b. 14/10/1929 Utuado, Puerto Rico. d. 05/09/1952 Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 05/09/1952 Korea.
García (birth name: Fernando Luis García Ledesma was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico where he received his primary and secondary education. He moved to San Juan where he was hired by the Texas Company as a file clerk.
On September 19, 1951, García joined the United States Marines Corps and received his recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After he graduated from “boot camp”, he was promoted to private first class in December and was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for more training before being sent to Korea in March 1952.
García was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On the night of his death, he and his company were posted about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the enemy lines at “Outpost Bruce” in the Bunker Hill area. Chinese soldiers were attacking with artillery, mortars, and grenades. García was wounded and getting hand grenades from his acting platoon sergeant when an enemy grenade landed near them. García covered the grenade with his body, sacrificing himself to save the life of his fellow Marine who was wounded by the blast. García died instantly. For this heroic action, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His medal was presented to his parents at Uthaca City Hall on 25th October 1953.
García’s remains were never recovered. He is remembered on the Honolulu Memorial to the Missing, and also has an “In Memory of” marker in Puerto Rico National Cemetery, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on September 5, 1952. While participating in the defense of a combat outpost located more than one mile forward of the main line of resistance during a savage night attack by a fanatical enemy force employing grenades, mortars and artillery, Private First Class Garcia, although suffering painful wounds, moved through the intense hall of hostile fire to a supply point to secure more hand grenades. Quick to act when a hostile grenade landed nearby, endangering the life of another Marine, as well as his own, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and immediately threw his body upon the deadly missile, receiving the full impact of the explosion. His great personal valor and cool decision in the face of almost certain death sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BURIAL LOCATION: BODY NOT RECOVERED. NAMED ON HONOLULU MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.