Home News Medal of Honor Recipient Hector A. Cafferata, Jr. Passes Away at 86

Medal of Honor Recipient Hector A. Cafferata, Jr. Passes Away at 86

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Pfc. Hector A. Cafferata, Jr. with his Medal of Honor Image: U.S. Marine Corps

The word “hero” is used loosely these days. While we did not know him, we are saddened to hear of the passing of a true American hero. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society has announced that Private First Class Hector A. Cafferata, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Tuesday evening, April 12, 2016, in Venice, Florida at the age of 86.

Private Cafferata was born on November 4, 1929 in New York City, New York. Cafferata played semi-pro football and was working at the Sun Dial Corporation when he enlisted in the Marines in 1948.

Earned Nation’s Highest Award for Valor during Korea

President Barack Obama greets Korean War veteran Private Hector Cafferata following his remarks at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, Korea, Nov. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.
President Barack Obama greets Korean War veteran Private Hector Cafferata following his remarks at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, Korea, Nov. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

He was serving as a Private in the First Marine Division at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in 1950 when all other members of his team became casualties during an attack. Cafferata waged a lone battle against the enemy. Making himself a target, he maneuvered to deliver fire, forcing withdrawal of the onrushing force. Then, during another enemy onslaught, Cafferata seized an enemy grenade and hurled it free of his comrades before it detonated, sustaining injuries but saving the lives of his fellow Marines. He continued fighting until stopped by a sniper’s bullet.

Cafferata was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman at a White House ceremony on November 24, 1952.

Hector A. Cafferata, Jr. is survived by his wife Doris and four children.  Funeral services are pending. There are 76 recipients alive today.

Read more about his Congressional Medal Of Honor

About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958 and consists exclusively of the living recipients of our nation’s highest award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor. Those who wear this light blue ribbon and Medal around their neck are “recipients” of this prestigious award; they are not “winners.” Although it is common to refer to the Medal as the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is simply named the Medal of Honor, although, as stated, the Congress did establish the Society as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

 

SOURCE Congressional Medal of Honor Society

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