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National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2002
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VILLEGAS, YSMAEL R.

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company F, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.

Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 20 March 1945.

Entered service at: Casa Blanca, Calif.

Birth: Casa Blanca, Calif.

G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945.

Citation:
He was a squad leader when his unit, in a forward position, clashed with an enemy strongly entrenched in connected caves and foxholes on commanding ground. He moved boldly from man to man, in the face of bursting grenades and demolition charges, through heavy machinegun and rifle fire, to bolster the spirit of his comrades.Inspired by his Medal of Honor - Army Recipientgallantry, his men pressed forward to the crest of the hill. Numerous enemy riflemen, refusing to flee, continued firing from their foxholes. S/Sgt. Villegas, with complete disregard for his own safety and the bullets which kicked up the dirt at his feet, charged an enemy position, and, firing at point-blank range killed the Japanese in a foxhole. He rushed a second foxhole while bullets missed him by inches, and killed 1 more of the enemy. In rapid succession he charged a third, a fourth, a fifth foxhole, each time destroying the enemy within. The fire against him increased in intensity, but he pressed onward to attack a sixth position. As he neared his goal, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Through his heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost of his life, inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept the enemy from the field.


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