PRIVATE FIRST CLASS
FERNANDO LUIS GARCIA, USMC (DECEASED)
Medal of Honor Citation
The Nation's highest award, the Medal of Honor, was awarded posthumously to a Puerto Rican Marine, PFC Fernando Luis Garcia. He was the 38th Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Korean conflict.
Private First Class Garcia was a member of Company I, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, in Korea, when he sacrificed his life by throwing himself on an enemy grenade to save a comrade, 5 September 1952, at Outpost Bruce in the “Bunker Hill" area. The outpost had been under a pre-dawn enemy attack for almost an hour. PFC Garcia, already wounded, was obtaining hand grenades from SSgt Floyd V. Wiley, the acting platoon sergeant, when an enemy grenade landed nearby. "I'll get it,” shouted PFC Garcia and he threw himself upon the missile just as it exploded.
The sergeant was wounded and knocked unconscious by the explosion. When he recovered he found PFC Garcia dead. Later the enemy completely overran the position and PFC Garcia's body was not recovered.
Born on 14 October 1929, in Utuado, Puerto Rico, Fernando Luis Garcia went to both grade and high school there. He was working as a file clerk for the Texas Company in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when he was inducted into the Marine Corps on 19 September 1951.
On completing recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was promoted to private first class in December 1951. The following month he was transferred to Camp Pendleton, California, for further training. In March 1952, he embarked for Korea where he joined the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines. On 5 September of that year, he was killed in action
In addition to the Medal of Honor, PFC Garcia's medals and decorations include: the Purple Heart, the Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
On 25 October 1953, at a ceremony held in the City Hall in Utuado, PFC Garcia's parents were presented his Medal of Honor.
On 5 February 1959, Camp Fernando Luis Garcia was dedicated at Vieques, Puerto Rico, in honor of the deceased Marine hero.
Korean War 1950-1953 Medal of Honor