Sergeant 1st Class Eduardo Gomez was born in Los Angeles, California on October 28, 1919.
Gomez enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 9, 1949 as an Infantryman. He was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas and deployed to Tabu-dong, Korea in 1950 in support of the Korean War.
Around approximately 1 a.m. on September 3, 1950, Sgt. Gomez’s company was ruthlessly attacked by a hostile force comprising an infantry regiment and spearheaded by two T-34 tanks, the foremost of which moved to within seventy-five yards of the command post before it was immobilized by rocket fire. Its main battery and machine-guns continued to rake the company perimeter with devastating fire.
Realizing the tank posed a serious threat to the entire perimeter, Gomez voluntarily, and fully aware of the odds against him, crawled thirty yards across an open rice field vulnerable to enemy observation and fire, boarded the tank, and, prying open one of the hatches on the turret, dropped an activated grenade into the hull, killing the crew. Wounded in the left side while returning to his position, he refused to be evacuated.
Observing that the tripod of a .30 caliber machine-gun was rendered inoperable by enemy fire, he cradled the weapon in his arms, returned to the forward defensive positions, and swept the assaulting force with withering fire. Although his weapon overheated and burned his hands and his painful wound still bled, he maintained his stand and, upon orders to withdraw in the face of overwhelming enemy superiority, remained to provide protective fire.
Then, retiring slowly, he continued to pour accurate fire into the ranks of the enemy, which exacted a heavy toll in casualties and retarded the enemy’s advance. Gomez would not consent to leave his post for medical attention until the company established a new defensive position.
Because of his actions, Sgt. 1st Class Gomez will posthumously receive the nation’s highest award for valor in combat, the Medal of Honor.
See below for more great images of Gomez during his service in the Army:
To read more about Sgt. 1st Class Gomez, visit www.army.mil/medalofhonor/valor24/recipients/gomez/.