b. 07/12/1929 La Junta, Colorado. d. 25/07/1953 Songuch-on, Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 25/07/1953 Songuch-on, Korea.
Ambrosio Guillen was born on December 7, 1929, in La Junta, Colorado. He came from a Mexican-American family and grew up in El Paso, Texas, where he attended Bowie High School.
Guillen enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18. He completed recruit training at San Diego, California, and was assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment. Later he was chosen for Sea School, and after graduation, served on the USS Curtiss. Following his tour of sea duty, he was appointed a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.
He trained two recruit honor platoons and was given a Letter of Appreciation by his Commanding General. In that letter, MajGen John T. Walker stated, “your success in training these two platoons has demonstrated your outstanding ability as a leader.” That ability was proven in combat soon after SSgt. Guillen arrived in Korea.
On July 25, 1953, while defending a forward outpost against a large enemy attack, near Songuch-on, Korea, SSgt. Guillen and his platoon were able to defeat the enemy and put them in retreat. After the fighting, he died from being wounded during the battle. For his heroic leadership and sacrifice of life, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. The Medal or Honor awarded to SSgt. Guillen was presented to his parents on his behalf by the Secretary of the Navy Charles S. Thomas, during a special ceremony in his office on August 18, 1954.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a platoon sergeant of Company F in action against enemy aggressor forces. Participating in the defense of an outpost forward of the main line of resistance, S/Sgt. Guillen maneuvered his platoon over unfamiliar terrain in the face of hostile fire and placed his men in fighting positions. With his unit pinned down when the outpost was attacked under cover of darkness by an estimated force of two enemy battalions supported by mortar and artillery fire, he deliberately exposed himself to the heavy barrage and attacks to direct his men in defending their positions and personally supervise the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. Inspired by his leadership, the platoon quickly rallied and engaged the enemy in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Although critically wounded during the course of the battle, S/Sgt. Guillen refused medical aid and continued to direct his men throughout the remainder of the engagement until the enemy was defeated and thrown into disorderly retreat. Succumbing to his wounds within a few hours, S/Sgt. Guillen, by his outstanding courage and indomitable fighting spirit, was directly responsible for the success of his platoon in repelling a numerically superior enemy force. His personal valor reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BURIAL LOCATION: FORT BLISS NATIONAL CEMETERY, FORT BLISS, TEXAS.
SECTION E, SITE 9171.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GUILLEN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, EL PASO, TEXAS.