National Hispanic Heritage Month: Modesto Cartagena, the most decorated Hispanic soldier of the Korean War

Today we remember Modesto Cartagena, the most decorated Hispanic soldier of the Korean War.

Korean War veteran, Sgt. 1st Class (ret) Modesto Cartagena, 12/02/2000. (National Archives Identifier: 6519402)

Cartagena was a humble man born to a poor family who lived in the small town of Cayey, Puerto Rico. He was among the first from the island to volunteer for military service when the United States entered World War II. He served in the 65th Infantry Regiment, an all-Puerto Rican regiment also known as “The Borinqueneers,” during World War II and later in the Korean War.

During the Korean War, Cartagena earned the nickname “One Man Army.” Hill 206 near Yonchon, Korea, was heavily guarded on April 19, 1951, by a well-entrenched and fanatically determined hostile force. While under attack, Cartagena destroyed four enemy emplacements before he was wounded, thus saving the lives of the men in his unit and enabling the company to take the hill.

Keep reading (and en español) at:  Prologue: Pieces of History » Modesto Cartagena, the most decorated Hispanic soldier of the Korean War / Modesto Cartagena el soldado hispano más condecorado de la Guerra de Corea. 

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