-01) (aged 25)
near Aprilia, Italy
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division
602d Ordnance Armament Maintenance Battalion
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Gravesite, Lorraine American Cemetery, France

. . . Salvador J. Lara . . .

Members of Lara’s family received the Medal of Honor flag from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in a March 19, 2014, ceremony when Lara was inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes. They received the actual medal from President Barack Obama at the White House on March 18, 2014.[3]

The award came through the Defense Authorization Act, which called for a review of Jewish and Hispanic veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.[4]

Lara was born in Riverside, California[5] and died on September 1, 1945, shortly after World War II ended, while serving with the 602d Ordnance Armament Maintenance Battalion in Europe.[6] He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-Avold, Moselle, France.[7]

According to Lara’s U.S. Army biography:[1]

Then-Pfc. Salvador Lara was bestowed the Medal of Honor to recognize his valorous actions in Aprilia, Italy, May 27–28, 1944. During the fight, May 27, he aggressively led his rifle squad in neutralizing multiple enemy strong points and inflicting large numbers of casualties on the enemy. The next morning, as his company resumed the attack, Lara sustained a severe leg wound, but did not stop to receive first aid. Lara continued his exemplary performance until he captured his objective.

Lara’s awards include:[8]

Badge Combat Infantryman Badge
1st row Medal of Honor
(upgraded from the Distinguished Service Cross)
Bronze Star Purple Heart
with 1 Oak leaf cluster
2nd row Army Good Conduct Medal European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
with 2 Campaign stars
World War II Victory Medal

. . . Salvador J. Lara . . .

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. . . Salvador J. Lara . . .