Arizonan Awarded Medal Of Honor For WWII Actions

February 25, 2014

(Photo courtesy of army.mil)
Master Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza.

An Arizona man is among a group of two dozen veterans of past conflicts who will receive the Medal of Honor.

President Barack Obama has announced 24 veterans who were the victims of discrimination will be honored with the award in a ceremony next month.  Among the group is the late Master Sgt. Manuel V. Mendoza of Miami, Arizona.

All of the veterans previously received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest military award, for their bravery in World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.

Those medals will be upgraded March 14 to the nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. The upgrade is being triggered by the Defense Authorization Act of 2002, in which Congress called for a review of Jewish-American and Hispanic-American veteran service files, to ensure deserving veterans were not being denied the award based on racial prejudice.

Mendoza will be only the second Arizonan from World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The late Master Sgt. Mendoza got his Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on Mt. Battaglia, Italy, in October 1944.