Marine Corps Times
Lance M. Bacon
April 15, 2016
Marine Pfc. Hector A. Cafferata Jr., who earned the Medal of Honor at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, died April 12 at the age of 86.
Pfc. Hector A. Cafferata Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for
his valor at the Chosin Reservoir in 1950 during the Korean War,
died April 12.(Photo: Defense Department)
Cafferata was a rifleman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, on Nov. 28, 1950. More than 10,000 Chinese troops had surrounded Gen. Douglas MacArthur's U.N. forces at the Chosin Reservoir, including 8,000 from the Marine division. On a frozen, rocky promontory, the 230 or so Marines of Company F had been assigned to protect the Toktong Pass, a narrow escape route through the Nangnim Mountains.
The other members of Cafferata’s fire team became casualties at the pass during the initial phase of “a vicious attack launched by a fanatical enemy of regimental strength against his company's hill position,” according to his award citation.
Cafferata was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman at a White House ceremony on Nov. 24, 1952. He was one of 42 Marine vets to receive the nation's highest military award for valor for actions in the Korean War — 14 of whom were awarded for actions in the Chosin Reservoir campaign. Seven of those awards were posthumous.
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