Fayetteville Medal of Honor recipient to be immortalized on stamp sheet
Posted July 24, 2014
Updated July 25, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Rodolfo “Rudy” Hernandez, a Fayetteville Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, will be immortalized on a Korean War Medal of Honor stamp sheet, the U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday.
The first stamps will be issued during a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. Hernandez’ picture will appear outside the stamps on a stamp sheet.
On May 31, 1951, Hernandez and other soldiers of Company G, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team were in foxholes near Wontong-ne, Korea. As the rest of his platoon retreated after nearly running out of ammunition, Hernandez and his foxhole mate held their position and kept firing.
Hernandez, who was 20 years old, suffered a shrapnel wound to his head.
When he finally left his position, Hernandez charged the enemy - armed only with a grenade and a rifle with a fixed bayonet – and killed six North Korean fighters. It stopped the enemy advance and sparked a counterattack.
The morning after the attack, Hernandez was pronounced dead after he was found lying among the bodies of the North Korean soldiers. When a soldier saw a slight movement of Hernandez's hand, medics began frantically trying to save his life.
Hernandez couldn't talk for months following his injuries and had to learn to walk again. Part of his body remained paralyzed.
He received the Medal of Honor – the military’s highest recognition for valor above and beyond the call of duty – from President Harry Truman in 1952.
He spent his post-war years working for Department of Veterans Affairs, retiring in 1980.
Before he passed away from cancer in December, Hernandez, 82, was the grand marshal of the Fayetteville Veteran’s Day Parade.