and organization: First
Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines,
1st Marine Division (Rein.).
Inchon invasion in Korea, 15 September 1950.
23 August 1925, Tampa, Fla.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
above and beyond the call of duty as a marine platoon commander
of Company A, in action against enemy aggressor forces. With his
platoon 1st Lt. Lopez was engaged in the reduction of immediate
enemy beach defenses after landing with the assault waves.Exposing
to hostile fire, he moved forward alongside a bunker and prepared
to throw a handgrenade into the next pillbox whose fire was pinning
down that sector of the beach. Taken under fire by an enemy automatic
weapon and hit in the right shoulder and chest as he lifted his
arm to throw, he fell backward and dropped the deadly missile. After
a moment, he turned and dragged his body forward in an effort to
retrieve the grenade and throw it. In critical condition from pain
and loss of blood, and unable to grasp the handgrenade firmly enough
to hurl it, he chose to sacrifice himself rather than endanger the
lives of his men and, with a sweeping motion of his wounded right
arm, cradled the grenade under him and absorbed the full impact
of the explosion. His exceptional courage, fortitude, and devotion
to duty reflect the highest credit upon 1st Lt. Lopez and the U.S.
Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.