Private First Class Salvador J. Lara, USA (May 27-28, 1944) Salvador J. Lara was born during 1920 in Riverside, California. His enlistment record indicates that he was a farm hand who left high school after three years and was drafted into the United States Army on July 7, 1942 for World War II service.

buy Depakote online in uk On May 27, 1944 as a Private First Class, Lara led a rifle squad of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division during the breakout from the Anzio beachhead and push towards the Italian capital of Rome. His courage was originally recognized with the award of the Distinguished Service Cross. During a subsequent review of those awards by the Army to determine if anyone had been discriminated against due to their ethnicity, Lara’s award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. The Medal was presented to his brother Alfonso at the White House on March 18, 2004 by President Barack Obama.

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II (G-L):


Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 180th Infantry. Place and date: May 27-28, 1944, Aprilia, Italy. Entered service at: Riverside, CA.

Citation:For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Private First Class Salvador J. Lara distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as the Squad Leader of a rifle squad with 2d Platoon, Company L, 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Aprilia, Italy on May 27 and 28, 1944. On the afternoon of the 27th, Private First Class Lara aggressively led his rifle squad in neutralizing multiple enemy strongpoints and in inflicting large numbers of casualties on the enemy. Having taken his initial objective, Private First Class Lara noticed that the unit to his right was meeting stiff resistance from a large, well-entrenched enemy force in a deep ditch. Private First Class Lara quickly gathered three men and attacked a wide section of the enemy position, killing four, forcing fifteen others to surrender and causing two enemy mortar crews to abandon their weapons. His fearless and efficient performance enabled both his own unit and the unit to his right to continue to their objective. The next morning, as his company resumed the attack, Private First Class Lara sustained a severe leg wound, but did not stop to receive first aid. His company suffered heavy casualties as a result of withering machine gun fire coming from an enemy strongpoint on the right flank. After requesting permission to destroy the enemy machine guns armed only with a Browning Automatic Rifle, Private First Class Lara crawled alone toward the nearest machine gun. Despite his painful wound and the extreme danger of the task, he rose and fearlessly charged the nest, killing the crew members. Another machine gun opened fire on him, but he quickly neutralized this weapon with accurate fire from his Browning, killing three more of the enemy. His aggressive attack forced two other machine gun crews to flee their weapons. After rejoining his company, Private First Class Lara continued his exemplary performance until he captured his objective. Private First Class Lara’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Salvador Lara, who had since attained the rank of Staff Sergeant, was killed in a non-combat incident while on occupation duty after the war’s end on September 1, 1945. He rests in peace with 10,488 of his comrades-in-arms in the Lorraine American Cemetery, St. Avold, France.

The lineage of the 45th Infantry Division is today carried by the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.


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