Private First Class,
U.S. Army, Company A 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division.
Fort William McKinley, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 13 February 1945.
3 March 1923 Oklahoma City, Okla.
124, 27 December
He was lead scout for Company A, which had destroyed 11 of 12 pillboxes
in a strongly fortified sector defending the approach to enemy-held
Fort William McKinley on Luzon, Philippine Islands. In the reduction
of these pillboxes, he killed 5 Japanese in the open and blasted
others in pillboxes with grenades. Realizing the urgent need for
taking the last emplacement, which contained 2 twin-mount
.50-caliber dual-purpose machineguns, he
took a circuitous route to within 20 yards of the position, killing
4 of the enemy in his advance. He threw a grenade into the pillbox,
and, as the crew started withdrawing through a tunnel just to the
rear of the emplacement, shot and killed 4 before exhausting his
clip. He had reloaded and killed 4 more when an escaping Japanese
threw his rifle with fixed bayonet at him. In warding off this thrust,
his own rifle was knocked to the ground. Seizing the Jap rifle,
he continued firing, killing 2 more of the enemy. He rushed the
remaining Japanese, killed 3 of them with the butt of the rifle
and entered the pillbox, where he bayoneted the 1 surviving hostile
soldier. Single-handedly, he killed 18 of the enemy in neutralizing
the position that had held up the advance of his entire company.
Through his courageous determination and heroic disregard of grave
danger, Pfc. Perez made possible the successful advance of his unit
toward a valuable objective and provided a lasting inspiration for