and organization: Sergeant,
U.S. Army, 23d Infantry, 2d Infantry Division.
and date: Near
Krinkelt, Belgium, 17 December 1944.
47, 18 June 1945.
On his own initiative, he carried his heavy machinegun from Company
K's right flank to its left, in order to protect that flank which
was in danger of being overrun by advancing enemy infantry supported
by tanks. Occupying a shallow hole offering no protection above
his waist, he cut down a group of 10 Germans. Ignoring enemy fire
from an advancing tank, he held his position and cut down 25 more
enemy infantry attempting to turn his flank. Glancing to his right,
he saw a large number of infantry swarming in from the front. Although
dazed and shakenfrom enemy artillery fire which had crashed into
ground only a few yards away, he realized that his position soon
would be outflanked. Again, alone, he carried his machinegun to
a position to the right rear of the sector; enemy tanks and infantry
were forcing a withdrawal. Blown over backward by the concussion
of enemy fire, he immediately reset his gun and continued his fire.
Single-handed he held off the German horde until he was satisfied
his company had effected its retirement. Again he loaded his gun
on his back and in a hail of small arms fire he ran to a point where
a few of his comrades were attempting to set up another defense
against the onrushing enemy. He fired from this position until his
ammunition was exhausted. Still carrying his gun, he fell back with
his small group to Krinkelt. Sgt. Lopez's gallantry and intrepidity,
on seemingly suicidal missions in which he killed at least 100 of
the enemy, were almost solely responsible for allowing Company K
to avoid being enveloped, to withdraw successfully and to give other
forces coming up in support time to build a line which repelled
the enemy drive.