Puerto Rico's 

GENERAL ORDERS # 303 - 23 September 1952

   Colonel JUAN C. CORDERO, O222751, Infantry, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, United States Army. On 20 July 1952, Company "C" was attempting a withdrawal after completing a raiding mission on enemy positions near Chongdong, Korea. In the initial phases of the withdrawal the friendly troops were subjected to intense hostile automatic weapons, artillery and mortar fire from nearby enemy positions. Under the withering fire the men became disorganized and began to move in all directions. Realizing the necessity for the company to effect an orderly withdrawal and evacuate the wounded, Colonel CORDERO, the Regimental Commander, continuously exposed himself to the hostile bombardment as he moved among the men, offering them words of encouragement and directing them through the heavy enemy fire. Inspired by his courage, the men assumed the initiative and continued to move toward friendly positions. At this time, the ridge line over which the withdrawal was to be made was subjected to heavy enemy artillery and mortar fire. Despite the urging of his executive officer that he seek a place of safety, Colonel CORDERO refused to leave his men, and with complete disregard for his personal safety, braved the enemy fire to insure that all had reached safety and the wounded had been evacuated. Colonel CORDERO'S gallant and inspirational leadership was instrumental to the success of the withdrawal and reflects the highest credit upon himself and the military service. Entered the Federal service from Puerto Rico.

Source: Record Group 338: General Orders 3rd Infantry Division, Boxes 129 to 131 -National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

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