and organization: Private
First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division.
Near Rosenkrantz, France,
25 January 1945.
Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Governador, N. Mex.
O. No.: 16,
8 February 1946.
He was on outpost duty with 5 others when the enemy counterattacked
with overwhelming strength. From his position near some woods 500
yards beyond the American lines he observed a hostile tank about
75 yards away, and raked it with automatic rifle fire until it withdrew.
Soon afterward he saw 3 Germans stealthily approaching through the
woods. Scorning cover as the enemy soldiers opened up with heavy
automatic weapons fire from a range of 30 yards, he engaged in a
fire fight with the attackers until he had killed all 3. The enemy
quickly launched an attack with 2 full companies of infantrymen,
blasting the patrol with murderous concentrations of automatic and
rifle fire and beginning an encircling movement which forced the
patrol leader to order a withdrawal. Despite the terrible odds,
Pfc. Valdez immediately volunteered to
cover the maneuver, and as the patrol 1 by 1 plunged through a hail
of bullets toward the American lines, he fired burst after burst
into the swarming enemy. Three of his companions were wounded in
their dash for safety and he was struck by a bullet that entered
his stomach and, passing through his body, emerged from his back.
Overcoming agonizing pain, he regained control of himself and resumed
his firing position, delivering a protective screen of bullets until
all others of the patrol were safe. By field telephone he called
for artillery and mortar fire on the Germans and corrected the range
until he had shells falling within 50 yards of his position. For
15 minutes he refused to be dislodged by more than 200 of the enemy;
then, seeing that the barrage had broken the counter attack, he
dragged himself back to his own lines. He died later as a result
of his wounds. Through his valiant, intrepid stand and at the cost
of his own life, Pfc. Valdez made it possible for his comrades to
escape, and was directly responsible for repulsing an attack by
vastly superior enemy forces.