Korean War Actions Earn Medals of Honor

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma will award the Medal of Hon­or to two sol­diers for con­spic­u­ous gal­lantry near­ly 60 years ago dur­ing the Kore­an War, White House offi­cials announced today.
Offi­cials said Army Pfcs. Antho­ny T. Kaho’o­hanohano and Hen­ry Svehlaw­ill will receive the nation’s high­est award for val­or in com­bat posthu­mous­ly in a May 2 White House cer­e­mo­ny.

On Sept. 1, 1951, Kaho’o­hanohano was in charge of a machine-gun squad with Com­pa­ny H, 17th Infantry Reg­i­ment, 7th Infantry Divi­sion. When faced by an ene­my with over­whelm­ing num­bers, he ordered his squad to take up more defen­si­ble posi­tions and pro­vide cov­er­ing fire for the with­draw­ing friend­ly force.

He then gath­ered a sup­ply of grenades and ammu­ni­tion and returned to his orig­i­nal posi­tion to face the ene­my alone — deliv­er­ing dead­ly accu­rate fire into the ranks of the onrush­ing ene­my. When his ammu­ni­tion was deplet­ed, he engaged the ene­my in hand-to-hand com­bat until he was killed.

His stand inspired his com­rades to launch a coun­ter­at­tack that com­plete­ly repulsed the ene­my, a White House state­ment said.

Kaho’ohanohano’s sis­ter, Elaine Kaho’o­hanohano, and broth­er, Eugene Kaho’o­hanohano, will join the pres­i­dent at the Medal of Hon­or cer­e­mo­ny.

Svehla was a rifle­man with Com­pa­ny F, 32d Infantry Reg­i­ment, 7th Infantry Divi­sion. On June 12, 1952, his pla­toon came under heavy fire. With his platoon’s attack begin­ning to fal­ter, Svehla charged the ene­my posi­tions, fir­ing his weapon and throw­ing grenades as he advanced. Dis­re­gard­ing his own safe­ty, he destroyed ene­my posi­tions and inflict­ed heavy casu­al­ties. He died when he threw him­self on an ene­my grenade that land­ed among a group of his com­rades.

His sis­ters, Dorothy Math­ews and Sylvia Svehla, will join Oba­ma at the cer­e­mo­ny.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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