b. 25/09/1929 Corozal, Puerto Rico. d. 29/03/1996 Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 28/04/1951 Kalma-Eri, Korea.
egrón (birth name: Juan E. Negrón Martínez [note 1]) was born and raised in the town of Corozal, Puerto Rico. In March 1948, he entered the U.S. Army in San Juan and was assigned to the 65th Infantry Regiment.
Upon the outbreak of the Korean War the men of the 65th, now attached to the Army's 3d Infantry Division, deployed to the Republic of Korea. They were among the first infantrymen to meet the enemy on the battlefields of Korea. After November, 1950, they fought daily against units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army after the Chinese entered the war on the North Korean side. One of the hardships suffered by the Puerto Ricans was the lack of warm clothing during the cold and harsh winters. Among the battles and operations in which the 65th participated was Operation Killer in January 1951, becoming the first Regiment to cross the Han River in South Korea during the operation. On April 1951, the Regiment participated in the Uijonbu Corridor drives.
On April 28, 1951, Negrón's unit came under heavy enemy attack. He was able to halt the enemy attack of his unit, despite the wounds which he received, by accurately hurled hand grenades at short range. For his actions he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross Medal, the Army's second highest military decoration for heroism. After the war, Negrón continued to serve in the military. Among the positions which he held were that of senior non-commissioned officer for the Directorate of Doctrine and inspector general in Thailand. MSG Negrón retired from the U.S. Army in 1971 after 23 years of service. Upon his retirement he entered the federal service in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
Negron's distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a ceremony in the White House.
The award came through the National Defense Authorization Act which called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American 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.
Master Sergeant Negron distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Kalma-Eri, Korea, on 28 April 1951. On that date, Sergeant Negron took up the most vulnerable position on his company's exposed right flank after an enemy force had overrun a section of the line. When notified that elements of the company were withdrawing, Sergeant Negron refused to leave his exposed position, but delivered withering fire at hostile troops who had broken through a road block. When the hostile troops approached his position, Sergeant Negron accurately hurled hand grenades at short range, halting their attack. Sergeant Negron held the position throughout the night, while an allied counter attack was organized and launched. After the enemy had been repulsed, fifteen enemy dead were found only a few feet from Sergeant Negron's position. The extraordinary heroism exhibited by Sergeant Negron on this occasion reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service.
BURIAL LOCATION: PUERTO RICO NATIONAL CEMETERY, BAYAMON, PUERTO RICO.
Section J, Site 3180
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