Private First Class Silvestre S. Herrera
Organization: U.S. Army, Company E, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division
Place and date: Near Mertzwiller, France, 15 March 1945
Entered service at:Phoenix, AZ
Place of Birth: El Paso, TX
He advanced with a platoon along a wooded road until stopped by heavy enemy machinegun fire. As the rest of the unit took cover, he made a 1-man frontal assault on a strongpoint and captured 8 enemy soldiers.Private First Class Herrera's War Department Citation reads as follows:
When the platoon resumed its advance and was subjected to fire from a second emplacement beyond an extensive minefield, Pvt. Herrera again moved forward, disregarding the danger of exploding mines, to attack the position.
He stepped on a mine and had both feet severed but, despite intense pain and unchecked loss of blood, he pinned down the enemy with accurate rifle fire while a friendly squad captured the enemy gun by skirting the minefield and rushing in from the flank.
The magnificent courage, extraordinary heroism, and willing self-sacrifice displayed by Pvt. Herrera resulted in the capture of 2 enemy strongpoints and the taking of 8 prisoners.
Information on Private First Class Herrera and text of citation were obtained from official records made available by the United States Department of Defense.